The beginning of a new year brings fresh opportunities. That includes travel.
People are wondering where they want to go and what they need to do to make their trip successful.
Now is the perfect time to apply for or renew your passport and sign up for a Trusted Traveler program like Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. It’s also a good time to consider whether visiting must-see Arizona destinations during off-peak hours or getting a credit card with enhanced travel benefits is appropriate.
Here are five things you can do now to make your travels more enjoyable in 2023.
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1. Apply or renew your passport now
The demand for international travel is evident as airlines add flights from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. American Airlines will launch a new service in Monterrey, Mexico in January, and ultra-low-cost airline Lynx Air will enter the market in February with flights between Sky Harbor and Calgary, Alberta’s largest city in Canada. .
If you have booked a trip abroad, or are planning a trip in the not too distant future, get one as soon as possible if you don’t already have a passport. The U.S. Department of State estimates that a traveler could wait 6 to 9 weeks for normal passport processing and 3 to 5 weeks for expedited processing. These times may increase if demand spikes.
If you have a passport, please check the expiration date. Passports are valid for 10 years. If it has expired or is about to expire, please renew as soon as possible. Some countries will not let you enter if your passport is about to expire. That period varies from country to country, so if your passport has less than one year left, check the travel requirements for your destination.
You can renew your passport online. Visit https://travel.state.gov to see if you can renew online.
Apply to:Passport Application, Renewal and Reservation in Arizona
2. Make sure your PreCheck or Global Entry is up to date
Your passport isn’t the only travel tool that can expire. Now is a good time to check how much time you have left to enroll in the Trusted Traveler Program.
These programs help you get through security and immigration lines quickly. Admission requires an interview and is valid for five years and can be renewed in the year before it expires.
The US Transportation Security Administration offers a PreCheck ($85). US Customs and Border Protection administers Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI. Global Entry ($100) allows expedited entry into the United States from overseas destinations. SENTRI ($122.25) facilitates entry into the United States from Canada and Mexico. NEXUS ($50) allows expedited entry into the United States from Canada.
It is important to apply or renew in advance. Most applicants will receive her Known Traveler Number within 3-5 days, but PreCheck processing can take up to 2 months. The CPB program process can take 6 to 18 months and interview opportunities are limited.
Arizona has eight PreCheck enrollment centers for IdentoGo located at Sky Harbor Airport, Staples at Camelback Colonnade in Phoenix and Arrowhead Crossing in Peoria, Gilbert, Sun City, Casa Grande, Tucson and Flagstaff.
There are five CPB program enrollment centers in Arizona. Sky Harbor Airport, Tucson International Airport, and Ports of Entry offices in Douglas, Nogales, and San Luis. You can check the availability of interview appointments before applying. To do this, visit https://ttp.dhs.gov.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, if your Global Entry is about to expire and you’re submitting a renewal application, you can use it for up to two years past the expiration date.
New for 2023:Finally, the Sky Harbor Skytrain stops at the Rental Car Center.Click here for how to ride
3. Consider getting a credit card with travel rewards
A credit card with benefits such as airline miles, hotel points, or cash back on purchases can help supplement your travel budget.
For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards card offers referral offers of 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, 5 miles per dollar spent on hotels and car rentals booked with Capital One Travel, and 75,000 bonus miles on a $4,000 purchase . First 3 months of the account. Other cards have different perk combinations to suit your needs.
Note that many of these credit cards have an annual fee, like Venture Rewards’ $95 annual fee. Some cards, like Chase Freedom Unlimited, have no joining fee. We are currently offering a user 6.5% cashback on travel purchases made with the card during her first year.
Airline subscription:4 airlines depart from Phoenix offering cheap flight programs.See how much you can save
4. Visit Arizona’s hottest destinations in the off-season
Sedona, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon can feel crowded all the time. But if you travel at a time when there are fewer people, you will have a more pleasant experience.
Spring and fall are the busiest times to visit Sedona, while summer and winter are less touristy. Data from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce bears this out: Bed tax collections for fiscal 2021-22 were highest in the spring and fall, peaking at just over $1 million in May 2022.
According to the National Park Service, the Grand Canyon is busiest in late spring and early fall, averaging about 500,000 visitors each peak season month last summer. October to March is usually less busy, but winter visitors should be aware of winter weather hazards and plan for snow and ice conditions.
5. Consider flying from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport instead of Sky Harbor
Sky Harbor International, the primary airport serving Metro Phoenix, is the destination for most leisure and business travelers in the region.
But for residents of eastern Phoenix and cities such as Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Apache Junction and Queen Creek, the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport is more conveniently located, smaller and easier to travel than Sky Harbor. Size can win.
East Mesa Airport continues to see record passenger growth, with 150,846 passengers in October 2022, a 15% increase from the same month in 2021.
Gateway Airport continues to evolve as the airline industry and region grow. We recently broke ground on a 30,000-square-foot terminal expansion that will add new gates, glass walkways, tech lounges, restaurants and shops when it is scheduled for completion in 2024.
Gateway Airport caters to leisure travelers. Note that the airline (the largest is Allegiant Air) only offers flights on certain days, not every day. Parking is cheaper than Sky Harbor at $13 per day in the main daily lot just south of the terminal, $11 in covered economy lots, and $9 in uncovered economy lots, but travelers are encouraged to park should be given enough time to find Arrived at the terminal.
coming soon:How the $28M Expansion at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport Will Help Travelers
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