(Josh Denmark/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

3 Border Patrol Tips to Make Holiday Travel Smoother

Traveling this holiday season? You’re not alone. As the Transportation Security Administration braces for a surge of holiday travelers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is anticipating a boost in border-related traffic.

“This is historically a very busy period,” Hector Mancha, CBP director of field operations in El Paso, Texas, said in a statement. “Border crossers should take steps to help themselves and also plan to build extra time into their schedules to accommodate what will be longer than normal processing times. With the deployment of our CBP officers, coupled with the busy holiday season, border crossing points will be just as saturated as area shopping malls, roadways and other locations that draw holiday traffic.”

Crossing times will be longer than usual because of extra security in California and Arizona in response to an approaching migrant caravan, according to CBP.

ICYMI: TSA Bracing for ‘Record-Breaking’ Crowds This Holiday Air Travel Season

CBP has released the following border crossing tips: 

 1. Use Technology To Check Wait Times 

There is nothing worse than waiting in line. Stay up to date on border wait times online, or download the CBP BWT app in the Apple App Store or Google Play. The data is updated hourly. Travelers can also observe current traffic conditions at the Paso Del Norte, Stanton and Ysleta bridges on the city of El Paso website.

 

2. Make Sure You’re Packing Legal Plants

Carrying questionable agricultural items? Check the CBP Know Before You Go guide before hitting the road.

 

3. Still need to apply for a tourist permit? There’s a faster way…

CBP is encouraging travelers to apply for their tourist permits online. After submitting their information, the traveler will be briefly interviewed by a CBP officer, submit biometrics and be photographed. This week, CBP El Paso announced expedited lanes for those who pre-pay the documentation fee.

San Ysidro border crossing (Josh Denmark/CBP)
(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)

Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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