Guest Post- How to have a satisfying customs experience

by Lori Dwyer on May 3, 2010 · 11 comments

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:
Hoo yeah!
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
Egypt: locusts
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

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Wanderlust May 4, 2010 at 1:50 am

Amy, it is! The Trunchbull. She's a personal friend of mine, which is how I'm able to use the photo. Actually, not true, I slept with her to get the rights to the photo. Actually, not true, I stole it off google.


jeanhasbeenshopping May 4, 2010 at 1:21 am

Yipes! I'd rather get the hottie for my strip search, thank you very much.


Matthew May 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm

This is why I no longer have a passport. No customs nightmares to deal with. :)


Amy xxoo May 3, 2010 at 5:07 pm

On another note, is that the prinicpal from the movie " Matilda " ?


Lori @ RRSAHM May 3, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Oh ROFL Kristin I just noticed your PhotoShopping. Priceless!!


Ratz May 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm

OH!!! that Customs dude…. *Insert LUB DUB LUB DUB…. Does he really exist? In which i'll take your advice seriously.



Katie May 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I do not believe these hot customs men you refer to actually exist. Mine have looked like a cross between Abe Vigoda and Barbara Bush. Not good.


Brenda May 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

OMG, hot customs dude. Hubba hubba hubba.

Sorry K, I was gonna leave you a proper comment but hot customs dude has totally jelly-fied my brain. Hehe.


Draft Queen May 3, 2010 at 10:08 am

Sign me up for Hot Customs guy! *fans herself off*


***Amy*** May 3, 2010 at 9:57 am

Bahaha! Thanks for a good laugh this morning :)


Argentum Vulgaris May 3, 2010 at 11:49 am

Only place I have trouble with customs is when I go back home to NZ, so I stopped. Argentina to Chile by land can be tricky too. But most places they look at you over their coffee cups without stirring from their seat.



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