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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkTravel & Outdoors 

Holiday Travel Tips for Crossing the US-Mexico Border

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November 28, 2013

Travelers are asked to build extra time into their trips if they cross when traffic is heavy and consider alternate, less busy, bridges. It is also helpful having documents handy and keeping cell phones off.

Travelers crossing the US-Mexico border this holiday season should plan to spend extra time at inspection stations, the US Customs and Border Protection said in a news release this week.

With more people expected to travel across border for the holidays this year, the CBP announced a list of ten holiday travel tips to help make the border crossing process easier.

Those include preparing for inspections in advance by having documents handy, keeping off cell phones at ports of entry and declaring all required items.

Travelers are also encouraged to build extra time into their trips if they cross when traffic is heavy and to consider alternate, less busy, bridges. The CBP website provides monitoring of border wait times.

Travelers can keep updated on prohibited items to bring across the border via the "Know Before You Go" section of CBPs website. Those traveling from Mexico to the US beyond the border zone can get I-94 travel documents in advance from ports of entry to bypass lines when they formally enter the country.

Authorities said they would work to keep traffic moving.

"We will keep a watchful eye on traffic and wait times throughout our ports of entry and adjust staffing where needed to help keep traffic moving while maintaining an effective border security posture," Gene Garza, CBP director of operations for the Laredo Field Office, said in the news release.

"Having more officers available to open lanes as needed provides us the flexibility we need to perform our inspections quickly and efficiently."

Agents plan to focus their efforts and numbers on bridges where the highest volumes of cars will cross, with special attention on the hours that see the most traffic.

CBP is also asking travelers to cooperate with checkpoints located after the border crossing station and to consider having identification documents handy there.

"We want to make sure that they have the information at hand to make their travels more pleasant and faster," said Eduardo G. Perez, CBP supervisor and public affairs liaison in Brownsville, Texas.

Original Story