UPS study says 29 per cent of Canadians likely to cross-border shop this year compared to 37 per cent last year.
What a difference a year can make. This time last year, 37 per cent of Canadians said they were likely to buy goods from the U.S., either online or by cross-border shopping, according to a UPS survey. This was at a time when the exchange rate hovered in the range of 85-90 cents on the US dollar. Jump forward 12 months, and just 29 per cent of Canadians say they’ll be cross-border shopping now that the Canadian dollar has dropped to around 75 cents on the dollar.
Still three in 10 Canadians are likely to take advantage of U.S. Thanksgiving sales
Even though fewer people are expected to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from retailers south of the border, there is still a considerable number who will. And, with the holiday shopping season quickly approaching InsuranceHotline.com has rounded up the following cross-border shopping and travel tips.
Install your winter tires
If you have winter tires, but haven’t yet installed them for the season, a weekend road trip in November is the ideal excuse to get your car into the shop and your tires replaced. Winter tires can increase traction and improve your braking distance helping you stay on the road this time of year. Why risk it, especially since you’ll be out of the country?
- Did you know that beginning January 1, 2016, all Ontario car insurance providers must offer a winter tire discount to policyholders who change their tires seasonally? Make sure your insurance provider knows about your winter tires to take advantage of the discount, which will usually save you about 5 per cent.
Make sure you’ve got all your car-related documents
If you’re travelling into the U.S., your car insurance coverage will follow you, just make sure you have your insurance documents as well as your driver’s licence, ownership and registration with you.
Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is a must-have and you’ll want to pack your coverage right alongside your passport. The Government of Canada explains why you need travel insurance when leaving the country even for just a weekend cross-border shopping trip:
- Your Canadian health insurance is almost certainly not valid outside of Canada.
- Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover nothing or only a very small portion of the costs of medical care abroad.
- Out-of-country hospitals can be very expensive and may require immediate cash payment. You could face years of debt paying off the costs of treatment for an illness or accident you suffered abroad.
- The Government of Canada will not pay your medical bills.
Make sure you have the travel insurance coverage you need before you hit the outlet malls.
Pack an emergency roadside kit
While you may be tempted to empty out your trunk for all the purchases you plan to make, don’t take out your emergency roadside car kit. In fact, look it over to see if there’s anything that should be replaced if old or expired, or added given the weather (e.g. mitts, a blanket etc.) Don’t forget to bring with you as well the contact details for your roadside assistance program.
Ready to shop?
It may be a quick jaunt across the border for the weekend, but being prepared is more than just a Scouts motto. Plan ahead, watch for weather and road conditions, and drive carefully.