Travels of Gerry and Joan

Fall 2010 CSANews Issue 76  |  Posted date : Sep 17, 2010.Back to list

I am sure that most of us enjoyed the hot summer and are now looking forward to a nice, warm winter season in the south (cross our fingers!).

One thing we must remember as we prepare to travel to the United States is that we are visitors to this country and, as such, we must be prepared to obey their laws. 

Many Canadians think they have a right to enter the U.S. However, we must remember that we are entering a foreign country and, as with any other country, we must be prepared to be questioned regarding why we wish to enter and for how long.

As Canadians, we do not have to travel with a visa. We are covered by a special B2 visa (which is a Visa Waiver Program). However, we must now produce a passport or a Nexus card when entering the United States. 

One question which the CSA is often asked is, "How long can I stay in the United States?" The answer to this is "six months." Now the question is, how many days are there in six months? Many people look at half a year and say that six months is 182 days, while others will say six months is 180 days.

Your entry into the United States is at the discretion of the immigration officer at the border. He or she can decide whether or not you may enter and for how long you may stay. Whatever they decide will be the time period for which you will be allowed to stay.

When asked by the border officer how long you plan to stay, it is best to state how many months, not how many days.

Please keep in mind that the amount of time you are allowed to stay in the United States has nothing to do with how long you are allowed to be absent from your home province and still retain your health-care privileges.

When entering the United States, you must have travel insurance, even when visiting for just one day. Should you have a medical emergency while in the U.S., the cost of treatment could be in the thousands and your provincial health-care program will only cover a very small portion of that cost.

For information about travel insurance, call Medipac at 1-888-MEDIPAC or visit the website at

This fall, many of you will attend a Snowbird Lifestyle Presentation and will enjoy not only the great entertainers, but also the valuable information provided. If you miss out on attending one of these shows, try to find time to attend a Winter Information Meeting in an area near you in the southern U.S. and bring along a friend. These shows are FREE to everyone.

Also, if your park in the U.S. has a Canada Day, invite one of our directors to attend and say a few words about the work of the association.

Don't forget to order placemats for your event (only order enough for this snowbird season). Each year, the dates of the CSA events on the placemats change. We will be pleased to send you as many placemats as you require for this season. Last year, we sent out 92,000 placemats!

Joan and I look forward to seeing many of you at various events this coming winter.

Have a safe and healthy winter.