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CBP Offers Tips for International Holiday Travel

Release Date: 
December 26, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is reminding international travelers traveling this week to expect an increase in traffic at international airports and land border ports of entry during Thanksgiving weekend.

While the holiday travel season has historically been a period of increased international travel, CBP will continue to remain vigilant in conducting its primary anti-terrorism mission. As a result, international arrivals to the United States should continue to expect a thorough inspection process.  However, adopting the following strategies will help ensure travelers are processed quickly and efficiently.           

Tip #1 – Travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth.  Please have crossing documents available for the inspection including a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) approved document for U.S. citizens.

Tip #2 – Travelers should declare all items acquired abroad, failure to declare agriculture products or food items may result in the issuance of a fine of up to $1,000.

Tip #3 – Travelers should build extra time into their trips in the event they experience exceptionally heavy traffic or they encounter inclement weather.

Tip #4 – Travelers are encouraged to visit the “Know Before You Go” section of the CBP website to avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of prohibited items. 

Tip #5 – Consult the CBP website site to monitor border crossing times or to monitor airport wait times. 

Tip #6 – During periods of heavy travel, travelers may wish to consider alternative travel dates or entry routes.

Tip #7 – Drivers should ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained and mechanically sound and that occupants avoid riding in areas of vehicles not specifically designed to carry passengers. Failure to follow these steps can expose crossers/passengers to carbon monoxide.

Tip #8 – All travelers 16 years old and older must present a valid passport, U.S. passport card, enhanced driver’s licenses (EDLs), or a Trusted Traveler Program card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST) when arriving to the United States. 

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