By Alicia Neaves
PRESIDIO - Tons of residents have already made plans to travel across the border just in time for Christmas. But before heading out the door, U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants to share a few pieces of advice so your trip is fast and easy.
One of the ways travelers can work with border officials during the holidays is by having all of their documents ready, like passports, passport cards and border crossing cards.
“It doesn't seem like a big deal to have to wait while somebody digs through their purse and wallet to find their documents, if you add that time to every car we're looking at, it adds up to a considerable delay at the port of entry,” John Deputy, Port Director of the Presidio Port of Entry, said.
The public is also asked to declare anything they receive outside of the United States, that way officers can determine if duties will be paid. If the item is for personal use, it's highly unlikely that duties will be required.
“Even if it doesn't fall under a personal use exemption, chances are, due to the North American Free Trade Agreement, if it's a product of Mexico, it's going to be duty-free anyway. So there's really no reason not to declare anything you are bringing back as a traveler,” Deputy said.
Travelers are also encouraged to consider wait times before crossing. They can use the new Border Wait Time App to help identify the times of day when traffic is not as heavy.
“This is really a benefit to the traveler. On Sundays, it could mean the difference between waiting in line 30 to 40 minutes versus not waiting in line at all,” Deputy said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says to also consider the day that you travel back and forth from your destination. They say most holiday traffic will head back the Sunday after New Year's Day. It might be worth it to travel the day before or the day after to avoid longer wait times.
For more information on these holiday travel tips to help make your trip across the border run a little smoother, visit