BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Department of Homeland Security is asking travelers to expect increased traffic at the border this weekend, as the unofficial end to summer approaches.
And this year, the economy is expected to have an added impact.
As of Thursday afternoon, $1 U.S. dollar equals $1.32 in Canada, leading more people across the border to shop. That means you have an added responsibility when you return to the states when it comes to declaring goods.
A good rule of thumb is to declare everything just to be safe, including gifts and duty free items.MORE INFO | Customs and Border Protection’s “Know before you go” checklist
Despite the economic impact, travel is actually down this summer, according to Customs and Border Protection. But this weekend is expected to be different. Peak hours run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you can check for traffic ahead of time.
The biggest help to you and your family at the border is to prepare for your arrival.
“We have seen a decrease in traffic this year, but we’re expecting to see an increase for this last weekend,” said Chief CBP Officer Aaron Bowker. “Have the proper documents, Nexus card, passport card, passport, enhanced driver’s license ready for the officer when you pull up. Have your windows down, have your sunglasses off so they can compare the photos to the actual document presented . Be prepared to answer a few questions, and the more prepared you are, usually the faster the inspection goes.”
CBP has created a checklist if you ever have any questions about protocol, and what you can and cannot bring across the border. It’s their “know before you go” program, and can be found by clicking here.
Among some of the tips:
- Have appropriate and updated travel documents
- Check border wait times, or you can click here
- Declare your goods. Find what to declare by clicking here
- Travel during off-peak hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)