Travel Information

Passports and Border Crossing Requirements

For non-domestic US airline travel or land/sea entry to the US, a passport is required. There are some very limited exceptions that you should research on your own if a passport is impractical to obtain. These rules also apply for the traditional Tuesday trip to Victoria BC and all passengers in your vehicle. Because regulations are changing frequently and vary by modes of travel, we strongly recommend that you review the US and Canadian Immigration and Customs rules that apply to your situation.

When you cross the border, stick to the basics and explain that you are on vacation and attending a conference. Don't mention any business activities unless you know what you are talking about because that is heavily scrutinized these days. If you need to apply for a passport, there is a significant processing delay and your application needs to be submitted as early as possible. See below for links to more information.

General Recommendations

Port Angeles is on the Olympic Peninsula and can only be reached by driving and a ferry or by driving up the west side of Puget Sound. Driving is usually the most straightforward and enjoyable way to for most attendees to travel, especially if you can arrange carpools with friends, your sponsoring club, or through a mailing list and roomshare/rideshare board described on the Esprit-Exchange page. There are scheduled buses and small commuter planes but luggage will be a challenge (generally limited to 2 large suitcases similar to plane travel) and you will have to consider the convenience/time tradeoff.

The Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce page has good travel reference information.

By Car

There are many major and even more minor routes to Port Angeles.

By Ferry

The Washington State Ferries web site has information on routes, schedules, fares and approximate wait times. They also have (almost) live pictures of the waiting areas at the various ferry terminal waiting areas.

The Coho Ferry from Victoria BC drops you off at the Port Angeles ferry terminal a few blocks from the Red Lion in Port Angeles. See Traveling Across the Border below for a note on border entry fees. You'll probably want a taxi for your luggage. (The Victoria Ferry was acquired by Coho/Blackball Ferry)

By Air

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), about halfway between Seattle and Tacoma, Washington is the major airport for flying into the region. There is an airport in Port Angeles, William R. Fairchild International Airport (CLM) that you can fly into.

See Traveling Across the Border below for a note on border entry fees.

By Bus

Olympic Bus Lines, a division of Greyhound, has a route that runs between Port Angeles, Seattle, and Sea-Tac.

Traveling Across the Border

Due to increasing border security requirements, at this time you and all people traveling with you will require at least a passport. Special exceptions such as the use of Enhanced Drivers Licenses may apply and you should research both US and Canada travel authorities to see what requirements may apply in your specific situation.

Be prepared to pay a US border fee of $5.50 to enter the US. This is a new fee that applies to Canadian citizens but you should check what applies in your situation.

Be forthright with the immigration and customs officials, produce real ID when asked, and you shouldn't have any trouble. They've seen it all before.

Travelling en femme seems to work best. Telling them you're going to a crossdressing convention is easier than trying to explain a trunk full of women's clothes.

If you're in transition, try to get all your ID to match up before you leave. If that's not possible, arm yourself with the best you've got. Get a letter from your doctor explaining your situation. If you're bringing medication or hormones with you, make sure the letter explains that.

When entering the US, your vehicle and belongings may be subject to inspection. A straightforward, honest, cooperative attitude generally works best. Again, they have seen it all before.

You may be asked if you have a criminal record.

For rules on ID and customs declarations, we suggest the following resources:

Maps

Click for a map to the hotel. You can customize the starting and ending addresses to produce custom driving instructions to Esprit.

Local maps:

Red Lion at 221 N. Lincoln St. to
Naval Elks Lodge at 131 E. 1st St.