Cross Border Express (CBX) is the most user-friendly border crossing ever encountered. The USA – Mexico border at San Diego, California / Tijuana, Mexico, is a fifteen-minute, uncluttered, organized walk in the park compared to other border crossings between the two countries.
Upon arrival at the Tijuana airport, passengers have two hours to either buy and use a CBX ticket or a ticket prepurchased on their internet site for the crossing. Single crossing low-season tickets cost $20; round trip purchases are $36. High-season tickets are only slightly more expensive.
You enter the CBX area by scanning your ticket and walking through a turnstile emerging in what seems to be another spacious airport concourse. Large arrows point to either the USA or Mexico. The usual ads and promotions are on attractive posters. Starbucks, Wetzel’s Pretzels, vending machines, and food trucks are available to quell your hunger or thirst. Arriving at customs, your luggage is scanned by an x-ray like any secure departure area. Next comes the immigration inspection. All travelers must have the appropriate travel documents. When I passed, the official asked me to remove my COVID-19 mask, looked at my passport, handed it back, and said, “Have a nice day.” Both immigration and Customs officials seem to be in tune with the express spirit of Cross Border Express. These inspections are handled in an expedited manner.
Another fifteen steps and you push through an automatic door emerging into California, USA, where taxis, buses, trains, or friends can pick you up for your trip into town. Going in the direction of USA to Mexico is almost as easy and fast. Travelers to Mexico who wish to stay more than 7 days must fill out a visa application form and pay a fee (about $25) for a visa valid for up to 180 days
I met a couple on the beach in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, who arrived from Detroit, Michigan. They flew from Detroit to San Diego on Frontier for $87, crossed the border using CBX, then flew from Tijuana, Mexico, on Volaris Airlines for $108. The total cost for their flights from Detroit to Zihuatanejo was only $196. This may well be the least expensive and smoothest way to your Mexican vacation.
All border crossings should be that easy!
Border crossings can take several forms, including cross-border communication. This brings me to a new tip I recently discovered, which will save most cell phone users in the USA or Canada enough to pay for their flight to Mexico on their next trip.
AT&T in Mexico has plans that allow users unlimited calls to all of the USA, Canada, or Mexico for 14 dollars per month. That means, If you pay more than that for your current cell service, you could save the difference. My partner, Marie, typically pays over $60 Canadian per month for her cell phone, not including long-distance calls to Mexico and the United States. With this service from AT&T, she will save over $50 per month, enough to pay for her next flight to Mexico.
Like I said before, all border crossings should be that easy!