Cross-border shopping?

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Thornhill, ON (Aug. 21, 2012) – As the long, lazy days of summer start to wind down the annual expedition south of the border for back to school shopping begins.

Before you make the trek to the United States to take advantage of end of season sales and stock up on everything from school supplies to shoes, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is reminding drivers that a little planning will go a long way.

CAA SCO recommends the following cross-border travel tips:

  • Plan ahead to avoid delays at the border. Before heading out check border wait times at www.cbsa.gc.ca.
  • Purchase travel insurance even for a short shopping trip across the border. An unexpected trip to the emergency room or a visit to the doctor’s office can be expensive and OHIP may not cover it. CAA offers vacation package plans to suit your needs.
  • Carry proper identification for yourself and any children travelling with you.
  • Prep your car and check your fluids. Make sure all of your tires are properly inflated and inspect the tread for uneven wear, bulges and bald patches.
  • Bring a map as a back-up to your GPS. CAA offers customized maps and TripTik route planners to help get you where you are going safely. CAA can also help you book your hotel stay.
  • At the border be prepared to answer questions by Border Service Officers.
  • Know how much you can bring back. There are new, higher duty-free allowances. For 48 hours or more, you can now bring back goods, tax and duty-free, worth up to $800. For 24 hours or more, you can now bring back goods, tax and duty-free, worth up to $200.
  • Declare all purchases and have receipts ready at the border.

Meanwhile, CAA is helping send students back to school in style without breaking their budgets. CAA members enjoy exclusive savings at popular shopping outlets such as Banana Republic Factory Store, Duty Free Americas, Gap Factory Store, Shop America VIP and Tanger Outlets. For a full list of where you can Show Your Card & Save, visit www.caasco.com/save.

CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club offering insurance, travel, automotive care and roadside services. There are more than 1.8 million CAA members in South Central Ontario and 5 million members in Canada. We’re more than Roadside Assistance. We’re Life-side Assistance. Visit www.caasco.com.