CBSA shares long weekend travel tips
Published Friday, October 11, 2013 10:54AM MDT
The Canadian Border Services Agency is offering some travel tips to help Albertans who are planning to go south of the border on the long weekend.
The CBSA says that there are many ways to prepare, but the best time to do it is before you set out on the road and not when you’re stuck waiting in a big lineup trying to get into the country.
The agency says the best time to cross is during a non-peak time and you should also avoid the busier crossings like Coutts.
More than 3,200 travelers returned to Canada through the border crossing at Coutts on the holiday Monday, while just 1,600 travelers came back through at Carway, Alberta.
Roosville, B.C., is another popular and busy crossing, processing 2,900 travelers last year, and Kingsgate, B.C., processed 1,300.
The CBSA estimates that between 3,000 and 6,000 travelers will enter Canada through the four above crossings between October 12 and 14.
Agents also say that crossings are easier in the morning, because lineups build in the afternoon and carry on through the evening.
All of the people traveling with you will need to show some type of identification to return to Canada. Having these documents ready will help ease the process.
If you’ve done shopping in the United States while on holiday, it’s a good idea to come up with a list of your purchases. You will also need to declare the amount of money you spent on mailed gifts, as well as any major repairs or upgrades to your vehicle or boat.
You should also make note of personal exemptions that you may qualify for dependent on the length of your visit to the U.S.
In order to avoid issues with customs officers, you should be aware of all the other items in your vehicle, including food tucked in coolers and organic items like soil or firewood. Many of these products are restricted in Canada and can cause health and environmental problems.
If you have any questions, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask a CBSA officer. The best thing you can do is be open and honest with officials.
The CBSA also encourages drivers to use their mobile site for more information. It can be accessed here.
Travelers can also access the CBSA’s duty and taxes estimator by going here.