Get Through Customs Faster
With a few simple planning tips, you can reduce your wait time at the airport and get on with your adventure.
Have your documents ready
Keep your answers to the officer brief and to the point
Fill out all your forms on the plane before you land (bring a pen)
Don’t declare anything if not necessary to avoid inspection
Avoid using your cell phone
Don’t take any pictures for security reasons
It’s a good idea to travel light when you can. Doing so will save time, money and possibly frustration over lost bags too. Whenever possible, bring only carry-on luggage to avoid fees and long waits at the baggage carousel. Perhaps the best aspect of carry-on items is the luxury of being able to move about freely without needing to drag along heavy baggage through the airport.
Nothing To Declare
As you approach Customs, you will see green lanes marked “Nothing to Declare” and red lanes marked “Goods to Declare.” If you have nothing to declare, you will hand your form to an officer and stroll out the exit. If you do have items to declare, you will have to pay tax on them before you leave the airport.
Bags Being Searched? No Big Deal
If you travel enough, you are bound to have your bags searched eventually. Consider it a merit badge on your growing list of travel experiences. Answer the officer’s questions in a straightforward manner. They will inspect your belongings for contraband, and then you will be cleared to re-pack your things and continue on your way.
Global Entry will shorten the amount of time spent in security and Customs' lines. After proving you are a low-risk traveler, you will no longer deal with the hassle of removing laptops, shoes, jackets and liquids in line. Citizens of the United States, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, South Korea, and the U.K. are eligible.
By using these tips as a guideline, you can better organize and prepare for your trip. Stay tuned to Travel Tip Tuesdays for more in-depth information about the best way to travel.
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