Customs-Line-at-YULSequestration has been a hot topic of debate since it came into the public eye in late February. The big question is Will sequestration affect travel? No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on most folks want things to go smoothly when they travel but with budgetary cutbacks in US Customs and Border Patrol delays will be seen. Between the combination of hiring freezes, furloughs, and reduction in overtime US Customs and Border Protection is advising travel industry partners that peak wait times at land crossings could double and airport wait times particularly at gateway airports could increase by 50% or more resulting in 3-4 hour waits. (US Customs and Border Protection Travel Industry Letter)

What can you do to reduce the impact of sequestration on you personally? Here are some family travel tips:

* Examine travel plans. If you will need to go through customs and your connection is less than 2 hours you may want to look at the possibility of switching your connection. At the very least researchother flight options from the airport you will go through customs at to your destination. Keep a copy with you along with the airlines phone number. Knowing your options will help you.

* Choose larger land crossings to enter the US at. An understaffed one lane crossing will swell wait times faster than a multi lane crossing. Find information on border crossings and wait times at EZBorder Crossing. 

* If you travel frequently by air or cross a land border for work, you may want to look into trusted traveler programs. Agencies have assured those registered that they will not be cutting staffing to those enrolled so it may speed up customs and crossings.  Find out info on NEXUS, Global Entry, and SENTRI.

* Discuss possible waits with anyone who may be picking you up at the airport, otherwise they may be impatiently waiting for you for hours.

Have you seen increased wait times near you?


Nasreen Stump is a freelance writer who lives in Vermont. Find food recipes and Vermont life at her website. Check her out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Or join her on Pinterest and waste hours of your time too.