Geographically, one of the best features about the United States is there are two amazing countries on either side of the border. Americans can hop in a car and drive to either Mexico or Canada for a road trip or vacation. This provides an excellent opportunity to see new landscapes, experience other cultures, and for those who are a bit shaky on flying, avoiding a plane.
There is one thing to keep in mind, though, driving across the border isn’t quite as simple as it used to be. But, with the right planning, you can quickly drive across either border and be on your way.
In this post, we want to share some of the best tips that will help you drive across the border without a hiccup.
Before You Go
Good planning is essential to any road trip, but it’s especially true when going across the border. So, before you head out, there are a couple of things you want to check.
The first thing you need to have is the right documentation. For most people, that means having their passport handy and ready to go. You can also travel with a passport card, also issued by the State Department, which is good for border crossings.
Something else you want to check a few months before you go is your car insurance. You want to be sure your car is covered for crossing the border if not, this is something you can typically add-on for your trip.
Keep in mind, this also applies to rental cars. If you were planning on taking a rental over the border, you want to get in touch with the company and make sure your car is covered.
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but around big travel holidays, the traffic at the border will be a bit more congested. So, you might want to consider planning around that. It’s certainly not a deal breaker, just something to keep in mind.
Just like traveling by plane, there are some items that you won’t be allowed to bring across the border. This goes both ways too. Meaning that there can be items (mostly food related) that you won’t be able to bring back into the US. Check with the Customs and Border Patrol with each country for a complete list.
At The Border
Once you get to the border, there are a few things you can do make sure everything goes smoothly.
First, have all of your documentation ready. This includes your passport or border card, your car registration, and any rental car documentation.
Also, be ready for questions. The border patrol officer will likely ask a few questions before you enter the country. For the most part, these will be simple things like why you are visiting and the duration of your trip. Be sure to answer everything honestly.
Finally, follow instructions. You might be asked to roll down all the windows to speak to the officer or to pop the trunk so they can inspect the car. These sorts of things are pretty much standard so being prepared for them can help you speed up the process and make your border crossing painless.