Low Loonie doesn’t have to mean High Costs for US Travel
The Canadian dollar has been doing roller coaster-like swings on the currency exchange for a few months now. And for those of us who are planning US Travel trips across the border for family vacations, the resulting currency differences can make budgeting for the trip difficult. How can you take a trip that doesn’t result in surprises for your bank account when you get home?
I’m glad you asked.
I cross the US border for work travel and leisure travel often. And over the years I’ve come to realize that there are key things I can do to make it all easier on my wallet.
When TD Canada Trust (the bank where I’ve been a customer for more than a decade) approached me to share some tips and information on the subject, I was happy to oblige…not to mention pick up a few new ideas for myself!
Here are three simple things you can do to make your next cross-border outing easier on your bank account:
- Ignorance isn’t Bliss – Pretending a deal is a deal when it’s not, isn’t going to save you when the bill arrives. Do the calculations – whether it’s on flights out of US airports, car rentals when you land or lodging – before you go. Consider the taxes at play on both sides and weigh your options.
- Work the system – Consider a Canadian-based U.S. dollar bank account. I have a TD Borderless account. It means that I can buy US dollars when currency levels are favourable and keep them in my account for easy access on the days when they’re not. Even better? I have a TD US dollar credit card. The combination means that I don’t have to take out reams of US cash when I travel. Instead, I can pay off the card with money from any account (I use my Borderless account) once I’m home.
- Minimize your fees: Are you a regular long-stay traveler (snowbird) in the US? Or do you have a child who is a student there? Consider Visa Direct. You can send money directly to a Visa Debit card and skip all the fees. Have regular American bills to pay (i.e. home management fees) you can use the TD US Bill Pay service (instead of expensive drafts and wire transfers) to pay your American bills as easily as you pay your Canadian ones – online using your smartphone, computer or tablet. The cost? $2.50 vs. the $7.50 minimum you’d pay on purchasing a draft.
Looking for more tips on cross-border US travel? We’ve written a few posts with tips including this post which showcases some of the great offers available to you now: http://globetrottingmama.com/travel-deals-low-cost-us-travel-destinations-for-canadians/
And if you’d like more information on TD’s line of offerings for cross-border US Travel, visit: td.com/crossborder
This post was sponsored in part by TD Canada Trust. As always the opinions and experiences are my own.