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

Vernon Carnival brings back historic ice palace for Queen Silver Star LX

Check it out during coronation, one of hundreds of Winter Carnival events

Dance stages Indigenous identity quest in Vernon

Tlakentli merges dance and theatre with two artists from Mexico, of Nahua and Mixteco descent

Pumphouse project puts Vernon taps back on Kal

The capital project at the Kal Lake Pump House to make it flood-resistant is near completion

Accident causing traffic delays in Vernon

The accident happened near the intersection of Alexis Park Drive and 42nd Street

Carlton Cards to close its doors in Vernon

All 254 retail stores across North America will close in the next four to six weeks

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Prices for recreational marijuana in B.C. down from a year ago

New inflation figures show gasoline, housing and certain kinds of food cost more

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Veteran B.C. journalist battles cancer through pioneering immunotherapy treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

Most Read