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Vancouver Off-Topic / Current Events The off-topic forum for Vancouver, funnies, non-auto centered discussions, WORK SAFE. While the rules are more relaxed here, there are still rules. Please refer to sticky thread in this forum.

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Old 03-19-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
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Best time of the day to cross the Canada/US border?

Looking to go down to Seattle over the Easter weekend.... for those of you who go often... maybe you can help me answer some questions...

A) what is the best time of the day to go?
B) What do you do for washrooms if the line ups are long?


Sorry if these might seem like basic questions... I normally fly to the states... it's my first time driving
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
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A) I would cross earlier in the morning, and it depends how soon you want to leave. In the past I would go down at around 7 or 7:30am. I've noticed the crowd tends to accumulate past 9am.

B) Seeing as how they've added a light to let groups cross at one time, it shouldn't take as outrageously long. There are washrooms at the little town just on the other side of the border of the Peace Arch crossing, either at the Chevron, or a couple restaurants down the street, just before the highway begins. If you can't make those, there's a rest area about ten minutes down the I-5.

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Old 03-19-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
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Anything before 8 is usually okay. After that it tends to get crowded.

If you have someone else with you who can drive you can pull the switcheroo and go to the washroom in the park. This is at Peace Arch. I had to go so bad once we did that.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:57 PM   #4
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Cross either early in the morning around 6-7AM or in the middle of the day like 1-2PM. Those are the times I find to be least busy.

As for washrooms, get secondary driver to take over wheel at lineup while you go washroom then switch as necessary. If you're alone either go before or after the border.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:04 PM   #5
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It's a 15 min wait no matter how long the lineup is or what time of day you go. All you do is use the truck crossing, go into the duty free store, buy a candy bar, get back into your car and you can cut in line. Thought everybody knows that.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:30 PM   #7
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Any time is a good time if you all have Nexus.
I went down Sunday at 11am. 45 min wait regular lineup.
About 1 min for the nexus line
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:38 PM   #8
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Just be aware that since it is Easter weekend, it will be a bit busier than normal weekends.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #9
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:15 PM   #10
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Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooool, use your common sense. It's a long weekend. It's going to be busy, when do people usually do their "travelling" on a long weekend, it MAY be busy during this time. Umm, if you have a small bladder PLAN AHEAD and go before you get to the border or hold it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:33 PM   #11
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No later then 8am for me. I usually wake up 630? And head out just after 7am.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:43 PM   #12
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Let the facts speak for themselves:
Government of British Columbia - Border Crossing Advanced Traveller Information System

Click "Easter" and "Southbound" and calculate. Before 9am on all the days is your best bet.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:46 PM   #13
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If you can't make those, there's a rest area about ten minutes down the I-5.
When I went down last week, that rest area (as well as the one northbound near Birch Bay) were closed. (I'm assuming because they were doing some work on the rest areas). I don't know if they'll be open for Easter but just keep that in mind in case you're expecting the rest stop to be open and it isn't.

I'm only familiar with Peace Arch because I primarily use that entry point, but if you take the turn just before the duty free (Beach Road), you end up by the parking lot for the park and you can stop and do your business if you don't have another driver to take the wheel.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:03 PM   #14
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avoid diuretic foods and bring an empty bottle if going to the washroom's gonna be a problem
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:14 PM   #15
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:27 PM   #16
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Peace arch- There is a washroom in the duty free store, another in the building directly in front of the duty free store (CBSA parking lot), a third one just to the North of it at the visitor centre. Headed southbound there is a washroom in Peace Arch parking the wooden building just south of the CBSA office. That's a total of 4 within a 2 block radius.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:21 AM   #17
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When going to Seattle, I cross no later than 6 am. This way, I am in Seattle by 9 am, including pee breaks and whatnot.

If it's a weekday, I stop at Burlington, Tulalip Casino, or the Outlet Mall for about an hour, because Seattle rush hour is pretty nuts.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:05 AM   #18
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On a regular weekend, I would aim to be at the border by 8am.

On a long-weekend, I would aim to be at the border by 7am, if not earlier.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:36 AM   #19
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Honestly, I've gone down to Seattle for Sakura-Con for the past two years with Nexus and when I see the normal non-Nexus lineup I really feel for everyone that has to wait, cause it's at least 2 hours.

Your best bet is to get to the border before 6AM, even better if 5AM.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:44 AM   #20
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go to the border wait times site and monitor the wait time. When is low take off. When you get closer there will be wait time signs for the diff border crossings, go for the lower one

Washrooms are available when you're waiting in the park areas

Those are answers to your questions. But my advice is go whenever you want. Is rather wait than get up at six am. Waiting is not a big deal
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