Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Canada travel
Old 08-04-2022, 03:20 PM   #1
Moderator
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 21,400
Canada travel

I love Canada, and will go there at the drop of a hat. We are enrolled in NEXUS, so even if the border crossing is busy, there is often a special lane where we can zip right through.

I just came back from a trip there, and had a couple of surprises.

Currently, Canada is adamant about the need to use their ArriveCan app before you enter, and it's a very tedious process to fill out all the required information. The end result is a QR code that you have to display at the border.
So I went through all their rigmarole, and when I got to the border the agent didn't have the slightest interest in looking at it, he just wanted my passport. I can't really complain about that, but it seemed as if the government requirement doesn't actually mean much on the ground.

Second surprise is that even if a highway toll gate says "EZ Pass accepted" it doesn't mean YOUR EZ Pass. Only those with Canadian EZ Pass transponders are accepted. The agent at the toll gate in Nova Scotia was actually apologetic, and sympathized, but rules are rules.

Beyond those little peeves, my trip was delightful as usual. Gas prices were slightly higher than back home, but not outrageous. And I still suspect that Canadian lobster is somehow tastier than the US version.
__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-04-2022, 03:34 PM   #2
Moderator
Aerides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 11,069
I've only ever been to Toronto and a day trip from there to Niagara.

Where else is good for a long weekend trip? I'm looking for some late fall /early winter getaway, and would like something that can include some park or unique outdoors stuff.
Aerides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 03:45 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,510
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I love Canada, and will go there at the drop of a hat. We are enrolled in NEXUS, so even if the border crossing is busy, there is often a special lane where we can zip right through.

I just came back from a trip there, and had a couple of surprises.

Currently, Canada is adamant about the need to use their ArriveCan app before you enter, and it's a very tedious process to fill out all the required information. The end result is a QR code that you have to display at the border.
So I went through all their rigmarole, and when I got to the border the agent didn't have the slightest interest in looking at it, he just wanted my passport. I can't really complain about that, but it seemed as if the government requirement doesn't actually mean much on the ground.

Second surprise is that even if a highway toll gate says "EZ Pass accepted" it doesn't mean YOUR EZ Pass. Only those with Canadian EZ Pass transponders are accepted. The agent at the toll gate in Nova Scotia was actually apologetic, and sympathized, but rules are rules.

Beyond those little peeves, my trip was delightful as usual. Gas prices were slightly higher than back home, but not outrageous. And I still suspect that Canadian lobster is somehow tastier than the US version.
Thanks for the report. Iím a big fan of Canada and have always enjoyed our visits there.
__________________
friar1610
friar1610 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 03:46 PM   #4
Moderator
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 21,400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
Where else is good for a long weekend trip? I'm looking for some late fall /early winter getaway, and would like something that can include some park or unique outdoors stuff.
A weekend is too short for any place I would go. But if you have some time, there is so much. I'll just mention a couple, east and west.

Cape Breton Island, at the north end of Nova Scotia, is just delightful for scenery, hiking, etc.

Kind of a long way to drive, and a ferry required if taking your car, but you can easily fly into Newfoundland. The area around St. John's is great for hiking, and it's a wonderful town.

Vancouver is a wonderful city, and I'm especially partial to Vancouver Island. If you've never been to Victoria or Butchart Gardens, you owe it to yourself to go.
__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 03:50 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Huntsville, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 5,759
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
A weekend is too short for any place I would go. But if you have some time, there is so much. I'll just mention a couple, east and west.

Cape Breton Island, at the north end of Nova Scotia, is just delightful for scenery, hiking, etc.

Kind of a long way to drive, and a ferry required if taking your car, but you can easily fly into Newfoundland. The area around St. John's is great for hiking, and it's a wonderful town.

Vancouver is a wonderful city, and I'm especially partial to Vancouver Island. If you've never been to Victoria or Butchart Gardens, you owe it to yourself to go.
We picked up a rental car in Manchester, NH and went to Cape Breton Island. From our home in North Alabama to Sydney, NS, the halfway point was about at Boston. We put 2000 miles on the rental car in a week.

On another trip, we rented a car at SEATAC and went over to Victoria on the ferry. We returned to Seattle via Vancouver. Another great trip.
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 04:36 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Just north of the 41st parallel
Posts: 14,759
I could handle a week at the Chateau Lake Louise. Maybe stay another week at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Lots of great hiking.
Ronstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 04:46 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 810
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Currently, Canada is adamant about the need to use their ArriveCan app before you enter, and it's a very tedious process to fill out all the required information. The end result is a QR code that you have to display at the border.
So I went through all their rigmarole, and when I got to the border the agent didn't have the slightest interest in looking at it, he just wanted my passport. I can't really complain about that, but it seemed as if the government requirement doesn't actually mean much on the ground.
Thanks for the tip. I haven't been for years but we are going tomorrow. I thought the app went away with the mandatory testing. Now we have a QR.
RetMD21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 04:55 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 12,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post

Vancouver is a wonderful city, and I'm especially partial to Vancouver Island. If you've never been to Victoria or Butchart Gardens, you owe it to yourself to go.
+1

Someday I'm going to take the Rocky Mountaineer between Lake Louise or Jasper and Vancouver. We did VIA about 20 years ago.

I'm also considering the Niagara Falls marathon, maybe next year, which used to cross the border, but for now is Canada only.
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 05:16 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SoCal, SE Florida, Lausanne
Posts: 2,875
Montreal and Vancouver are two of the nicest cities in North America.
Freedom56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 05:20 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,132
We have been fortunate to visit Canada many times. Lots of good suggestions in the post so far. Biking is great including Cape Breton, Montreal to Quebec City, and around PEI. Visiting Victoria (people love biking there), Vancouver and Toronto is worth it to me.

We are on our way soon to a hiking and biking vacation with the highlight being the Ice Fields Parkway and hiking around Lake Louise. Keep your fingers crossed for us that the weather holds, eh.
savory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 05:21 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 4,697
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post



Vancouver is a wonderful city, and I'm especially partial to Vancouver Island. If you've never been to Victoria or Butchart Gardens, you owe it to yourself to go.
Yes. And definitely still feels a bit "undiscovered" outside of Canada. Victoria is probably our favorite town in North America. We also enjoyed Tofino and Qualicum Beach.
Montecfo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 05:39 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jollystomper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 4,661
DW had an uncle who lived outside of Quebec City. When he was alive we visited and toured Quebec City, we enjoyed it. We drove it from Vermont, and stopped at a few places between the U.S. Border and Quebec City that were nice.
__________________
FIREd date: June 26, 2018 - "This Happy Feeling, Going Round and Round!" (GQ)
jollystomper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 05:45 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Santa Paula
Posts: 3,751
We took a Western Canada tour with Tauck. Fairmont hotels all the way. We visited Vancouver, Victoria, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. It was a multi modal trip; ferry, seaplane, train and bus.The highlights for me were High Tea at the Empress hotel, Butchart Gardens, kayaking in Jasper, and rafting down the Bow River.
I did write a story about it;
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Western Canada 2015.pdf (1.68 MB, 12 views)
__________________
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
AA 60/35/5 considering SS and pensions a SP annuity
WR 2% with 2SS & 2 Pensions
Souschef is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 05:58 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 730
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Currently, Canada is adamant about the need to use their ArriveCan app before you enter, and it's a very tedious process to fill out all the required information. The end result is a QR code that you have to display at the border.
So I went through all their rigmarole, and when I got to the border the agent didn't have the slightest interest in looking at it, he just wanted my passport. I can't really complain about that, but it seemed as if the government requirement doesn't actually mean much on the ground.
I crossed the border in June at a tiny crossing from Vermont to Quebec. A successful processing by the the ArriveCan app was absolutely required to enter Canada. The agent doesn't need to see your QR code because when the agent has your passport read electronically, it tells the border agent that you successfully completed the ArriveCan app. The agent told me he could see on his screen that I had successfully completed the app since you have to enter your passport information while filling out the app.

When I first completed the information the app requires, the app would not execute when I hit "Submit". I couldn't go back to a prior page in the app, either. It was frozen. Since I was just a mile from the border and I had my original CDC vaccination card, I decided to see if the agent would let me enter. He would not. I had to do a U-turn and return to the US. The US agent told me I was the 12th person that day who couldn't get the app to work and who had to turn around, and this border crossing was deserted while I was there.

There was a small Vermont tourist office a mile away which was closed that day but they left their wifi running. I went back there and stood outside with a wifi connection and eventually succeeded in doing a hard stop on the app. Then I started the app again while I had wifi. It had saved all of the information I entered despite my hard stop. I just had to keep going to the next page in the app until I got to "Submit". This time, when I hit Submit while having a wifi connection, it processed successfully in a few seconds. So the moral of the story is don't hit submit on the ArriveCan app unless you have a wifi connection. BTW, the closed Vermont Tourist Office had a sign on its door saying they couldn't help anyone with the ArriveCan app. Obviously a lot of people had been having problems with it.
anethum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 06:39 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by anethum View Post
The agent doesn't need to see your QR code because when the agent has your passport read electronically, it tells the border agent that you successfully completed the ArriveCan app. The agent told me he could see on his screen that I had successfully completed the app since you have to enter your passport information while filling out the app.
Ahh, that explains it. We just got back from a lovely road trip to Vancouver and I had the same experience at the border as OP. I was very confused as to why we had to fill out the ArriveCan app in advance when they were completely uninterested in looking at the QR code at the border crossing. Otherwise, the border crossing was pretty painless - 1/2 hr wait going to Canada on a Friday afternoon, and 15 minutes returning to the US on a Tuesday morning.
meridiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 09:48 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Koolau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeward Oahu
Posts: 10,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Currently, Canada is adamant about the need to use their ArriveCan app before you enter, and it's a very tedious process to fill out all the required information. The end result is a QR code that you have to display at the border.
I quickly looked to see what is required. Nothing you couldn't do at the border as nearly as I can tell. Why they need it through a net-based/phone based app is a mystery to me. Oh, well, it's their country, they can do what they want. Better than an official Visa process, I suppose. I recall when entry/exit was a breeze. Guess those days are gone forever.

I too think Canada is wonderful place to visit. Going through their entry points can be a real pain - for no apparent reason but YMMV.
__________________
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
Koolau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2022, 11:13 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,161
We love travelling in Canada.

We have a Virginia EZ-Pass and it works fine for the tolls on the bridges over the Niagara River between NY and Ontario.
6miths is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2022, 12:15 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6,309
I've only transited through Vancouver airport a couple of times.

A few years back, I researched trip to Banff and Jasper and my jaw dropped at the lodging prices, like over $400 USD a night for what seemed like motels. They had good ratings and all but just couldn't get over what they wanted.

It was the 150th anniversary of Canda's founding so the national parks that year were free. But you're talking about maybe saving on $30-40 USD for park entrance fees?

Someone said that they jacked up prices because of the free entrance that year and that the CAD had declined vs. USD.

But honestly, prices were higher than Switzerland and I think I did choose to go to Switzerland instead that year.

Also looked at Montreal hotels another time, almost as expensive as Manhattan hotels IIRC.

But it wasn't unique, I also looked at visiting Boston and the prices were crazy there as well.

Have to wonder what it's like now, after the pandemic, with a lot of the tourist industry raising prices a lot to try to make up for lost revenues.


I haven't looked at it since but maybe it's a bit better? USD is the strongest it's been in a long time so maybe it won't be so pricey.
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2022, 12:50 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,254
I had the same experience with the QR code. I asked the agent about it when we went into Canada and he said they didn't need it because they get your ArriveCan info when they scan your passport. No idea why they ask for the QR code.
__________________
Eat, Drink and Be Merry.
tulak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2022, 01:16 AM   #20
Administrator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: N. Yorkshire
Posts: 31,554
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
I've only ever been to Toronto and a day trip from there to Niagara.

Where else is good for a long weekend trip? I'm looking for some late fall /early winter getaway, and would like something that can include some park or unique outdoors stuff.
We also love Canada and have spent many months there over the years.

For a long weekend then you are going need to be flying I assume and a place we loved and that can be appreciated in a long weekend is Quebec City. We stayed inside the walls of the old city, no car needed. (Flight to Quebec, taxi to accommodation)

Try Googling things to do in Quebec City and youíll get plenty options. We enjoyed the Plains of Abraham which is a free park but honestly there are plenty of options.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Enough private pension and SS income to cover all needs
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
canada, tolls, travel


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trip report: Travel despite US Travel Alert msbearkeley Travel Information 5 12-02-2015 10:57 PM
Travel Agents, Consolidators, etc. for Travel fromUSA to Australia and/or New Zealand CoolChange Travel Information 11 06-10-2013 08:35 AM
Personal Travel versus Business Travel NW-Bound Travel Information 16 05-15-2011 05:49 PM
Medical Travel Caution - Superbug a 'consequence' of medical travel bruce1 Health and Early Retirement 16 08-19-2010 06:37 PM
Good Travel Site or Boards for the RE Travel Lifestyle???????????? dex Other topics 6 11-05-2006 12:43 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:06 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.