One of the most popular activities that people do when they travel is to go shopping. Many people go on vacation strictly to shop while others pick up a souvenir or two when they’re on the road. But one thing is for certain, nearly everyone brings a little memento back from their trip across the border. Nowhere is this more true than in Canada.

As the weather cools many Canadians hop in their cars and head for the South. In less than 24 hours you can be in a warmer climate enjoying fun in the sun. With cross border shopping rules though, it’s always been a bit frustrating as to what we are allowed to bring back into the country. Truthfully, we’ve never been quite sure about what was allowed and what wasn’t so we always kept our purchases to a minimum. Better safe than sorry right?

With the holiday season approaching we thought we would hi-light what those rules are and demystify them a bit.

Duty Free Explained

It was good news when we came home this past summer and heard that the Duty Free allowances for Canadians had been raised. Now, when you leave the country for 24 hours or more, you can bring home $200 worth of goods. If you are gone for four days (48 hours) you can bring home $800 worth of goods. Previously we were only allowed to bring home $200 and $400 for the same amount of time. I like seeing it doubled. But hey Canada, don’t think that you can hop across the border for a day trip and get these benefits, you need to be out of the country for at least 24 hours.

duty free allowances

Duty Free Allowances for Canadians

If you shop at a duty free store, you can stretch that money even more. Think about what you save if you shop without tax and duty! You can actually save up to 40% of your travel needs by shopping Duty Free. Pretty awesome. We’re all for finding a bargain and stretching our dollar. The more we can buy for the same amount of money, the better we feel. We can get a lot more out of our $800 bucks when we’re saving an extra 40%.

Shop Before you Enter the US

Just this past weekend I went to Cleveland with a friend to see the great Canadian Band, The Tragically Hip play at the House of Blues. I didn’t know this before, but you can stop at Duty Free before entering the States to do your shopping. My friend was out of her favourite perfume, so we took a stroll through the Calvin Klein aisle. I always thought that you had to buy duty free on your way back, not on your way there.

cross border shoppping usa

We could have even bought a bottle of local wine to take with us into the US for our trip. I wish I knew this before we crossed the border, I would have done a lot more shopping! There were some great deals in there.

For more information on Duty Free Allowances visit Duty Free Canada

The duty free stores have come a long way too. We grabbed a bite to eat and a coffee at Tim Hortons before crossing the border. We had Canada with us all the way, a Timmies double double and the Tragically Hip onstage. Who could ask for more?

Advantages of Canadian Duty Free

duty free shopping wine and crown royal

Wine, Alcohol and Perfume are popular duty free items

Why would I shop at the Canadian Duty Free instead of the US outlets? I can buy my favourite Canadian products that I can’t find in the US. At the same time I’m supporting local businesses while saving on tax and duty. I’m all for supporting our local retailers, buying Canadian and most of all saving money. Plus, if you make a purchase at the duty free store, you get to skip the line and cross the border without a wait. When the holiday season is in full swing, that’s a huge advantage to making the most of your vacation.

Did you Know?

I didn’t know that Duty Free stores are operated by independent business people. I always thought they were government owned, but they’re not. That makes me want to shop there even more, plus land border duty free stores can

Time for you to win!!

black friday contestIt’s the season of giving and to celebrate the new cross border allowances, Duty Free Canada is holding a contest starting today through to Black Friday on November 23, 2012. To enter, head over to the Duty Free fan page and take the quiz to find out what kind of shopper you are. Once you’ve taken the quiz, you are automatically entered for the chance to win a ton of great prizes including a Citizen Watch, Aviator Watch, Pernod Gift Set, Givenchy Gift Basket, H2O Gift Basket, Rene Rey Chocolates and so much more!

Oh Yeah, those are good items for the holidays.

Take the Quiz Now for your chance to win

So the next time you drive to the States, take a moment to stop in at the duty free before you cross the border. You’ll be surprised at what you can buy, and remember, you have a lot more allowance than you previously had before.

 

You may also like

From our partners
Leave a comment

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Duty Free Canada and Black Friday | Adventure Travel Blog … - WorldsWays Worldwide Travel

  2. Peter Lee

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful information about duty free. Even I was not aware about shops are operated by business people. Shopping in duty free is really exciting as you get reasonable prices for the goods.

  3. Priyank

    Very cool, I didn’t know about the independent business thing. Also, now that you mention, shopping on the way to US makes perfect sense, why didn’t I think of it before~!

  4. Arti

    Thats amazing informating about duty free shops!! I never knew so much about them. Will try my hand at that quiz too! Thanks for sharing :)

Comments are closed.