woman walking on pathway while strolling luggage
Blog

Don’t Lose Your TSA PreCheck Privileges

Do you enjoy the (usually) shorter lines and less hassle of the TSA PreCheck line? If so, you’d probably be disappointed to be declined the opportunity to enter that line because your membership expired. These memberships are only good for 5 years.

The TSA began selling PreCheck memberships in December 2013. More than 420,000 travelers signed up in the first six months, with a total of 750,000 travelers signed up in the first year. This means that thousands of memberships are expiring each month this year. Most users can renew their membership for $85 through an easy online process and memberships can be renewed up to 6 months in advance of the expiration date. To learn more, check out the TSA website .

diversity
Podcast

Episode 18: Bias

Show notes:

According to ECU, Equality challenge unit, unconscious bias refers to a bias that we are unaware of, and which happens outside of our control. It is a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences.

Implicit bias refers to the same area, but questions the level to which these biases are unconscious especially as we are being made increasingly aware of them. Once we know that biases are not always explicit, we are responsible for them. We all need to recognize and acknowledge our biases and find ways to mitigate their impact on our behavior and decisions.

(Source: Harvard’s Project Implicit) The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is commonly used to measure implicit bias in individuals. The IAT measures the strength of associations between concepts (e.g., black people, old people, or gay people) and evaluations (e.g., good or bad) or characteristics (e.g., athletic, smart, or clumsy). The IAT is based on the observation that people place two words in the same category more quickly if the words are already associated in the brain. For example, the rate at which a person can link the words “black” or “white” with “good” or “bad” indicates their implicit bias.  

On an Ohio State University website they mention “Our brains are incredibly complex, and the implicit associations that we have formed can be gradually unlearned through a variety of debiasing techniques.” Some popular debiasing techniques include:

  • discounting commonly held stereotypes
  • using context to influence implicit responses
  • changing the way an out-group member is evaluated and categorised
  • using contact to change the level of threat evoked by an out-group
  • using motivation to change responses to an out-group
  • encouraging people to take responsibility for their implicit biases

Resources:

Good overview video: https://youtu.be/OoBvzI-YZf4

Thinking fast and slow – Daniel Kahneman

If you have any suggestions or recommendations to share on the topic, please comment so our readers and the Lead.Travel.Pray. team can benefit from this knowledge.

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black car interior
Podcast

Episode 17: In transit – Renting a Ride

  • How to decide if you should rent:
    • Consider what mass transit and ride share options are available
    • If trying to cover a lot of ground and see a variety of sights, you will probably want the convenience of having your own car.
    • Costs can also be a factor. Sometimes it is cheaper to rent a car to get to and from your destination than ride share or taxis.
  • Rental tips:
    • Loyalty programs can have advantages for rates and efficiency – often getting to skip past the rental counter and go straight to the car
    • Cars may also be cheaper through 3rd party booking sites like Orbitz, Priceline & Expedia
    • Prices can fluctuate so it is worthwhile to look frequently in case a better deal is now available. Most reservations can be cancelled ahead of time with no penalty so you may decide to rebook a cheaper rate or to upgrade to a larger car class.
  • Reservation tips
    • Never pay full price – look for coupons (like in the Entertainment book)
    • Pay attention to what kind of deposit the rental car company expects – this can vary greatly when you travel global
    • Research the baggage space to know you have enough space
    • Smaller cars generally work better in Europe
  • Check the car before you leave the lot
    • Take picture of any damage on the car before you leave the lot
    • Don’t sign a damage form before looking the car over
    • Adjust your seat, mirrors, etc. before you leave the rental lot
    • The gas gauge tells you which side to pump the gas