Whether it’s to avoid stringent passport regulations, fly into a cheaper airport or just enjoy the beautiful drive up the coast, there are plenty of reasons that Winter Olympics travelers have to fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA or SeaTac) next week. The Pacific Northwest, a beautiful corner of North America has plenty of natural and cultural offerings to woo the passing traveler, so why not take the long road up to the 2010 games?
Should you be working your way north from SeaTac, here are a few logistics to keep in mind:
I-5 will take you almost all of the way there, from the periphery of SeaTac to across the border at Blaine, WA. Once in Canada, travelers can continue straight onto 99 northwest around the bay and then west into Richmond, just below Vancouver. Several of the XXI Olympics venues are in Richmond and there’s a chance that your hotel will be here too, so this is where your GPS or your map printout will come in handy.
If you’re renting a vehicle, make certain that the provider knows that you’ll be taking it out of the country. While most won’t have a problem with this, additional insurance and fees may apply, and if you neglect these options you could be in serious trouble if something goes wrong north of the border.
Travelers crossing the border by automobile are only required to show a valid, state issued ID and proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate. If you’re an American citizen, more data can be found at travel.state.gov, while citizens of other countries can check with Canada Border Services Agency.Food, beverages, tobacco and duty free
While it’s always a good idea to pack a lunch ahead to save a few dollars, be aware that Canada has rules on what and how much can be imported. It’s safe to say that your sack lunch will be allowed, but if you’re bringing enough beer to stock your hotel for the week you might run into trouble. Be sure to check out the CBSA site on entry allowances for more details.
Don’t forget that the duty free will often offer booze and tobacco at reduced prices, so plan accordingly and stop when you’re at the border.
Once docked into your temporary residence, check out travelsmart2010.ca for information on how to get to the games without your vehicle — there is no parking provided at any of the venues.
The US consulate in Vancouver is located at:
1095 West Pender Street
Telephone: (604) 685-4311
Facsimile: (604) 685-7175
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