We've all seen plenty of news reports concerning the state of the Canadian dollar lately. Being on par with the US dollar (or close to it) is great news for shoppers planning to hit up Target or the outlet sales in neighbouring state-side cities. It's also great news for travellers who wish to get away a bit longer or more frequently than usual. If you are planning a trip south of the border, there are a few things you should take into consideration before you do. They'll save you time, money, and hassles.

  1. If you plan to go shopping in the US, remember that your personal exemption on what you spend is not going to change. Even so, you can now get more bang for your buck now that the Canadian dollar is on par with Mr. Washington. If you're gone for 24 hours or more you can declare up to $50 without paying any duties. For 48 hours or more you can claim up to $400 and for 7 days or more you can claim $750. Any amount purchased above these limitations will be subject to duty fees when coming back in to Canada. There are however some more detailed exceptions and rules, which you can read all about at the Canadian Border Services Agency website www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

  2. If you're driving to your favourite US shopping mall or outlet, then you'll want to check on the border wait times so you can plan your arrival and departure to make sure you get to where you want to be on time. Again, the Canadian Border Service Agency offers a "Border Wait Times" Resource that is refreshed every 10 minutes so you have up-to-date and relevant times while travelling by car or bus. This info can also be found at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.

  3. Just because our Canadian dollar is now worth the same as the American greenback it doesn't mean that everything is cheaper on the other side of the border. Take health care for example. Everyone knows that if you need to seek medical aid in the USA it'll cost you - likely in the range of thousands of dollars. And although a thousand dollars is now a thousand dollars no matter if it's in Canadian or American currency, it is still a thousand dollars! Not cheap! That's why you shouldn't take chances when travelling, even if it is only an overnight trip to take advantage of bargains and sales. Travel insurance is affordable, easy to get and will ensure that your shopping weekend away doesn't cost you more than you expect.

  4. Even if you're only travelling for a few days, travel insurance is a must because even a small accident can become a big expense. It takes very little time and money (we're talking less than what you'll likely pay for lunch at Ruby Tuesdays) to get travel insurance coverage for you and your travelling companions. Fortunately kanetix.ca is the right place to go for quick and easy travel insurance information, quotes and to even purchase your policy online.

So what type of travel coverage should I get for my trip?

Travel insurance comes in many different packages for you to choose from. On average, most people can get basic emergency medical coverage for about $15 which is probably all you need for those short weekend trips over the border; especially if you're taking a few hours to drive over the border rather than fly. If you're taking multiple short trips, an annual plan will cover you all year for a great price and you'll only have to shop for insurance once!

If you've decided to book your trip now to take advantage of the strong loonie but are not leaving until the winter or next spring, an all inclusive package is probably a better choice for insurance coverage. All inclusive packages are only slightly more expensive than $15; however you get emergency medical coverage along with trip cancellation coverage for the cost of your flight or trip package itself and coverage for all your baggage in case of loss or damage. This type of package comes in handy when you've spent your time and money finding that perfect flight or travel package that just happens to be non-refundable. But don't forget, trip cancellation insurance whether on its own or in an all inclusive package must be purchased within 48 hours of paying for your flight or trip package.

Get the best coverage at the lowest price

Ready? Set? Shop! No matter what length of trip you're taking, get the travel insurance you need. With just one visit to Kanetix.ca you can compare quotes from Canada's leading travel insurance providers, all in one place. You can even compare coverage in one easy-to-follow chart. Kanetix.ca goes that extra step too by offering you the option to complete your purchase over the phone with a licensed agent or even online - quickly, securely and easily!

Visit www.kanetix.ca/travel-insurance today to check out your options. Make sure you've covered yourself, your family and your travel plans so you can take control of how you spend your money while you're away.

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