Tips for travelers coming into the US this holiday season

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Baltimore wants to be sure your friends and family who may be traveling from abroad to celebrate the holidays get into the country as easily as possible.

In a news release, the CPB suggests that travelers coming into the U.S. take advantage of the Global Entry Program, which is part of the Trusted Traveler Program.

Those who participate in Global Entry can also take advantage of TSA Precheck while they’re in the States. Global Entry costs $100 and prospective members must pay an application fee and complete an online application. If approved, travelers have access to the Global Entry benefits for five years.

To find out more about programs that can help you and your relatives enter the United States smoothly, you can look at a questionnaire that points out the differences between programs like Global Entry and TSA Precheck.

If you have family or friends coming into the U.S. from Canada, or you are an American but you will be going to Canada and then returning, one way to make re-entry a bit easier is to use Mobile Passport Control. That program allows travelers to answer the types of questions CPB will ask at the border ahead of time. Once the questions are answered, travelers receive a receipt with a QR code they can give to a border patrol officer.

Of course, all travelers should be sure to have their proper travel documents and declare all goods they’re bringing into the country, the Baltimore office said in the release.

According to the release, the CPB processed more than 1 million travelers per day last year.

Around the D.C. area, Global Enrollment Centers are located at Dulles International Airport and Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport.

It’s also a good idea to review which items are not allowed in the U.S. Those include many types of alcohol, food, fruits and vegetables, merchandise from embargoed countries, plants and seeds and drug paraphernalia.



Dan Friedell

Dan Friedell is a digital writer for WTOP. He came to the D.C. area in 2007 to work as digital editor for, and since then has worked for a number of local and national news organizations.

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