Border Crossing to Tijuana in 2019

Playas de Tijuana Mexico

Are you a bit leary of crossing the border to Tijuana now with all the news and hype around the Honduran migrant situation, government shutdown and border wall??

Well, I’m happy to report that the border is open for business!

Border closures?

Since the Honduran migrants have arrived over the past month or so, there’s only been 1 incident of closing the border.  The border that closed was San Ysidro. Otay remained open and processed those who unfortunately had to wait in the much longer lines the Sunday after Thanksgiving!

Crossing the border

This is a question I’ve been getting a lot lately…How’s the border crossing now with the migrant situation??  Answer is: “It’s the same.”

Going into Tijuana you can either head there via foot/bike or car.  I suggest walking if it’s a day trip.  Transportation is easily acquired. If you’re headed somewhere a little too far for walking, just grab an Uber!

If you’re doing a day trip on a Sunday, just remember that the border crossings are busier than the rest of the days because most TJ weekend visitors are headed home.

Frequent travelers

For those of you who frequent TJ often or plan to, I suggest applying for the Global Entry Card.  This card allows you to go through the SENTRI lanes at the border (the fastest moving lanes!).  It also gives you Pre-Check status at most US airports and grants you faster processing when going through Customs after an international flight.

Checking crossing times

What I’ve found to be the most reliable is the BorderTraffic app.  You can find it in Google Play or Apple Store.  They have real time cameras that can check the status of the line going into the San Diego and Tijuana.  It works best for cars, but some camera angles are good for walking as well. It’s $5 a year.

A free option is checking the CBP app, but they only make updates every hour and sometimes it’s longer than that.

Booking a tour

Looking for more of a guided tour experience?  There are a few options here that I know of – Turista Libre, Club Tengo Hambre and Tijuana Walking Tours.  These 3 offer a variety of tours as part of a group or you can book a private tour.  Most tours include tacos. 🙂

Come Visit!

Anyway you do it, you’ll have fun, eat well and enjoy the TJ culture!  Let me know how you’re trip was!

Traveling Throughout Mexico Via Tijuana

Flying via Tijuana Mexico

Mexico is not all beaches and provides a lot of diversity in its landscape, food, music and people. There’s so many places to visit and you can get there fairly cheaply! Especially if you fly out if Tijuana versus San Diego.  Here’s how:

First, sign up for promotional emails

I know that’s probably not what you want to hear — more junk mail!  But unless you are going to monitor the website, sign up for promotional emails on Mexican airlines in order to get the best deals.  Promotions are the only way to go! Especially if you have an idea of where you’d like to go and when. Sometimes the deal is so good that you can justify getting away for a long weekend!  

To show you how good you can get it, I’ve bought tickets for less than $100 a person round trip!  You just need to be patient and open those junk emails!

Volaris | Aeromexico | Interjet | Viva Aerobus

Second, buy your ticket!

Once you find a ticket you like, make that purchase online.  A few things to keep in mind when purchasing:

  • You may want to make the purchase in pesos (MXN).  Depending on the airline, they charge you extra to buy in dollars, but your bank may charge you a conversion fee if you pay in pesos…
  • Usually there’s a few different kinds of tickets to determine what kind of baggage you want included.  Decide now or you’ll end up paying extra at the airport!
  • Keep your eye on the amount, sometimes there’s automatic add-ons and you just need to make sure you’re not purchasing more than you’d like.

Third, have an airport plan

If you live in Tijuana, you should just take an Uber!  Getting home is a different story, the Uber drivers can get a ticket for picking up passengers at the airport.  We had a few drivers cancel on us before we got one who agreed to pick us up outside of the airport and on the side of the road. Worth it because those taxis are way too expensive!  Our Uber ride home is $65mxn and the taxis charge over $200mxn!

For those of you in CA, the easiest way to get to the TJ airport is through the new Cross Border Xpress (CBX).  The CBX entrance is located off the 905 and you walk across the border through a skywalk and down into the TJ airport.  They will also process the Mexican visa you’ll need for your stay. On the way back you exit straight from baggage claim to the CBX! Easy Peasy.
Of course you need to pay to use this, but it’s the fastest and most convenient way to get to and from the airport.  

Fourth, pack your bags!

This should be obvious, but make sure you know what the weather is like and pack appropriately!  Not all locations are beach weather. 🙂

If you need help with where to go:

Travel via Food – Mexico has some amazing cuisine and each state prides themselves in their own dishes.  Lucky enough in Tijuana we have quite a good mix from all over. But if you want the real deal, here’s a list of the 7 culinary regions of Mexico.

Travel via Location – Mexico has some amazing locations with each state supplying their own charm.  Here’s a list of regions and what they offer. Personally, I think Oaxaca should be included with Chiapas or have its own listing, but I can’t say I’ve been to all these locations yet to make my own list.

Wherever you end up, I hope you enjoy the food, the scenery, the culture and the people.  

¡Buen Viaje!