Essential Travel

Can you cross the land border if you own or rent a seasonal place in the United States? Would the customs officer view the crossing as essential?

I caught this question in the latest issue of Canadian Snowbirds Association:

As a snowbird living in a seasonal home in Canada, I am concerned about reaching my Florida home for the winter if land borders are closed. However, I have heard that we may be able to fly down. Is this correct?

Here was the response:

This is correct and we have lots of examples to prove it. Many of the normal airlines have flights to the U.S., but to limited destinations until business picks up. We believe that it is very safe as long as you take the normal precautions of masks, distancing and hand washing/sanitizers.

The CSA is working on having the U.S. allow us to enter by vehicle as “essential travel,” if we own or rent a home in the U.S. You might try calling the border office where you are planning to cross and asking them if going to your home in the U.S. will count as “essential travel.” If they say ‘yes’, and I think that some border officials will, then ask for their name so that you can use it when you cross.

I can only imagine the encounter when making the attempt to cross the border in our motorcoach.

US Customs: “What is your reason for crossing into the United States today in your recreational vehicle?”
Me: “I called the border office and spoke with someone named John and I asked him if going south for six months would count as essential travel and he said sure thing.”
US Customs: “My name is not John and the border is closed to non-essential travel. Let’s get you back to Canada.”

I will wait to hear official word from the United States that they intend to allow Snowbirds to enter as essential travellers before attempting a land crossing with our coach based solely on a call to a border office.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *