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Border Crossing

Onaping, Canada
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163 posts
22 reviews
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Border Crossing

I will be traveling to Bar Harbor this summer for two nights with my family ( 2 young boys) and I have a few questions about crossing the border. Besides our passports what else will we have to show? (Driver's licence? Birth certificate? Car Registration?)

We will be camping and plan to bring a cooler full of food am I aloud to cross the border with food? Or should I buy once in Bar Harbor? Are there any fees for entering or leaving the states? Should I exchange my money in Canada or the states to US currency? Is there anything else that I should be aware of?

Nova Scotia
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1,417 posts
249 reviews
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1. Re: Border Crossing

You will only have to show your passports including the children's, when entering the U.S. You will be asked a series of general questions....where do you live? Where are you going? How long will you be staying? what is the purpose of your trip? Are you bringing any gifts into the U.S? and maybe a few other questions. Certain fruits and veggies may be a problem due to restrictions between the two countries.

There are no fees charged to enter the U.S. When you cross back into Canada, you will be asked another series of questions. (get the passports back out) Where have you been? How long have you been in the U.S? They will ask if you have purchased any alcohol or tobacco products. They will also ask you the total amount of goods purchased in the U.S. http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/cpr-crp-eng.html this is your guide to all you need to know to cross back in to Canada. Be up front and honest, and you shouldn't have any problems. If you buy something, keep your receipt. You may be asked to show them at the Canada Border Services.

We exchange our Canadian money into U.S. Currency at home, before we leave. We find the best rate is at our local bank. You can also use your Canadian credit cards like Visa and Mastercard throughout the U.S. and their exchange rate is favorable as well.

Under anything else you should know....speed limits are posted in miles per hour, not kilometers, and gas is cheaper in the U.S!

Edited: 15 May 2011, 02:10
Bar Harbor, Maine
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5,912 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: Border Crossing

Well Done. What a complete, understandable answer!

Albany, New York
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373 posts
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3. Re: Border Crossing

Here's a link to the US Customs and Borders Protection agency - keep reading and you will come to on Canadian agricultural products.

http://tinyurl.com/6hvlb5b

Edited: 15 May 2011, 03:56
Albany, New York
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373 posts
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4. Re: Border Crossing

sorry, left out a word; it should read ". . .you will come to a section on Canadian. . ."

Mid Coast Maine...
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785 posts
40 reviews
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5. Re: Border Crossing

I went back and forth between Canada and the US every month for 18 months in the process of moving back to the US.

Although there are "official" rules about what you can and cannot bring back and forth from one country to the other, it really all depends on which customs officer you get that day and what his/her mood is.

To be safe, do not bring any fruits or vegetables that are not marked (with the little sticker) that shows country of origin. In other words, do not bring anything from your own garden or from a farmer's market. Leave any and all meats at home and buy once you cross the border. You are allowed minimal alcohol. I would buy all of this in the US since it is significantly cheaper. And since you said you will be camping, do not bring any fire wood with you into the US. This is strictly forbidden due to parasites.

Onaping, Canada
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163 posts
22 reviews
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6. Re: Border Crossing

Thank-you for all your help. We will defiently exchange some money at our bank before we come. I think we will just buy our food once we get to Bar Harbor also. Are there any Farmer's markets in the area? Another question i have is. When crossing the border our trunk will be full of camping/traveling gear, will they make us take it all out? Our gas is at $1.37 what is yours at?

Mid Coast Maine...
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785 posts
40 reviews
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7. Re: Border Crossing

The border patrol does have the authority to search your entire car, but it is done on a random basis, and usually sparked by some suspicion on their part. In all our times crossing the border in the past 7 years we have never been searched, although asked to come inside for further questioning.

Gas in mid-coast Maine is $3.98/gallon.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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5,912 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: Border Crossing

Your gasoline prices are quoted per liter. Ours per gallon. If your gasoline is $1.37 per liter, that would be a bit over $5 a gallon. Prices right now in Bar Harbor are about $3.87 a gallon and have been going down just a bit.

Yes, there are farmer's markets in the area. There are two in Bar Harbor itself, one in Ellsworth, and an organic farm on the other side of Mount Desert Island from Bar Harbor that has a farmstand.

Nova Scotia
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1,417 posts
249 reviews
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9. Re: Border Crossing

agree with sailorgirl200.

In 30 yrs of travelling back and forth, only once at the U.S border we were asked to even open the trunk of our car (right after 9-11). If you have tinted windows, you may be asked to roll them down for a quick look.

To equal out the cost of gas in Canada vs the U.S -

there are roughly 3.8 liters in a U. S. gallon, Multiply your $1.37 x 3.8 =$5.20 a gallon. sailorgirl200's price was $3.98 a gallon. Divide that by 3.8 = roughly $1.05 a liter.

Edited: 15 May 2011, 16:39
Onaping, Canada
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163 posts
22 reviews
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10. Re: Border Crossing

I didn't realize that you used gallons instead of litres very good to know, if I would have seen $3.98 I probably would have freaked out. I am glad there are so many farmers markets in the area, we will definitely have to stop at one or two. Are they open during the week (Thursday)? I am glad to know we probably won't have to pull everything out of the trunk as I am sure it would waste a lot of time. I would like to thank all of you for helping me out with all my questions, I really appreciate it.