Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back in the USA

With everything that is going on here in the USA, there are times when I just need to leave and breathe in the culture of another country. The easiest foreign getaway trips are to our neighbors who border the USA, and now it's even easier with new options for those of us who travel by land or sea.

There is a new government program which allows citizens to travel with either a passport card or enhanced driver's license (the driver's license is presently only available for residents of Washington State or New York State) for travel by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean. The cards are much smaller than a passport, and easier to use where there are kiosks into which you can insert your card for passage. If you order these cards with your passport or driver's license, it only costs a few dollars more ($15-30).

There are also the new Nexus, Sentri and Fast cards for those who travel frequently between certain borders (like truckers or those who have family or do business across the border); the best benefit to these special cards is the dedicated commuter lanes you get access to if you are a cardholder (think of it as a pass to use the car pool lane on a congested freeway).

The next time you drive across a border or go on a cruise to the Caribbean, use your passport card to get you back in the USA.

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