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United States

New Technology Could Shave 1 Million Hours Off Canada-U.S. Border Wait Times

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: chucka_nc

Border wait times between Canada and the U.S. could get a whole lot shorter in coming months and years, thanks to improved sensor technology to be installed near customs plazas that will provide up-to-the-minute traffic information to drivers on the approach. (more…)

Senate Committee Proposes Ways To Make Canadian Air Travel Cheaper

By SHANNON KELLY

Buffalo Niagara International Airport is one of more than a dozen U.S. border airports Canadians fly out of to save money (Photo: Melyssa Lipsey)

It’s no secret that Canadians frequently fly out of the U.S. to save on airfare, and Parliament may finally be taking notice. A senate committee is urging Ottawa to eliminate the rent it charges federally owned airports, a cost that is passed on to travellers, and that it ultimately release its ownership of Canadian airports. (more…)

New Regulations (Finally) Allow Cross-Border Car Rentals from U.S.

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Rebecca Brown

As of June 1 this year, Canadians will be able to rent a vehicle in the U.S. and drive it over the border to Canada thanks to a change to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (which previously threatened Canadians attempting to transport a U.S.-owned rental across the border with seizure of the vehicle). (more…)

Hey Americans: Owe Taxes? You May Lose Your Passport

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: www.passportoffices.us

Americans who owe taxes to the IRS could be prevented from seeing our superior view of Niagara Falls from Canada if a new law passes that prohibiting U.S. citizens who owe federal back taxes from having a passport. (more…)

Americans Win “Worst Tourists” Prize from Canadians…and Americans

In a recent survey, 39 per cent of Canadians voted Americans the worst tourists—earning the U.S. the most votes of any single country.

Before you get up in arms on behalf of our neighbours to the south, it’s interesting to note that the majority of the 4,000 American respondents to the survey also voted for themselves as the world’s worst tourists. (more…)

Easier Canada-US Border Crossings in 2012

Some travellers will be able to bypass lineups like this (at Toronto's Pearson airport) in 2012.
Photo by Roozbeh Rokni.

By Amanda Yiu

Canada and the US are taking steps to streamline border crossings for people, goods and services across their shared border via two key initiatives. (more…)

Topping Canadians’ Travel Wish Lists: Pyramids and Disney World

Photo by Tim Kelley

If you asked the average Canadian to name his or her dream vacation, what would you expect to hear? A safari in Kenya? Beach bumming in Brazil? A culinary tour of Italy?

Apparently, you wouldn’t be too far off the mark, with a notable exception: Walt Disney World is the second-most desirable attraction on Canadians’ wish lists, according to a recent poll covered in the Toronto Star on Friday.

(more…)

Spending in US by Canadians On the Rise

Photo by shiilo75

Statistics Canada has reported that Canada’s international travel deficit reached $3.9 billion during the second quarter, up 3.1 per cent from the previous quarter.

This is attributed to Canadians spending more in the United States than Americans are spending in Canada. Canadians spent $4.8 billion in the US, while US visitors to Canada spent $1.8 billion here.

It was also noted that the rise in the US deficit coincided with a sharp uptick in travel by Canadians to the US Also possibly contributing to the rise in dollars spent down south, during the second quarter the Canadian dollar rose by 1.8 per cent to an average value of US$1.03.

Travel Unravelled: New Air Travel Restrictions

Q:  I am travelling to the United States next month for business and need to do work on my laptop during the flight, but with the recent attempted terrorism attack I’ve heard that travel restrictions have changed, what exactly am I allowed to bring on the plane?–Scott Maxwell, Victoria, B.C.

A:  Travel restrictions have become a norm for air passengers since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The attempted terrorism attack on December 25, 2009, has introduced even more changes to security protocol and measures at airports for travel in the United States–there are now even more restrictions for carry-on items. Some of these restrictions may be temporary, but currently they are being enforced.

Carry-On Items

For air travel in Canada, you are still permitted to have one litre of liquids, gels and/or aerosols in containers 100 ml or less. These items need to be in a clear, closed and re-sealable bag. These items include but are not limited to, hand lotions, cleansers, moisturizers, suntan lotions, antibacterial gels, contact lens solution, shaving cream, perfume and cologne.

For any travel over the U.S. however, you are restricted to bringing only personal items like a small purse, camera, laptop and stroller as well as essentials that include medical devices, canes, crutches, walkers, medications or other special needs items.

For more specific, up-to-date information there are Government sites like Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and the U.S.’s Transportation Security Administration you can visit that will help prepare you for your trip. It is also good to check out local airport or airline websites. WestJet, for instance, has a link on their homepage charting the new regulations.

Body Scanners

In Canada we will soon have full body scanners and behavioural screening in major airports including, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Halifax. All passengers travelling to the U.S. from Canada will have to go through body scanners. Currently there are about 19 airports in the U.S. already using body scanners. These new procedures will increase the time it takes to get through security. Airports are recommending that you arrive three hours in advance of your flights versus the previously recommendation of 90 minutes in advance.