Whether you are planning your first trip to a warmer climate during the Canadian winter this year or you’ve been making the trek somewhere warmer for decades, staying abreast of the latest rules and regulations is an important part of having successful travels.

If you’re planning to travel to the U.S. during the winter, like many other Canadians, you’ll want to make sure to know the tax implications associated with this type of long-term travel. Generally, if you’re only going for a few weeks, you shouldn’t run into complications; however, those planning to stay longer should be aware of Canadian and U.S. rules about medical coverage and taxes. For example, if you stay in the U.S. for more than 182 days, you may meet the requirements for “Resident Alien” status, and longer than 7 months, your OHIP entitlement.

Are you looking for unique places to stay, but aren’t sure what location meets your budget and lifestyle requirements best? Considering about 10% of the Canadian population heads south for the winter, you most likely have friends and relatives you can ask for referrals. Consider your preferred climate, the activities you enjoy each day, and your budget to narrow down the ideal places.

Another important tip for snowbirds is to make sure you have the proper travel insurance. You’ll want to make sure you are covered for unexpected expenses, even if you consider yourself generally healthy. The last thing you’ll want is a high medical bill to pay while you are vacationing.

Speaking of your budget, paying the exchange rate could be problematic if you are planning on staying in the U.S. more than a few weeks. Asking your bank for a U.S. credit card or creating an account for your intended U.S. spending will help you manage your budget and costs more easily.

Finally, even if you’ve been travelling south for a few years, you may want to try out several different places before you decide to establish your snowbird household permanently. While buying a second home can be a good investment, renting can also have the added benefit of reduced maintenance requirements and the option to change locations when you choose.

At BlueRock Wealth Management, our financial advisors are available to assist you with planning for your travels out of Canada, whether it’s for a few weeks or a few months. Reach out to us today to learn more.

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