It’s count down time to Maui for us! In 48hrs, we will be boarding our amazing flight to Maui, but first, let us share with you some tips to help improve your border crossing at US Customs.
I think it’s safe to say that we have all seen the delays at the airport, customs, etc… We get it… It can be stressful and inconvenient but unfortunately, that’s part of the travel game. Let us share with you some best practices when you are traveling into the US and how to make that encounter at the US Customs desk much more fluid.
#1 – Have your passport ready and opened to the page with your picture and signature. Also prior to leaving for your vacay, ALWAYS ensure that your passport is still valid beyond 6 months prior to the expiry date. We personally chose a 10 year passport and even if we end up filling out all of the pages, it’s not a huge expense to have it replaced with a new one BUT it will give you peace of mind when you decide to travel last minute.
#2 – Have your US Customs form completely filled out and PLEASE make it legible. Nothing is more frustrating that having to “decipher” or “decode your chicken scratch”
#3 – Have the address or location of where you are going readily available such as Hotel, Condo (VRBO, Air BnB, etc), friend’s house, cruise ship, etc… What usually works best is an email confirmation printed out in advance to be ready for the US Customs agent.
#4 – Be specific when being asked questions from the US Customs agent. It is their duty to protect their borders and anyone wanting to enter the country, it is their job and they wouldn’t ask unless they needed to know.
IE. How many days are you going to be in the US for?
Is it for business or pleasure?
Who are you going with?
#5 – Remove all hats and headware if possible so it can make it easy for the US Customs agent to identify you properly. I have been to many airports where the light isn’t the greatest and this will only help with being ID’d quicker. Also for me, it’s always been something I’ve been taught as a sign of respect.
#5.5 – This one is obvious yet not so obvious. BE POLITE! What does it really cost you to say, please, thank you, etc anyways? Be patient and understand that these agents see hundreds if not thousands of faces EVERY day. Your time ISN’T MORE valuable then theirs and it goes the other way as well. I have seen it TOO many times where entitled travelers are snarky, impatient and even DRUNK when approaching a US Customs agent. There is simply NO need for such behaviours. We are adults so let’s act like it because otherwise, it doesn’t make it fun for ANYONE! LOL
So there you go Pandas! Keep up with us as we will try to update you with all the fun things we will do once we get to Hawaii!