If you go to Vancouver
Crossing the border
Passports aren't required for entering or leaving Canada by car, ferry or train. Proof of citizenship or legal residency is. Bring a passport if you have one; otherwise, bring a birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID. Air travelers need passports or proof of a passport application. See www.travel.state.gov/passport.
One U.S. dollar is worth $1.05 Canadian compared to $1.22 two years ago and $1.12 this time last summer. Most expect the two currencies, last on par in 1976, to reach parity soon, but fees on credit-card charges and ATM withdrawals already wipe out most of the difference.
Most merchants will take U.S. dollars, but only at par (no change back). Foreign exchange kiosks, such as the one in Vancouver's train station, charge service fees that mean you'll get even less.
Best advice: Check your bank or credit-card company's foreign exchange fees and ATM withdrawal charges. Use cards that carry minimum fees (Credit unions or smaller banks usually charge no more than 1 percent.)
Bank of America charges 3 percent on credit- and debit-card purchases and a $5 fee for withdrawals at ATMs plus a 1 percent transaction fee. Customers can avoid those fees by using ATMs at Scotiabank, Bank of America's affiliate in Canada.
Contact Tourism Vancouver at 604-682-2222, see www.tourismvancouver.com or visit the downtown Vancouver Tourist Info Centre, 200 Burrard St. Also Tourism British Columbia at 800-435-5622 or www.hellobc.com.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.