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How to use the ‘CBX’ Cross Border Xpress

I love traveling to Mexico. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The country is rich with culture, delicious food, and welcoming people. Ever since I learned about the Cross Border Xpress (CBX), I will never travel to Mexico again without using it. Families can get flights to different regions of Mexico at 75% less than flying out of John Wayne or LAX. Last weekend, our family was able to have a weekend getaway to La Paz for less than the price of going to Palm Springs for the weekend!!

Many of my friends are constantly asking me questions about how the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) works, so I decided to write a step-by-step guide on what to expect and how your family can use this great service to enjoy the benefits of affordable travel to Mexico.

Step One
You’ll want to purchase your airline tickets online using a Mexican carrier. I have flown Volaris and AeroMexico. Both airlines include a complimentary checked bag, have some of the cleanest planes I have ever flown in, and the prices are amazing. On our recent trip to Mexico, I was able to get $98 roundtrip tickets to La Paz on Volaris for a direct flight! That’s cheaper than flying to San Francisco for the weekend!!

Step Two
The airport that you’ll select when flying is the Tijuana airport to La Paz or your preferred destination in Mexico, with a return flight back to Tijuana.

Step Three
The day of travel you’ll drive to the Cross Border Xpress which is located IN San Diego. You’ll park your car in the ‘paid’ parking lot. Parking is $17 a day, and you’ll pay when you return from your trip.

Step Four
You’ll then bring your bags into the terminal where you’ll purchase a ticket to use the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) bridge. If you don’t have your boarding pass in advance for the flight (which I recommend doing), you’ll go to the counter displaying your airline to get a boarding pass printed. Once you have your boarding pass, you’ll go to a kiosk or to the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) counter to purchase your ticket to walk the bridge. The round trip price is $30 per person or $55 for a family pass (each way). Individual passes can be purchased online in advance, but the family pass must be purchased at the counter (cannot be purchased online).

Step Five
Once you have your boarding pass and your Cross Border Xpress (CBX) ticket, you’ll walk over to the tables located inside of the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) terminal and complete your immigration forms. Now you are ready to go!

Step Six
Now you’ll walk over to the entrance of the bridge where an agent will scan your Cross Border Xpress (CBX) ticket, ensure you have your passport, boarding pass, and then let you walk the bridge.

You’ll walk along the nicely covered bridge. Halfway along the bridge, there will be a silver line on the ground showing you that you are crossing into Mexico. It’s a great photo opportunity.

At the end of the bridge, there will be an opening into the Tijuana airport terminal. You have just walked from the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) terminal directly into the Tijuana airport terminal. So simple!

Tijuana airport counter where you’ll check your bags

Step Seven
Once you’ve entered the Tijuana airport terminal, you’ll walk about 50 steps to the counter of the airline you are flying where a friendly agent will check your bags for you.

Tijuana airport security

Step Eight
Then you’ll walk about another 50 steps to security where the longest wait time will be about 10 minutes!! Way better than those long security lines at LAX…right?

Yummy food in the Tijuana airport

Step Nine
You’ll walk to your gate, and wait for your flight. There is a Starbucks, Burger King, and a killer Mexican restaurant (which I recommend) past the security gate to get food while you wait for your flight.

Tijuana airport terminal

Step Ten
When it is time, you’ll board your plane, and be on your way to paradise where you can swim with whale sharks in La Paz and eat some of the best fish tacos in the world!!

COMING HOME!! It is just as simple!

Step One
After flying from your destination, you’ll exit your plane back into the Tijuana airport terminal.

Step Two
There is a short walk to the baggage claim where you’ll get your bags.

Step Three
If you purchased a round trip ticket, you’ll follow the purple Cross Border Xpress (CBX) signs to the same bridge that brought you to the Tijuana airport. DO NOT EXIT THE AIRPORT INTO TIJUANA -FOLLOW THE SIGNS TO THE CBX BRIDGE!!! (If you are doing a family pass, they do not have a round trip ticket option. There is a ticket booth at the CBX gate where you’ll purchase your return discounted family pass – they only accept Visa/Mastercard/Cash on the Tijuana side. We were charged $65 vs. $55 coming back which could of been due to using a credit card or the conversion rate. Just be prepared for the extra $10 expense).

Step Four
You’ll make the short walk over the bridge. Back into the US. This is the best part – customs!! You’ll go through customs in the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) terminal, but guess what?? You’ll have virtually no lines. You’ll breeze through customs within a matter of minutes – not hours like at LAX.

Step Five
You’ll exit the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) terminal. Get into your car, and return home.

Cross Border Xpress (CBX) makes family travel to Mexico affordable. Have questions? Email us at [email protected]

The Cross Border Xpress (CBX) Terminal is located at:
2745 Otay Pacific Drive, San Diego, CA 92154

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  1. I have a question regarding the CBX…i have a newborn with no passport but has her birth certificate can i use that to get into mexico like you would if traveling by car or walking in

    • That is a question you would need to ask the US Passport service.

    • Get the baby added to your passport.

    • You need a valid passport! My daughter was not able to cross the CBX because her passport was expired and they did not allowed the birth certificate.

  2. Do i need a passport book? Or is a passport card okay?

  3. Thank you so much for the step by step…eases my anxiety!

    • You’ll love it. We have done it so many times now. Super simple.

  4. Hi, going crazy… hopefully you will be able to answer y question..
    I am visiting Tijuana City for 4 days (Flying in from Mexico city). in my way back, I want to flight from San Diego Airport to Denver… Can I use theCBX bridge to catch my flight in San Diego Airport ?

    • You can only use the CBX when flying in or out of the Tijuana airport

  5. Hey – your info about CBX was so helpful. I love how you lay it out step by step!

  6. Hi Shelby
    My question is, on the family pass
    It is my father in law, my brother in law, and me, would this count as a family pass?
    Please let me know. Thanks

    • Yes! We went last month with my inlaws and it worked fine.

  7. Hi Shelby,
    I am going with my sister through CBX. Would we be considered a family? Also, I can UBER from SD airport to CBX? thanks!

    • Yes, but it might be cheaper for you to get two tickets vs. the family pass (it is for 4). Yes, you can UBER from the SD airport to CBX. I actually recommend it!!

  8. How many times can you use your cbx pass while valid?

  9. Do you love La Paz? I see you visit there a lot. My husband and I are considering a trip there to relax for a few days?

    • Yes! La Paz is the most beautiful place in the world!! You’ll love it!

      • Hi Shelby Barone
        I have questions my parents bought the Cbx
        To go Mexico Dic 22 2018
        They did use it
        Can They Use to come back ???
        Thank you

        • You have to buy a ticket to come back across. They sell round trip tickets too!

  10. How does it work to travel thru CBX from Tijuana into San Diego being a Mexican Citizen? What documents are needed, etc…

  11. My husband had a printed CBX PASS. But exited out to Tijuana. Now how does he get back in to the CBX crossing.

  12. Hi Shelby,
    So recently I purchased CBX pass and have already used it successfully. On the pass it indicates that it is valid for 1 year. So, does that mean I am able to use this CBX pass more times up until it expires? Yes, I am aware that there my be a cost differential for high season.

    Thnx and take care.

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