Oh yeah baby, it’s guest posting time. And how lucky are we? We have the most fantastic Kristin from Wanderlust posting here today. You know her. Crazy woman, brilliant writer, thinks she’s an Aussie, has a flag fetish (yes, you heard right- flag fetish).
How to have a satisfying customs experience
My name is Kristin and I have a blog called Wanderlust. Why? Because I suffer from serious wanderlust and always have. So for those of you out there who share this affliction (i.e., not Lori) I’m here to offer some tips on how to safely maneuver through that most intimidating of challenges when you first enter a new country, that international travel Rubicon. You know what I’m talking about: customs.
There you are stumbling off the plane in a new country, bleary-eyed, frumpled, sucking on a mint in an attempt to cover up the morning breath you acquired courtesy of the 90 minutes of upright sleep you managed, only to pass by several large and accusatory signs warning you to throw out any forbidden food stuffs you may have inadvertently carried off the plane lest you be seized and handcuffed and throw into a small windowless cell.
Finally you come to the customs area where, clutching your passport, you know you are about to be sized up and asked to move into one of two lines. And it’s very, very important that you end up in the right line. You know the one I mean. Either you look innocent and get waved on through, or you look a little suspicious and get put in this man’s line:
As a seasoned traveler, I’m here to give you a few tips on how to ensure you end up in the right line every time you travel. Your welcome.
In fact, if you play your cards right, you may just hear him utter those magic words we all long to hear: “Ma’am, will you please step aside and remove your coat.”
Without further ado, the tips:
1. Know your commonly restricted imports
Most countries do not allow you to bring the following with you into their borders: fresh or dried fruits and vegetables, meats, flowers, seeds, soil, furs or live animals. Therefore, to get into the correct line, make sure you have carried in and prominently displayed fresh or dried fruits and vegetables, meats, flowers, seeds, soil, furs or live animals.
2. Discretion is the better part of allure
While your goal is to be detained and hopefully strip-searched, you want to avoid actual arrest. Therefore, be a smart traveler and stay away from firearms, explosives, bowie knives, poleaxes, javelins, numchucks and morningstars.
3. Be a good ambassador
Show your host country that you’ve done your research and know a thing or two about their historical f*ck-ups. Don’t bring in just any contraband – make it specific to their culture. Here are some ideas:
Australia: live rabbits
Western Europe: flea-ridden sewer rats from the East
United States: shoes with compartments. Kidding.
Always remember, however, what has been said about the best laid plans. Even after you have strapped live rabbits to your body, slipped some cheese straws into your cleavage and tucked a doobie behind your ear, you could always still make your way to the front of the line and find this:
In which case, you’re on your own sweetheart.
* * * * * * * * *
Kristin writes at Wanderlust
You can follow her on Twitter here
Fan her Facebook site here