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Traveling Tips

BAGGAGE

You may bring one suitcase per person which will be handled for you
(on and off the coach unless otherwise specified) throughout the tour
and one small carry-on bag per person for which you will be responsible.
Due to limited space on the coach, any additional bags may incur
additional handling charges. We suggest that your carry-on bag be
a soft-sided bag that you can place in the luggage rack above your seat.
Roll on bags meant for airline use should not be used for this purpose,
as they will not fit into the racks on board the coach.

MEDICATIONS

All prescriptions should be filled and in their original containers before leaving home. Your medications should be carried in your carry on bag in the coach with you and not in your luggage which is placed in the luggage compartments of the coach.

CANADIAN CUSTOMS

When crossing international borders, having adequate identification is essential.
Having the proper travel identification documentation is the responsibility of you, the tour person.

  1. If you are a Canadian Citizen you need your Birth Certificate and Valid Picture Identification or a Passport.
  2. Non-Canadian Citizens please call 1-900-451-6330 or visit http://www.rc.gc.ca to ensure you have the proper documentation papers in order to cross into the United States.

Planning to be out of the country?
Here are some tips from Revenue Canada for making your return through Canadian customs an easy one.

  • Be aware that some goods (such as fruit, vegetables, meats, animals, plants, and plant products)
    are restricted or prohibited in Canada.For more information, please call Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa at (613) 759-6626.

Quick tips for Canadian residents returning to Canada
Canadian residents should:

  • Make a list of all items purchased and, if possible, price them in Canadian dollars.
  • Claim the most expensive items under their personal exemptions.
  • Keep all receipts for purchases of and repairs to vehicles.
  • Keep receipts for accommodation to prove the length of their absence.
  • Declare all goods, gifts, prizes, or awards.

SMART TIPS FOR CLEARING CUSTOMS

Bringing back goods:

  • Except for restricted or prohibited goods, travelers can bring back any amount of goods,
    as long as they are willing to pay any duties and taxes that apply.
  • Customs officers will look for the best duty rate for a traveler’s goods.
  • Travelers must be eligible for a personal exemption of 48 hours or more to
    include alcohol and tobacco products in their exemptions.

Basic personal exemptions for Canadian residents

·         Travelers may qualify for one of the following personal exemptions when declaring goods at customs.
Minimum absence Personal exemption:

o        24 hours CAN $50.00

o        48 hours CAN $400.00 (As of March 2007)

o        7 days CAN $750.00

Alcohol Travelers can bring limited amounts of alcohol into Canada duty-and-tax-free as part of their personal exemptions of 48 hours or more.
The amounts are:

o  1.14 L (40 oz) of liquor; or

o  2 L of wine; or

o  24 containers, at 355 ml (12 oz) each or their equivalent or beer or ale.

Travelers have to pay duties and taxes for any additional quantities of alcohol they bring in, up to provincial or territorial limits. These fees can be much higher than the purchase price of the product.
Travelers must be 18 years old to bring alcohol into Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec.
Elsewhere in Canada, the minimum age is 19.

  • Tobacco Travelers can bring limited amounts of tobacco products into
    Canada duty-and-tax-free as part of their personal exemptions of 48 hours or more.
    The amounts are:o 200 g (7 oz.) of loose tobacco; ando 200 cigarettes; and

    o 50 cigars; and

    o 200 tobacco sticks.

Travelers have to pay duties, taxes, and provincial or territorial fees for any additional quantities of tobacco they bring in to Canada. These fees can be much higher than the purchase price of the product.
Travelers must be 18 years old to bring tobacco products into Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, the Yukon Territory, and the Northwest Territories. Elsewhere in Canada, the minimum age is 19.

  • Ask Revenue Canada to list any valuables with a serial number or unique marking on Form Y38.
    This may help travelers prove that they acquired these items or imported them before they left Canada.
  • Have jewellery they are taking out of the country appraised, and carry the appraisal report, certified photographs, and the bill of sale to make it easy to return to Canada with the jewellery. If the jewellery is altered in any way, it is considered new and the traveler must declare it at Canadian customs at its full value.
  • Have proper identification such as passports or birth certificates and immigration documents to prove their Canadian citizenship and residency when they return, as well as proper identification for children.
  • Have proper identification and written permission from a parent or guardian
    when they travel with children who are not their own.
  • Travelers should not hide goods to avoid paying duties and taxes.
    That is smuggling and can result in severe penalties and prosecution.
    Duties and taxes may be less than they think.

For example, if a traveler buys a pair of shoes of U.S. origin at a cost of US $40, he or she could pay about CAN $6.50 in duties and taxes.  Revenue Canada also collects provincial sales tax on goods subject to duties and taxes, imported by residents of Quebec and Manitoba. The department also collects the harmonized sales tax from residents of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

Not sure what to declare?

Declare first, and then ask the customs officer.

  • Infants and young children are entitled to a personal exemption, as long as the goods are for their use.
    Infants and children cannot bring alcohol or tobacco into the country.
  • Travelers can send gifts under CAN $60, except for alcohol and tobacco, to friends in
    Canada duty-and-tax-free by mail or courier. When the value of the gift is more than CAN $60, the recipient may have to pay duties and taxes on the excess amount.
  • Gifts that travelers send back from abroad do not count as part of their personal exemptions, but gifts that they bring back do.
  • If travelers have car trouble while on vacation, they must declare the value of all repairs and replacement parts. They may not have to pay any duties and taxes on these repairs.

Firearms: Canadian law restricts or prohibits travelers from bringing handguns, or other weapons such as mace or pepper spray, into Canada. Travelers must declare all firearms and weapons to customs at the first point of entry. Failing to do so may result in severe penalties and prosecution. For more information, travelers should get the Revenue Canada pamphlet called Importing a Firearm or Weapon into Canada.

Before leaving home, travelers should do the following:

  • Pick up copies of the pamphlets I Declare, Bringing Back Goods From the United States, or Bringing Back Goods From Mexico at any customs office, Government Info Centre, or call the Automated Customs Information Service (ACIS) at:
  • 1-800-461-9999.
  • For more information on customs, contact:
  • Travelers Directorate
    Revenue Canada
    Sir Richard Scott Building
    Ottawa ON K1A 0L8
    Canada
    Fax: (613) 998-5584
  • Many of Revenue Canada’s publications are available on the Internet. For more information on customs, visit Revenue Canada on the Internet at this address:
    Revenue Canada on the Internet (http://www.rc.gc.ca)

CURRENCY REQUIREMENTS

Depending on the tour you are taking, you may be traveling in both the United States and Canada.
Therefore, you will require the currency of both countries.
You should carry some cash in both Canadian and US funds, with the balance of your money in traveler’s cheques.
The majority of traveler’s cheques will be cashed at hotels, in restaurants, or while shopping.
Therefore, your traveler’s cheques should be in smaller denominations such as $20 and $50.

“WHAT DO I PACK?”

The following guidelines are offered to assist you in planning for comfort and convenience.

Wise travelers always travel light. While packing, ask yourself: “Will I wear or use this item?” If the answer to this question is “maybe” or “no” leave it at home. We suggest taking a “layered” approach to your wardrobe.
Be a wise traveler and PACK LIGHT! A number of hotels have laundry facilities for your use en-route.
Your tour director will inform you as to which of these hotels have these facilities.

Don’t forget your cameras, sunglasses, binoculars, suntan lotion, insect repellent, sun hat and a bathing suit.

CAMERAS, CAMCORDERS, FILM

You may want to bring an adequate supply of film and extra batteries with you.
These items can be expensive in certain areas.
Reserve supplies should be kept in your carry-on bag and not in your suitcase.
Camera equipment and supplies packed in your suitcase and placed in the luggage bins
underneath the coach will not be available until we reach our destination for the day.

TIPS & GRATUITIES

Tips & gratuities other than baggage handling at overnight stops are not included in the cost of your tour.
These are matters of individual preference and are entirely at your discretion.

Those employed in the service industry rely heavily on tips and gratuities to augment their basic income.
The service industry includes your waiter/waitress, taxi drivers, airport red cap, hotel staff and the motorcoach driver and tour director.

The following is provided as a guideline only to assist in your budgeting:

Waiter/Waitress/bartender 10%-15% of the bill
Taxi Driver 15% of the fare
Bellman or Red Cap $1.00 per bag carried in excess of the tour baggage allowance of 1 bag
Hotel Staff $1.00-$2.00 (special services: room service, maid service etc.)
Step On Guides $1.00 per person

End of tour gratuities to the coach driver and tour director is left to the generosity
and discretion of individual tour participants.

At present, experienced travelers suggest that the tour director and the driver be
given $2.00-$2.50 per person per day.

An adequate provision for tips and gratuities should be included in your budget projections.

CREDIT CARDS & ATMs

Major credit cards are readily accepted throughout your tour. Virtually all banks belong to the ATM network (Automated Teller Machines). Banking hours may not coincide with our departure and arrival times therefore are not available for use on a daily basis.

INSURANCE

All-Star Tours does not accept any responsibility whatsoever for loss of or damage to baggage or any of the passengers’ belongings however caused. Baggage insurance to cover any theft, loss or damage is highly recommended. It is recommended that all passengers obtain adequate travel insurance before leaving home.

TAXES

The Canadian GST – A 6% Goods & Service Tax is levied on most items sold and most services rendered in Canada. Visitors may apply for a GST rebate on many items. A rebate may be claimed on a minimum of $200 of eligible purchases prior to taxes provided the goods are exported 60 days from date of purchase.
For more information please ask for a detailed pamphlet at Visitor Information Centers, hotels, and shops etc. Most provinces in Canada have an additional Provincial Tax.

 

 

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