Navigating Airports and Customs During Peak Seasons

PLUS TRAVEL GROUP has been in business since 1978, and we have seen our fair share of unpleasant experiences that can arise when you travel during the holidays and high peak times such as March break. This isn’t any reason to stay home and not enjoy yourself, quite the contrary.

Here are some tips that can help you speed up the process of crossing the border so you have a smoother experience making your way to your destination and back home.


To Avoid Long Lines, Cross Borders at Non-Peak Times

Did you know that you can see the length of time you spend in security line ups for most airports? See the wait times for Pearson here. Early mornings are often less busier however check to see the lineup wait times as this can fluctuate during high peak travel times. Give yourself enough time to get through. Consider applying for a Nexus card if you haven’t already to jump the cue.


Declare Before You Arrive in ArriveCAN and Know Your Limits

Save time and make your customs and immigration declaration using Advance CBSA Declaration in the ArriveCAN app. Available at major Canadian airports, use this option before you arrive at your final destination so you do not need to scramble before you enter the lineup. Know your exemption limits and be prepared to declare them to customs agents who may also ask for receipts and other types of proof. Estimate the duties you may owe by using this calculator. 


Travelling with Kids or Pets? You May Need to Provide Some Additional Paperwork 

Canada has specific and strict requirements for importing animals into the country, so be sure to have your paperwork ready to avoid delays, or worse, your animal not being allowed to enter the country. To learn more about these requirements visit here.  Having an adult consent letter for accompanying minors can alleviate additional screening questions for parents who are travelling with children that they shared custody of or are not the parent or legal guardian.


Be Open and Honest With CBSA Officers

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about the entry requirements and process. As you likely already know, it’s a really bad idea to not be transparent with your CBSA officer and it can create a host of problems. Declare what you are bringing back so that you don’t end up getting selected for additional screening and searching through your belongings.


Have Your Documents and Paperwork Ready When You’re Up

With travel returning to pre-pandemic levels, being organized and having your paperwork, documents ready will help you get through to the other side more smoothly. Be ready to answer questions about your purchases, reasons for travel, where you are staying and what you are bringing back into the country.


If You Experience Cancellations or Delayed Flights Do This 

If you are a customer of ours, call us! One of the major benefits of working with a travel agency partner is that we will contact airlines to help. Also don’t forget you may be eligible for compensation, know your rights and the obligations from airlines. Get more information on dealing with cancelled flights from our last blog post.


Don’t Travel With Cannabis 

Though it’s legal in Canada to use, it isn’t to travel with. Few are exempt from Health Canada’s requirements so don’t take the chance. A doctor’s note won’t cut it either.

It’s wonderful that travel has returned! Be ready to ensure you have a nice experience getting to and from your destinations during busy travel periods, follow the advice above and enjoy your travels!