Vancouver/Washington border crossing

Old Oct 15th, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Vancouver/Washington border crossing

We'll be driving from Vancouver Canada down to Seattle WA in order to get a flight out of Seattle. This will be on Sunday in May. Under normal conditions, if we left downtown Vancouver at 6:30am for an 11:30am flight is that allowing enough time or will it be cutting it too close? (customs, return rental car and check luggage).
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Old Oct 15th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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Are you doing anything in the Vancouver area that requires a rental car? I am guessing you are flying into and out of Sea-Tac. I have never driven a rental car into Canada. My usual transport through the border crossing at Blaine WA is on an Amtrak train or Amtrak bus.
I would plan on being back on US soil sometime Saturday night.
Spend a couple of hours in Seattle before heading to the airport for your 11:30 flight. Plan on being in the airport (not at the rental car lot) by 10:15AM.
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Old Oct 15th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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I think it would be easier to come the night before as well. You could stay near SEATAC (lots of good aiport hotels). Then you wouldn't have to sweat it.

However, since you asked - I'd say leave Vancouver a wee bit earlier just in case. I doubt you'd have much of a backup at the border. You'd get to the car rental by 9:30 am and airport by 9:45. Your biggest problem will be traffic through Seattle. An accident could cause you serious heartburn. Why risk it? You might as well drive the night before, even if you arrive late.
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Old Oct 15th, 2012, 09:19 PM
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I agree with the others. How long it takes to cross the border is extremely unpredictable. On a recent trip we whizzed through going up and spent an hour on the return with only ten (10!) cars ahead of us because US officers searched each (including ours) thoroughly. It was really annoying.

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Old Oct 16th, 2012, 09:46 AM
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What time does the airline want you to check in? You should be at the airport at least an hour before that to allow for getting rid of the rental car and getting to the front of the check- inline.

I would be very hesitant to wait until the morning to cross the border.
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Old Oct 16th, 2012, 05:11 PM
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Thanks. We are reconsidering driving down the morning of the flight.
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Old Oct 16th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Good idea...Border crossings can be so-o-o unpredictable and you never know!!! Will you have a rental from Canada to leave in Seattle?? Another thing to contend with at the border as the crossing people may just take a shine to you and keep you a little while...just being friendly of course. Don't take a chance and be late for your flight.
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