Heading South? Gas Up—Once You Cross the Border

With the loonie wallowing in the pits, we’d like to give snowbirds heading south some good news.

Average U.S. gas prices are at their lowest level since before the 2008 recession, and they’re expected to drift even lower over the course of this winter—barring some geopolitical catastrophe, of course.

How low?


This morning, prices in the Fort Lauderdale area (one of Florida’s more expensive destinations) were around $1.96 (give or take a penny or two) per gallon for regular. That equates to US 51.7 cents per liter in Canada. In central Florida (Winter Haven area) some prices were slumping as low as $1.90 (US 50 cents per liter).

South Texas

In Weslaco, the heart of the Rio Grande Valley and home to thousands of Winter Texans, the low price in several locations was within a penny or two of $1.70 (US 45 cents per liter). In Harlingen, at Sam’s Club, a gallon of regular was selling at $1.65 this morning.

Central Arizona

In Mesa, lots of low prices around—$1.94 (US 51 cents per liter) at the Circle K on South Signal Road, for example. In nearby Apache Junction, plenty of locations at $1.96 per gallon for regular.

Now that we’re approaching the height of snowbird season, this one indicator of stability should discourage any thoughts of foregoing your annual winter trip. (See our article on stretching your Canadian dollars in the U.S.)

Timely Tips

Be well prepared for a more rigorous border crossing given recent events and national security concerns.  Make sure your passport is up to date, and carry some other documentation indicating that you are a Canadian citizen with a permanent home and bank account in the country, that you pay your taxes to Canada, and that you will return to Canada when your vacation is over (and on time). You don’t want to have any hassles at the border.

And, finally, buy your travel insurance as far ahead of your travel time as possible—especially if you have a medically underwritten plan. Don’t wait until the day before you leave to call your insurer. You want to be able to complete the forms and any necessary medical applications without hurrying, and you must read the certificate of coverage from start to finish—before you leave. Getting the right insurance is serious business. It’s anything but an annoying formality. A denied claim can ruin your finances.

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