Here's What You Need to Know About Traveling to Mexico for the Holidays


EL PASO, TX — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is bracing for increased border traffic during the approaching holiday season, advising travelers planning trips across all New York state land border crossings to expect potential delays due to heightened traffic and to plan their journeys accordingly.

"Given the return to normal traffic numbers, we anticipate an uptick during this holiday season," stated Rose Brophy, Director of the Buffalo Field Office. "CBP is prepared and staffed to ensure travelers reach their destinations promptly while maintaining a focus on border security."

For a smoother travel experience, holiday travelers are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  • Utilize Approved Travel Documents: Ensure you possess the appropriate travel document, such as passports, U.S. Passport Cards, or Enhanced Driver’s Licenses. Further information can be found through the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

  • Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Requirements: VWP travelers entering the U.S. at land ports must acquire an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Failure to have a valid travel authorization may require withdrawal of the admission application and reapplication in Canada. More information is available via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

  • Check Border Wait Times: Anticipate potential delays. Plan ahead by checking traffic conditions at border crossings within your vicinity and choose crossings with less congestion. CBP’s Border Wait Time app provides real-time traffic conditions on mobile devices. Information is also accessible at

  • Travel During Off-Peak Times: Traveling between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. often experiences higher traffic. If feasible, consider traveling outside these peak times to avoid delays.

  • Prepare for Inspection: Streamline the inspection process by having travel documents ready, rolling down vehicle windows, and removing hats and sunglasses before reaching the inspection area.

  • Review CBP Guidelines: Visit the “Know Before You Go” section on the CBP website for insights on prohibited or restricted items to avoid fines or penalties. This includes educating oneself on prohibited agriculture products. Visit Additionally, remember that marijuana remains illegal federally in the U.S. and should not be carried across the border.

  • Declare All Items: Disclose all items brought from abroad that will remain in the U.S., including gifts and Duty-Free purchases.

  • Food and Plants Restrictions: Understand agricultural restrictions on fruits, meats, and plants by checking the CBP website before bringing such items into the U.S. Declarations should be made for these items, and they should be surrendered if found to be prohibited.

For comprehensive guidance on international travel, visit to ensure a well-informed journey.

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