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With a family of five air travel can get pricey so we tend to vacation in destinations we can drive to. That doesn’t mean we’re only visiting surrounding cities. We’ve driven across the United States to Las Vegas, Nevada (when my youngest was four-months old). And just last summer we drove down to Orlando, Florida. However those types of drives require a lot of vacation time since most of your trip seems to be driving. But all that changed we discovered the Buffalo International Airport.

If you’re thinking of taking a family trip, here are four good reasons to fly out of a US border city airport:

Cost Savings. This is by far the best reason. Our last few trips cost us $65 US a person, one-way. That works out to about $650US for all five of us to fly to Florida; slightly higher than the cost of just one person flying out of Toronto, even with the exchange rate. And if you’re driving to the airport, parking at the Buffalo airport is much, MUCH cheaper than parking at the Toronto airport.

Later Check-In Required. Flying to a US destination, say like Florida or Hawaii, is viewed as a domestic flight from a US city but an International flight from a Canadian city. Domestic flights don’t require you to be at the airport until about 2 hours before your plane leaves unlike International flights that require you to be there 3 or 4 hours before in order to go through customs. With small kids every hour you don’t have to be stuck in the airport is important.

Easier Customs. Now this is my personal preference (others may disagree) but I prefer going through customs at the boarder versus the airport. Probably because the kids can be entertained with a movie versus causing mischief in the airport. Somehow standing in a line with a lot of people is more stressful than sitting in a line of cars.

More Shopping. Depending on when you flight is, you might be able to sneak a quick shopping trip to Target, either on the way down or on the way back. And who doesn’t want to stop at Target?

Although this post references Buffalo, I’m sure any US border city will offer the same advantage over flying out of Canada.

Happy Holidays!

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