There are many great sights to see in the U.S. when you are traveling in your RV. But don’t be afraid to branch out to Canada! Some of the most majestic mountain scenery you will ever find is just across the border!
If you haven’t been across the border in a number of years, remember that you do need a passport to cross the border! Even though the requirement has been in place for some time now, if you remember vacationing in Canada as a child, you likely didn’t need a passport then. Be sure you have your driver’s license and passport at the ready before trying to cross the border. If you are traveling with small children, it is best to check the requirements before you reach the point of crossing. Canada does have very specific document requirements. For more information, click here: Minors Entering Canada
If you are not a resident of the US, and are planning on traveling from the US to Canada, be sure you have checked for any specific requirements Canada has for visitors from your home country. More information can be found here: Who is Eligible to Visit Canada
It is also important to be sure your vehicle paperwork is in good order. Be sure your registration is current and won’t expire while you are out of the US. Most motor vehicle departments will allow you to renew the registration up to 60 days before it actually expires. This can alleviate any potential issue if you are unexpectedly delayed on your trip and your current registration expires while you are in Canada. Contact your local motor vehicle office for advice and information on renewing early.
The proof of vehicle insurance needed can vary, depending on the length of your trip. If you are planning a relatively short trip, your US proof of insurance should be just fine. Be sure you have the most up-to-date card in your vehicle, and contact your insurance carrier if you need a new card before the end of your trip. Many insurance carriers have the option of printing proof of insurance from their website. This can help you ensure you won’t have any issues coming back into the US. If you are going on an extended vacation in Canada, be sure to contact your insurance carrier in advance of your trip. You may be required to get a separate card to prove you will be covered if you are in an accident while outside of the US.
Health insurance can also be tricky when traveling out of the country. Keep in mind that Canada has a national healthcare system. Because of this, it is unlikely that your medical insurance will be accepted at a doctor’s office or hospital. You can be treated in Canada, but will likely have to pay for services at the time they are rendered. Be prepared to make payment arrangements in case of an emergency.
Payments for everything are a bit different when you cross into Canada. While your debit card may be your best friend in the US, if it doesn’t say “MasterCard??? or “Visa??? on it, you may not be able to use it in Canada. Many tourist locations are constantly upgrading their systems to be more and more friendly to forms of payment commonly used by visitors to their area. To be safe, the most universal forms of payment are always: MasterCard, Visa, and cash (don’t forget to exchange for local currency!). Your receipts may not match the amounts shown on your credit card bill. While the amount paid on your receipt will show in local currency, your bank will convert the amount to US currency on your statement.
Finally, as you make purchases in Canada, don’t forget to save those receipts! Declaring your purchases at customs and showing the receipts for those purchases, will make re-entry at the US border much quicker and easier! Even if you have purchased something you don’t think you need to declare, it will be easier to declare it and have the receipt at the ready, than it will be to dig for some proof of the purchase if you are questioned.
We hope your border crossing will be simple, and you will be able to enjoy the majestic mountains, still waters, lush forests, and friendly people that make Canada a great choice for an RV adventure!