Apply for ESTA or eTA on time: Travelling to the USA or Canada?
If you are travelling from the Netherlands to the United States, you will encounter the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). You must have ESTA approval in order to enter the country. In Canada, this is known as electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). You can apply for both of these online by filling in a form. Do so at least 72 hours before your departure. Often, American airlines will use the term 'visa waiver'. ESTA and visa waiver are two different names for the same document.
Watch out where you apply for ESTA
If you look online, you will see that there are numerous ESTA suppliers. Most are intermediaries. Although they can arrange a valid ESTA for you, they will charge extra money for their services. The safest and cheapest way to request an ESTA is via the official US government site.
eTA for Canada
You will need an electronic travel authorisation when travelling to or via Canada. You can apply for this electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) quickly and easily online via the link below. While it’s often possible to receive approval in only a few minutes, please be aware that it may take a bit longer at times.
Padlock on your suitcase?
If you prefer to lock your checked luggage and wish to avoid having your padlock cut off during a check, your best option is to use a TSA lock. Authorised personnel at airports can use a special key to open these reliable luggage security devices. This is done only if there is clear cause for an additional check. If your suitcase has been opened, it will contain a pamphlet that explains why.
You can purchase TSA locks online and at various shops and travel stores in the Netherlands. You can buy a TSA lock at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, too. Visit Paolo Salotto in Schiphol Plaza or Seal & Go in Departure Hall 1 and 3.