Border crossings in B.C. are expected to be extra busy for Black Friday. (Black Press Media files)

Border crossings in B.C. are expected to be extra busy for Black Friday. (Black Press Media files)

Going to the U.S. for Black Friday? Here’s what you need to know

Bring your passport, not your pot and be ready for long lineups

Planning on heading south of the border for Black Friday shopping? Here’s what you need to know to not get stuck in a lineup, or have your on-sale goodies snatched up by customs officers.

Leave early

If there’s ever a day to leave earlier than you think you need to, U.S. Thanksgiving and Black Friday is the time.

It’s the busiest travel weekend of the year, and the Canada Border Security Agency is warning travellers to check border wait times and seek out a less busy crossing.

The Douglas crossing in Surrey is the busiest land border crossing in B.C. and the CBSA recommends Pacific Highway, Aldergrove or Abbotsford-Huntingdon instead.

VIDEO: Tips to avoid overspending this holiday season

If you’re flying, the Vancouver International Airport says it’s expecting heavy traffic to and around the airport.

It’s asking travellers to take the Canada Line if they can, adding that drivers parking at the long-term value lot near Templeton Station might see extra busy trains as shoppers storm the nearby McArthurGlen Designer Outlet stores.

Be prepared

To keep the lines moving smoothly at the border, make sure you have all your documents – passport, NEXUS – ready to go so you’re not fumbling with them as the agent looks on.

If you’re planning to bring back hundreds of dollars in goods, keep in mind that you have to declare them at the border and possibly pay duties on them. If you want an estimate of how much you’ll pay, check out the CBSA’s calculator here.

One of the key jobs of border guards is to watch for missing kids, so be ready to answer detailed, and even invasive-seeming, questions about any children in your car.

Absolutely no marijuana

Cannabis may be legal in B.C. and Washington State, but it’s a complete no-go at the border.

Pot is still against federal law in the U.S. and is still illegal to take out of Canada. Anyone travelling across the border with cannabis could face criminal charges, even if it’s medicinal and comes with a doctor’s note.

READ MORE: Heading abroad in the legal cannabis era could harsh your buzz


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelly Chadwick of Port McNeill tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 3. (Submitted)
Port McNeill mother confirms positive COVID-19 test

The mother of two is self-isolating and following all protocols

Port Hardy Museum curator Jane Hutton is looking to find out who is in this photo. (Port Hardy Museum photo)
Port Hardy museum wants to know if you can identify who’s in this photo

If you can help with identifying the photo, please contact 250-949-8143.

Speed limit change on Hwy 19 north of Port McNeill. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
New speed limit near Cluxewe Resort on Hwy 19

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure made the change Dec. 1

Felled spruce and cedar trees waiting to be stripped, sorted and hauled down Island. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Kwakiutl First Nation angry at logging in Douglas Treaty land

The nation is calling on government to honour the Douglas Treaty

The Christmas Tree being put back up in the Thunderbird Mall parking lot. (Thunderbird Mall photo)
Giant Christmas tree returns to Thunderbird Mall Parking lot

At the end of the 2019, extreme winds knocked over the community Christmas tree.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Montreal Alouettes’ Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a ‘laggard’ on homophobia in sports

Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who’ve come out to teammates reported being victimized

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Information about the number of COVID-19 cases in Abbotsford and other municipalities poses a danger to the public, the Provincial Health Services Authority says. (Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
More city-level COVID-19 data would jeopardize public health, B.C. provincial health agency says

Agency refuses to release weekly COVID-19 case counts, citing privacy and public health concerns

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

Most Read