Your Finances with Stephen Maltby
A few travel tips for those heading off for travel from our CIBC Wood Gundy specialists. We can't always be boring in our articles on just old tax planning and death. Life is a sprint you know.
Vacations can be lots of fun, but getting there can often be full of hassles. We give you some tips to make your next trip stress-free.
Before heading out to the airport, it’s a good idea to weigh those bags to save time and avoid any excess baggage fees. If you find that your bag is too heavy, consider removing something altogether, or maybe moving it into your carry-on. Consider do you really need eight pair of shoes for a seven-day cruise.
Before you do anything else, learn the layout of the airport. Map out your route so you don’t waste time going in circles or taking the long way. Most major airports have a map that will help you familiarize yourself with locations of the gates, the food, and shopping. The web is great for looking at airports.
When you’re travelling, you can always take care of last-minute banking at the airport! When travelling to the USA or abroad, it’s a good idea to contact your credit card company before you leave just to let them know that they may expect some unusual activity. You can do this online, or by phoning the telephone number on the back of your credit card. Many cards get cut off once you operate in a foreign company as a protection mechanism.
Beware of using cards in countries like Mexico. Credit card fraud is rampant .A new fraudster concept is to get your number and then delay using your card information for a few months.
Consider using one of your credit cards that you don't use a lot in Countries where you feel there is risk. This avoids having your main card cut off if you find you are being defrauded.
Travelling to the US. Ensure you have the address where you are heading. Many a traveller has been delayed as they have no address .US security has become very stringent with regards to these details.
Watch the airports you travel in. Landing in Philadelphia on the way home may see you stranded if the weather is bad and they have one flight a day coming to Halifax.
Going to a vacation home outside Canada. Have a copy of the deed in your papers. Can you answer the questions about rental income, number of times visited, who looks after the property and do you file a US tax return. Remember you are a non-resident. They will ask you if you work on your property, The answer is no as you are not allowed to work in the US.
Going to a foreign Country for an extended period of time. Make sure you can prove you are able to support yourself from your Canadian source income.
Be aware of 183-day rule for taxation and the three-year rule. If you are a U.S. citizen living in Canada have you filed your returns.
Figure out the local currency before you go. The exchange rate at the local shops change vary a lot. Ensure you work the deal in a currency you understand. That bright shirt with the big flowers makes you an easy target.
Worried about missing a bill payment deadline while travelling? Go online and set-up a post-dated bill payment to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines while travelling. If you’ve forgotten to withdraw foreign currency before your trip, no worries. You can do that at the airport as well.
When travelling, always keep important documents together. By doing this, you’ll have all your essential documents in one place and you won’t waste time fumbling around, looking for them when needed.
Sounds like a lot of work. Jackson's Point, 20 minutes away, sounds like my plan this summer.
Stephen Maltby is an Investment Adviser and Chartered Accountant with CIBC Wood Gundy. He has been in the financial services industry for more then 30 years and has held various accounting, investment and management positions with several accounting and investment firms over the years. He is in addition to his Advisor role a First Vice-President and Executive Director Atlantic Canada, CIBC Wood Gundy.