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Canadian winters can be harsh. That’s why many Canadians choose to spend the colder months in a more moderate winter climate, like Florida or Arizona. If you’re a Canadian Snowbird, there are some things that you should keep in mind when returning to Canada when things heat back up.

What purchases can I bring back into Canada with me?

Most purchases that you’ll make in the US can be brought back with you with no problem. One important thing to remember is to keep all of your receipts! You will generally need to declare everything that you purchase outside of the country that you intend to bring into the country. If the items returning from the US to Canada with you total less than $750, they are exempt and duty-free. This is true for items that you pack with you, as well as any items that stay in your car during transport. You will also need to declare any repairs or maintenance done on your vehicle while in the US.

How can I make my flight home easier?

Plane ticket prices are almost always lower on weekdays and non-holidays. If you plan far enough ahead for your trip home from the US to Canada and buy your tickets well in advance, it’s likely that you’ll score even lower prices on better seats. If you have any valuables that you’re bringing with you, or any medications that you need to take regularly, make sure that you pack them in your carry-on luggage. You can also save time at the airport by checking in up to 24 hours in advance online.

What do I need to remember before leaving my winter home?

It’s important to remember that your winter home will be vacant for quite a while. Make sure that you turn on all utilities and other services, like phone, internet, and cable, at home and turn them off in your US home. Swap your US cash for Canadian cash in your wallet. Pt the US cash in a safe place or exchange it at a currency exchange kiosk. Airports and tourist destinations often have the worst exchange rates. You’ll usually find better rates at a bank, post office, or even a hotel. You should also make sure that you have all travel documentation and receipts for declarations in order before your departure. You may need access to them in a pinch.