The Labour Day Long Weekend is a popular travel weekend for many. It’s the unofficial last weekend of summer and plenty of families take advantage before their kids head back to school.
Both the Canada Border Services Agency and United States Customs and Border Protection will see heavy traffic over the long weekend. They’ve both released tips on how to ensure you speed up the process and cross safely.
Both countries agree that when crossing, have your identifications handy and do your homework ahead of time. Kris Grogran works for the United States CBP and says there’s an easy way to find out what you’re allowed to bring over the border.
“We have a website called ‘Know Before You Go’ on www.cbp.gov that informs travelers if they have any questions. Whether if they’re going to be bringing a pet with them into the United States, or what they want to bring in,” Grogan said. “If they have any questions, they can go to our website and research it, and make sure they’re in compliance when crossing at one of our ports of entry.”
The CBSA suggests crossing over the border in the mornings to avoid peak times and lineups. Both sides of the border offer downloadable apps to monitor wait times and see which crossing stations are the busiest.
Last year CBSA officers in southern Saskatchewan processed roughly 7,000 travelers, with the North Portal center being the busiest.
Crossing into the States can be intimidating, but Grogan believes if you know what you’re bringing across, it should be no problem.
“One of the big things a lot of times is reporting what you have with you. Make sure you don’t have fruit or stuff like that. Make it known everything you need to declare when crossing into the United States,” he said.
Although marijuana will be legal in just a few weeks in Canada, the CBSA is reminding everyone that it can’t be brought in or out of the country. Fines and charges can be issued to anyone trying to smuggle drugs across the border.
Processing wait times can be a bit longer on long weekends and both border agencies ask for patience when crossing into the United States or Canada.