Nova Scotia Vacation Package Specials
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Visiting Eastern Canada - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

NEW LAW - All vehicles driving in Nova Scotia must have running lights on at all times. Fines are being handed out @ $164.

- Do I need a passport if I am leaving Canada and flying into the United States?

(A) - All air travelers entering the United States must present a valid passport. This new requirement applies to all air travelers from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, as well as American citizens returning home.

- Do I need a passport to enter Canada by Land or Sea?

(A) - Effective on June 1, 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling between the United States and Canada by land and sea must present travel documents prior to boarding that comply with Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requirements.

For U.S. citizens, acceptable documents include:
* U.S. Passport
* U.S. Passport Card
* Trusted Traveler Program Cards (NEXUS or FAST/Expres)
* Enhanced Drivers License (EDL)

For Canadian citizens, acceptable documents include:

* Canadian Passport
* Trusted Traveler Program Cards (NEXUS or FAST/Expres)
* Enhanced Drivers License (EDL)

Information on these documents and the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is available by calling 1-888-242-2100 or visiting these websites:

www.GetYouHome.gov
www.cic.gc.ca
www.travel.state.gov

- What do I need to bring a child across the border?

(A) - You should carry identification, similar to the above mentioned, for children of all ages. If you are travelling with a child that is not legally your own, you will need a letter of permission from the child's parent or legal guardian. If you are sharing custody of the child, it is best to have copies of legal documents regarding custody rights.

- What are the requirements for general visitors entering into Canada?

(A) - Visitors to Canada must satisfy an immigration officer that:

* they intend to return to their home country and will not try to stay in Canada;
* they are in good health (some visitors may be asked to undergo a medical examination at their own expense);
* they do not have a criminal record or are a security risk;
* they have sufficient funds to cover travel costs and support themselves in Canada.

If any of these criteria are not met, you may be denied admission to Canada.

- If I am a United States Citizen how do I contact a U.S. Representative in Eastern Canada?

(A) - The United States has an official Consulate in Halifax that administers to the needs of U.S. Citizens traveling to, or living in, Eastern Canada. The current Consul General is Harold Foster and he can be reached by phone @ 902-429-2480 or online @ http://halifax.usconsulate.gov/content/index.asp

- Can I bring my pets into Canada?

(A) - Dogs and cats accompanying their owners from the U.S must have current (within 36 months) rabies vaccination certificates. It is advisable that you carry a health certificate and medical records with you. Seeing Eye dogs are allowed into Canada without restriction.

- Can I bring alcohol or tobacco products into Canada?

(A) - Visitors to Canada may bring certain goods as personal baggage, duty- and tax-free, provided all such items are declared to Customs on arrival and are not subject to restriction. Personal baggage may include up to 1.5 litres (52 oz.) of wine OR 1.14 litres (40 oz.) of liqueur OR 24 bottles/cans of beer or ale (355 ml each; 8.5 litres total). The legal age in most provinces, including Nova Scotia, is 19 years.

Visitors to Canada who are 18 years old and older can import, free of duties and taxes, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams of manufactured tobacco or 200 tobacco sticks.

Visitors can import, free of duties and taxes, gifts for residents of Canada (excluding alcohol or tobacco products), to a maximum value of $60.00 (Canadian) per gift.

- What's the Weather Like?

(A)
- As it is everywhere, the weather in Eastern Canada is unpredictable. The rule of thumb is to remember that it is cooler and windier along the coast. See this website for seasonal averages : www.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca

- Will I be able to pay my expenses in US dollars?

(A) - Most hotels, stores, restaurants, etc. will accept US$, but they may give you a lower rate than banks or airports. Large hotels will usually give you a rate that approaches those at the bank.

- Will I have any problem exchanging my money for Canadian currency?

(A) - Although U.S. money is usually accepted at stores in Canada, you will be better off exchanging it for Canadian dollars at a financial institution. Financial institutions offer the daily exchange rate. ATMs are the best bet. See below.

- Will my ATM card (automated teller machine card) work in Canada?

(A) - Check with your local bank branch and see what they say about your ATM card and/or cash advance on a Credit Card. Most of the major Canadian banks and trust companies are on the Plus or Cirrus networks. You get Canadian dollars back and generally the exchange rate is good. The Canadian bank, as well as your bank may levy a service charge for each withdrawal. ATM machines in stores, gas stations, etc. usually have even higher fees. Use bank branch machines where possible.

- What credit cards are accepted in Canada?

(A) - Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted everywhere (restaurants, hotels, stores, etc). While American Express is widely accepted you may find that many restaurants, stores and cafes will not accept it. Any charge to a credit card will reflect the currency exchange rate of the day and will appear on your monthly statement as such.

- Tipping/Gratuities

(A) - It is advised to tip 10-20% of your bill at most restaurants, pubs, etc. when served by a waiter, waitress or bartender. In Eastern Canada these employees are paid minimum wage and rely almost totally on tips for their income. Tips/Gratuities are NOT built in to the prices. Hotel staff such as bell boys and maids also expect a gratuity. There are some exceptions, such as certain hotel meals and packages that may include a gratuity. Check to make sure, as most items that include gratuities are labeled to indicate this. Or just ask.

- Sales Tax

(A) - There is a Sales Tax on almost every purchase in Eastern Canada. It is calculated differently in Prince Edward Island than it is in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. There are actually two separate taxes charged. One is a National Tax (known as GST) of 7% and a Provincial Tax of 8%. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick these are combined in to a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 15%. In Prince Edward Island they are charged separately and the Provincial Tax is 10% and the GST of 7% is charged on top.

In some bars and restaurants alcoholic drinks may be priced "tax in". Others may charge the Taxes over and above the advertised price. This is the same for hotels, tours, attractions, etc. Check to see if the price includes the taxes, in most cases it does not.

- Cellphones

(A) - Most of Nova Scotia has excellent cell phone coverage. The lesser populated areas may not be as well covered. Non-Canadian cell phone companies have agreements with one of the 3 major Cell Phone Carrier Companies in Canada - Bell, Rogers & Telus. Consult with your local Cell Phone Provider as to coverage areas and applicable charges for cellular phone usage in Canada.

- Electricity/Voltage

(A) - The electrical voltage in Canada is the same as the United States, 120 V. No special adapters are necessary if you are traveling from within the U.S. Visitors from other parts of the world may require adapters and/or may not be able to use certain electrical devices.

- Do tourists in Canada get free health care?

(A) - Only Canadian citizens and landed immigrants (i.e. permanent residents) can be covered by the governmental health insurance. U.S. medical and auto insurance may not be valid in Canada. US Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. It is recommended that you get supplemental medical and auto insurance when you travel to Canada. For additional information contact you insurance company.

- What is the drinking age in Eastern Canada?

(A) - The legal drinking age in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick is 19 years old. Children and young persons under the legal drinking age are allowed in to certain licensed restaurants and pubs up to 8 or 9 o'clock in the evening so that they can have a meal with their parents or other adult. Ask the establishment for their specific rules. There is zero tolerance or sympathy for drunk drivers in Nova Scotia.

- What are the emergency numbers in Nova Scotia?

(A) - Fire, Police, Medical, and RCMP are all 911.

- Do you recycle in Nova Scotia?

(A) - Reduce-Re-use-Recycle In Nova Scotia we work to protect our province's clean and beautiful environment. In doing so we have become world leaders in recycling and composting. We have a progressive waste-management program, and in 2000 we became the first province in Canada to recycle 50% of our waste.

Blue bins for recyclables (paper, glass, plastic, metal) and green carts for organics (food waste, soiled napkins, etc.) are used in most locations around the province. Please help us preserve our natural beauty by tossing your waste into these receptacles.

Beverage containers are subject to a $ .10 charge; when the empty containers are taken to an EnviroDepot, half of that charge is refunded. Many coffee shops give a discount to customers who bring their own mugs. For more information on recycling in Nova Scotia, call 1-877-313-7732.

- How do I claim a tax refund?

(A) - The Government of Canada has eliminated the Visitor Rebate Program so that taxes paid on travel expenses and goods purchased in Canada for tourists to bring out of the country are no longer eligible for a tax refund. See Canada Revenue Agency's Questions & Answers.

- Are public places within Nova Scotia smoke free?

(A) - Yes as of December 1, 2006 the Smoke-free Places Act requires that all indoor workplaces and public places are smoke-free. The Act also requires that all outdoor licensed areas and patios of all restaurants, lounges, beverage rooms and cabarets are smoke-free.

Transportation

- Is my driver's license valid in Canada?

(A) - American drivers' licenses are valid for varying periods of time. The international Driving permit is also valid, but must be accompanied at all times by the visitor's state or national license. Every car must carry evidence of its registration (vehicle permit). If you don't own the vehicle, carry a letter from the owner or a copy of the vehicle rental contract.

- Do I have to wear a seatbelt while in Nova Scotia?

(A) - In Nova Scotia you are required to wear a seatbelt while the vehicle is in operation. The driver is responsible for ensuring that all children under 16 are wearing a seatbelt or other appropriate restraint such as a baby seat. Your child cannot be carried on the lap of a front seat passenger.

- Car Rental Insurance

(A) - Most car rentals do not include any insurance. You are responsible for any loss, damage or injury while renting a vehicle. You can purchase additional "Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) Insurance" for approximately $25 a day with most car rental agencies. Your credit card company and/or local home/auto insurance provider may offer insurance coverage for rental cars. Consult with your local insurance agent and/or credit card company for further information.

- What are the specific regulations regarding car seats for young children in Nova Scotia?

(A) - As of January 1, 2007, Nova Scotia put into effect the following new laws regarding car travel with young children.

* Infants must be secured in a rear-facing child seat when under 1 year old and under 10kg (22 pounds)
* Children who weigh at least 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and are at least one year old may face forward
* Children who weigh less than 18 kilograms (40 pounds) must be in child seats
* Children who weigh more than 18 kilograms must be in a booster seat if they are younger than nine years of age or less than 145 centimetres (4 feet 9 inches) tall

Failure to use a car seat, booster seat or seat belt may result in a fine of $157.50, and two demerit points for a first offence. For more information, visit momsanddads.ca or call 1-866-288-1388.

- What are the differences between speeds given in Kilometres and those in miles?

(A) - Canadian speed limits are posted on road signs in kilometres (1.6km = 1 mile). Highway speed limits are usually between 80km/h - 100 km/h or 50mph to 65mph. On city streets, speed limits are typically 50km/h or 30 -35 mph. To convert miles to kilometres multiply the number of miles by 1.6. To convert kilometres to miles multiply the number of kilometres by 0.6.

Please note that radar detectors are illegal in Nova Scotia and will be confiscated by the RCMP. The minimum fine for littering along our highways is $337.50.

- What do the different highway signs mean?

(A) - The Trans Canada and 100-series highways are limited-access, rapid-transit highways. The Trans Canada Highway is a direct route from the New Brunswick border near Amherst to the Newfoundland ferry terminal in Cape Breton. Near Pictou a short extension, Highway 106 to Caribou, leads to Prince Edward Island via a ferry service.

Trans Canada Highway
Colour on Map: Green. Numbers 104, 105 and 106. All-weather, limited-access, rapid-transit highways.

Provincial All-Weather Highways
Colour on Map: Blue. Numbers from 100 to 199. All-weather, limited-access, rapid-transit highways. The last digit usually matches the number of the parallel trunk highway (e.g., Hwy 102 is parallel to Rte 2).

Truck Highways
Colour on Map: Black. Numbers from 1 to 99. Trunk highways connecting major centres. These roads meet the standards of "arterial highways."

Collector Roads
Colour on Map: Brown. Numbers from 200 to 399. May not meet arterial highway standards and may not necessarily connect geographic regions or population centres.






 
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