This is your guide to the Snowbird lifestyle
A "snowbird" is a term associated with people who move from the higher latitudes and colder climates of the northern United States and Canada, and migrate south in winter to warmer destinations, such as Florida, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, and elsewhere along the SunBelt of the southern United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Welcome to an informative place for people who are currently living or are thinking about living the lifestyle of a Snowbird. There are plenty of websites where the sole purpose is to sell you products, travel insurance and rental properties! We're not here to do that. This is truly a guide to the snowbird lifestyle. This is a place for snowbirds to share tips and ideas which will help everyone enjoy the snowbird experience.
Despite the lower loonie you can expect longer waits at the U.S. border.
"The lower loonie will not deter Canadians from going south during the summer months. Before heading south check out the store ads and online specials" says Keith Pitts of 2sidesof49. Before heading out check out the CBSA's Twitter Post for the bridge of your choice http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/new-neuf/twitter-eng.html
Bellingham WA Businesses offering incentives to Canadians.
Businesses in Bellingham, WA south of the B.C. border are seeing a significant decrease in retail spending because of the weak Canadian dollar and that's prompted some to offer special deals for Canadian Shoppers. Loni Rahm, president and CEO of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism says a number of hotels and stores are offering at-par sales, or some other "Canadian special." The Hampton Inn for example is offering 20 per cent off for their regular rate on various three-day weekends (such as Canadian Thanksgiving).
It was down to the last minute and the US, Canada and Mexico have signed the USMCA – the replacement for NAFTA. In a nutshell most of what was in NAFTA
is still in the USMCA so there is no earth shaking benefits or impact on the Canadian consumer, importer, retailer etc.
Canadian Dairy Farmers will be upset quotas for U.S. dairy products are going up, to around 3.6 per cent of all sales, from approximately one per cent on Monday.
Drug prices will probably increase as Canada has agreed to increase the patent length on a key class of drugs known as biologics to 10 years from eight years.
Books which were in the Public Domain will be removed as Canada has agreed to extend copyright protections terms to the life of the author plus 70 years, from its current life plus 50 years.
For the football fan there will be no more U.S. Super Bowl ads Canada has agreed to stop allowing U.S. ads to be shown during the Super Bowl
As a Snowbird and a consumer what will the new agreement do for you?
Currently, if you stay in the U.S. for 24 hours you qualify for an exemption of $200. That exemption climbs to $800 if you stay 48 hours or more. Unfortunately nothing changes here.
If however you are an on-line shopper there is good news. Before the new trade deal, Canada had set its de minimis threshold, the maximum value of an item that Canadians can order from a foreign country without paying duties or taxes, at $20. This amount will now be increased to $40. (Even with the change Canada will still have one of the lowest de minimis thresholds in the world). In addition the new duty-free threshold for on line orders has increased to $150. This means Canadian consumers who order U.S. goods, and have them shipped to Canada, do not have to pay a duty on products that are $150 or less. While this is a win for Canadian consumers it is paltry compared to U.S. consumers $800. limit. Unfortunately this rise in the duty-free limit is also only for goods you buy online — not for trips across the border.
Now that the deal has been negotiated, each member country needs to approve the agreement. For Canada, I wouldn’t expect to see anything ratified before June of 2019.
Necessary Tools for Canadians Travelling South
The Canadian Cross-Border Shopping Guide is a valuable resource for the travellers. Keith Pitts book is the de facto guide for snowbirds, day shoppers and serious bargain hunters! Available at www.2sidesof49.com
Also available on Amazon.com
Simply Declare Travel App (LIGHT or PRO versions) are available on the Appstore for your Apple iPad, iPhone or iTouch. This is the app for making sure you are tracking your purchases for customs.
Remember: What you buy in November you have to declare in April! Download today and don't stress custom declaration forms again.