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Old 07-28-2009, 11:39 AM   #43
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Aage,

I wasn't really grousing (well, ok I was, but didn't mean to). I thoroughly understand what a hassle it is for a guy trying to service us guys who couldn't be bothered to change some bucks ahead of time.

And I sympathize the raw deal our Canadian friends get with books and publications - even though the loonie and the dollar are close to par, they still get ripped if they pay the list price.

I usually use my credit card anyway - the fee is not that much and there is still a little more bang for the buck up there. Fading fast, though.

Pat
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:51 PM   #44
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After calling some credit card companies today about the surcharge for doing the exchange rate this is what I found out:
American Express: 2.7% on all charges
Master Card: 3% on all charges
Discover: 2% on all charges

It was a good idea to check with them ahead of time. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:24 PM   #45
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That's good information. A couple of years ago it was 1% and then the credit card companies figured another way to rip us off. For years travel writers have been telling people to charge it because it's the cheapest way to go, but I'm not sure that's true anymore. I can't remember what Canadian banks charge because I haven't changed money there since 2006 or '07, but I think it was less than 3% and maybe around 2%. Maybe someone else can update us on bank charges and then we can stop enriching the credit card companies. I wish you had called Visa—didn't you know all our cards are Visa?

When do you leave?

Gene
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:12 PM   #46
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Traveling Canada

Bluto,

We are currently in our seventh week of a trip through Ontario. Three items I have not seen discussed are phone service, Canadian Holidays and beer/wine. Mobile phone service can become very expensive on your U.S. plan. We contacted our provider a day before crossing into Canada and they had an unlimited calling plan for an additional $20/mo. I had heard rumors of people being charged very high roaming and out of area charges.

Secondly, are Canadian holidays. We were spending the week in the Manitulin Island area several weeks ago on "Civic Day" and had planned to travel East to French River Provential Park. Unknown to us was during "Civic Day Weekend" about half the population of Toronto heads to this area and the parks were full. Luckily we were able to spend a few additional days in Little Current, Ont. before moving on.

Third, most beer and wine is sold only in Provential stores at a premium. Not much you can do about it but advance knowledge will prevent sticker shock.

Finally, we find our Amex card is taken almost everywhere, Discover is taken the least, and Master Card is used as a last resort because the fees are the highest. When we needed cash I use the TD ATM to make withdrawals from my checking account with the normal out of network fee, $2.

Hope you have a great time in the "Great White North"
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:09 PM   #47
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Verizon has an option to include Canada, but if you go very far north, there'll be no cell service at all. Rogers Communications won't let anyone else use their towers so if you don't have their phone, no service. If you use a land line (remember pay phones?), the ATT calling card costs 6 times more per minute in Canada for long distance.

Canada is big on sin taxes—alcohol and cigarettes are very heavily taxed. Bring as much as you can (legally of course) and a full tank of gas—that's taxed a lot too. I don't think every province has liquor sold only at gov't stores, but really don't remember.

The Canadian dollar today was 90.77 US, so other things can be bargains—like a 9% discount because prices of many things are pretty much the same. We did notice a couple of months ago that food prices in supermarkets had gone up a lot and was higher than the US.

If you travel in October, Thanksgiving comes a month earlier in Canada and you can stuff yourself twice!

Gene
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:44 AM   #48
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Just doing all the checks and fixes to the trailer this week. Next week need to reinstall my Reese wd and sway hitch from top to bottom as I have put a new receiver on the truck since I pulled the trailer last time. I also have a different set of lighter wd bars that are an inch longer than the ones I'm retiring so the arm brackets and all have to be moved.
Some last minute packing and flush the water system and I'll be ready to roll.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:12 PM   #49
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If you find yourselves on the Trans Canada (#1) highway travelling from Golden to Revelstoke in British Columbia, look for the Illicilliwaet campground in the Roger's Pass in B.C.'s Glacier National Park. It does not have RV hook-ups (has flush toilet's), but it's stunningly beautiful.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:11 PM   #50
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kevin242,
You never know, I just might be around there, and I'll be sure to include it if I am. Thanks for the heads up. I'll print off all of the posts to this thread so I have all the info with me when I get up that way. I'm not sure yet if my Verizon broadband will be available for me to have internet access. I'll call them tomorrow to see what they say.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:11 PM   #51
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Illecillewaet

I found a picture... and corrected my spelling!
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:54 AM   #52
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Keep in mind that in the mountainous areas of BC (most of the province!) there is very sketchy service as the towers must be "line of sight", which would require a cell tower at every bend in the road. The southern 1/3 of the province is well-covered by Telus, Rogers, Bell, Virgin, but things are not so simple in the northern 2/3--low population densities add to the economic challenge of installing towers, as well. I'm frequently on the road for work, and find that there are pockets of cell service near towns and villages, but that peters out quickly between them.
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