Community News

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Make your credit union debit card your summer road trip companion

Summer is road trip season. Whether you’re heading west to the Rockies, east to The Rock or somewhere in between, Canada has hundreds of fantastic summer road trip destinations.
Best of all, with your credit union debit card you have access to more than 1,800 surcharge-free ATMs from B.C. to Newfoundland. That’s a bigger ATM network than most banks and it means you can travel across the country without worrying about incurring costly surcharges along the way.
And with the ATM locator app available at, you can use your smartphone to locate a surcharge-free ATM near you, no matter where you are in your travels.

Five important things to keep in mind before you hit the road

Here are five things to remember before embarking on that summer road trip: 
1.     Get a checkup for your car 
It’s a little thing that may be easy to overlook, but checking your car’s fluids is always a good idea before a long trip. Make sure you’ve done an oil change recently and maybe even consider a tune-up. 
2.     Kick the tires 
Not literally, of course. But take a look at your car’s tires. Do they have much tread left? Are there any tears or cracks in the sidewalls? If you’re concerned or unsure, take it to a professional to get their opinion.
3.     Stock up 
Keeping a few key items in your trunk can make all the difference in the world if you happen to break down. Things like a flashlight, blankets, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, fresh water and maybe even some non-perishable snacks can get you back on the road or at least keep you comfortable while you wait for help. 
4.     Keep the kids happy 
Nothing can ruin a family road trip faster than the dreaded, “Are we there yet??” If you’re traveling with small children, plan ahead. Pack each child a goody bag for the road. Include some of their favourite snacks, a game or two, some colouring books and a few things to read. A few distractions can be a lifesaver during that last hour on the road.
5.     Know where you’re going 
Whether you’re using a built-in GPS unit, the maps on your smartphone or even a good old-fashioned paper map, make sure you know where you’re headed and how you plan to get there. And always be prepared for the odd unanticipated detour.

Remember travel insurance for your summer vacation

Studies have found that many Canadians who travel within Canada but outside of their home province don’t purchase travel insurance, assuming — often mistakenly — that their provincial government or employee health plans would cover everything. All too often, unfortunately, that turns out not to be the case.
Expenses such as prescription drugs, air ambulance service, X-rays and other costly procedures may not be covered by your plan when you’re outside Manitoba — even if you’re still in Canada. Therefore, if you’re planning a summer vacation this year, it’s probably a good idea to include purchasing travel insurance as part of your trip. It’s also a good idea to carry proof of that travel insurance with you, along with the name and phone number of the insurance provider. You may also want to leave a copy of the details with a neighbour or close relative, just in case you lose your copy.
With travel insurance in place to cover any unforeseen illnesses, you’ll be able to relax, rest easy and enjoy your summer getaway.

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