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Customs & Trip Purchases

In April, during my three-week work/vacation trip, I purchased a few items abroad. Now this is like for anyone who travels, we always purchase something. Though do we ever think about customs and once we return back to our own country. Ya, I have tones of times, but on average most travelers don’t think about it while they are shopping.
So when I was in Cannes, France I didn’t really go shopping and the only thing I did purchase were a few t-shirts. T-Shirts I knew where not an issue for customs. Well I was completely wrong about that. Once I landed back in Toronto, Canada I went through customs and quickly picked up my luggage knowing I had to move it, due to catching my next flight to Cuba. The quickness turned quickly into something else entirely. My custom card was marked with a few “X’s”. The security approached me and asked, “Madam please step a side and walk towards that corridor please.” I was thinking, really, me you are going to check.” I was not very pleased, since I was strap for time. I ended up walking down the corridor into this room, where there was more security. The two men and one woman grabbed my bags and literally dumped my luggage onto a table. I stood there, thinking really they are going to go through my underwear and work clothes. As a result the security apologized for going through my stuff and said, “ Well madam it is protocol that we do this, since you look so young to go on a business trip and have a Louis Vuitton Bag. At that moment I wanted to laugh so I told them, “ It’s fake and I got it in China for a $1.” Ahah, that shut them up completely. It was so funny to see their faces. Wow, customs really knows how to pick the bad guys.

So for all you fellow backpackers, consider this when you go shopping.

1. First know the total amount of money you are allowed spend on items while in another country, in order to get back into your own.
2. Make sure you know how many bottles of alcohol and packs of cigarettes you are allowed to bring back.
3. Do not bring anything that you care about getting lost, stolen, or broken.
4. Make sure your backpack it not to big for customs to suspect something.
5. Make sure you know everything you purchased, incase custom asks. Make sure your answer is correct and clear.

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