With the U.S. and Canada sharing a border, many citizens from both countries travel between these international boundaries when vacationing. Americans can experience the breathtaking sights and endless variety of outdoor activities that Canada has to offer, while Canadians can travel through the diverse countryside of the U.S.
Crossing the border is a little more involved than walking across with a birth certificate, however, and there are plenty of rules and regulations to keep in mind as you move from country to country. This post focuses specifically on requirements that U.S. citizens need to be aware of when traveling to Canada. If you’re a Canadian citizen getting ready to come back from your winter retreat, visit the Canadian Snowbird Association website for some great tips!
As summer camping season starts to heat up, many choose to travel back and forth between the two neighboring countries in an RV, and the last thing we want is for you to be held up at customs. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips and relevant facts to keep in mind when traveling from the U.S. to Canada.
Bring your passport
All U.S. citizens must carry proof of citizenship and the best way to do so is with a passport or with an equivalent like your original birth certificate or a certificate of citizenship. If you are a member of the NEXUS program, you may also use your membership card as proof of identification. Additionally, some states that border Canada, like Michigan, offer an enhanced driver’s license that provides easy passage between the two nations.
Traveling with pets
Pets are important members of our families, and we don’t want to leave them behind. You can easily bring pets into Canada if they are accompanied by a rabies vaccination certificate. Dogs less than three months old do not require certification, however, proof of the dog’s age must be provided upon request.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and shots. Unfamiliar territory can provide opportunities for your pet to encounter unfriendly bacteria or viruses. Play it safe side and ask your veterinarian what they recommend before bringing your pet to Canada.
Driving in Canada
While your U.S. driver’s license is valid in Canada, there are a few things you’ll want to know before you make your journey over in your RV.
Make sure that your RV and auto insurance policy covers you while driving in Canada. You should ask your insurance agent for a Non-Resident Inter-Provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card, which verifies that you meet Canada’s minimum insurance requirements, providing liability coverage in the event of an accident or traffic violation.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the metric system as speed limits in Canada are posted in kilometers, not miles. Some vehicles have km/h markings in a smaller font on their speedometers. Check to see if your vehicle offers this.
During the colder months, Canada often experiences severe winter weather conditions that can be hazardous to drivers. Before you begin your trip, complete a routine check on your RV or car to ensure it is in proper working order and check that you have an emergency kit on board.
Traveling with minors
Part of a border service officer’s job is to watch for missing children, so you may be asked detailed questions about any minors traveling with you. For parents who share custody of their children, ensure you have a copy of your legal custody documents, such as custody rights.
Have health insurance
While Canada is widely known for its universal health care, but these benefits do not apply to U.S. citizens who are visiting the country. To be safe, check with your health care provider to ensure that you have international coverage. If not, purchase travel health insurance coverage before you start your journey.
While traveling into Canada, you will be asked to declare any food that you are bringing over. This is because certain food, plants, and animals are restricted because they can harbor foreign pests and diseases. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to declare any Canadian food when traveling back to the U.S.
U.S. dollar system
Many remote towns in Canada will only accept Canadian Currency, so you’ll want to exchange some money before your trip. Be sure to research the current exchange rates and how this can affect the purchasing power of your dollar.
Remember to let your wireless carrier know that you are heading out of the country so that you can create a voice/text/data package for your international trip. If you don’t have coverage in Canada and are planning to use your cell phone, you’ll want a dedicated plan for the trip to avoid steep roaming fees that rack up quickly.
Now that you’re equipped with the know-how for traveling to Canada, it’s time to start planning your stay! This summer, camp on the coast of Lake Erie at Sherkston Shores RV Resort, where a waterpark, high ropes course, and miniature golf are just the tip of the iceberg. Or vacation 20 minutes away from the city attractions of Windsor and Detroit at Willowood RV Resort, where over 320 RV sites offer a perfect place to unwind and socialize around the campfire. Start planning your Ontario vacation today!
Sun RV Resorts offers amazing locations from coast to coast! For more information please visit us on www.sunrvresorts.com.