* Important Information for the Ottawa Trip 2014 *
Things to do before you leave
1. Make sure you have a valid passport or passport card and that you are able to cross the border. If you need to apply for a passport or passport card or would like to learn more about either of these forms of ID you can do so at the Orono post office or online: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. If you are not a US citizen please make sure you have the proper documentation to cross into Canada.
2. While it is legal to cross a certain amount of tobacco products, we ask that you do not bring ANY tobacco products with you and rather purchase them across the border.
3. Do not bring ANY weapons, including knives or fire arms, with you.
4. Please estimate the expenses you plan to incur on this trip (including spending money) exchange the amount of money you will like to have with you on the trip before leaving. We will not make specific stops to exchange money, and not all US banks allow withdrawals from Canadian banks/ATMs. While major credit cards are generally accepted in Ottawa check your credit card agreement for the foreign transaction fee and be sure to take this into account in your spending. Also, you may need to contact you credit card Company ahead of time and let them know that you will be traveling to Canada so they do not freeze your account.
5. You may want to check with your health insurance if you will be covered in the event of a medical emergency while you are in Ottawa, and make sure you carry your insurance card with you.
6. Make sure you have any medication you need to take with you, and that it is clearly marked in case you are asked about them at customs.
7. If you plan on bringing your cell phone you may want to check with your carrier if you will have service in Canada and what fees they charge for international calls, international roaming, international data, etc.
8. It is a long ride to Ottawa; please bring things to help pass the time.
While you are in Canada
1. What everyone is wondering: the legal age to consume alcohol in Ottawa is 19 years old. If you choose to consume alcohol please do so responsibly. Also be aware that it is possession by consumption to cross back into the US with alcohol in your system and it is illegal if you are under 21 years of age.
2. If there is an emergency while in Canada please dial 9-1-1.
3. Your hotel room includes a coffee pot, fridge, etc. All meals are your responsibility and are not covered in the $150 registration fee.
4. The hotel also has ensuite laundry facilities, heated indoor pool, gym, free local calls and complimentary wireless high-speed Internet. While the cost of your hotel room and included amenities are included in your fees any charges you incur during your stay (such as phone calls) will be your responsibility.
5. Finally, please remember that while Ottawa resembles a large US city, while you are in Canada you are a guest and should conduct yourself as such. Please observe all local laws, and if you find yourself in a situation which has gotten beyond your control safely remove yourself from the situation.
Returning to the US
1. Make sure you have your passport with you (we don’t want to have to ask the customs officer to wait while you find your suitcase and dig around for your passport). There is a 100% mandatory ID check to reenter the US so please take this seriously. Answer any questions you are asked honestly. Remember, if one of you is held at the border we all have to stay.
2. Know what you are and are not allowed to cross back into the US. It is recommended that you keep receipts for everything you purchase while in Canada (besides consumable items) and that you know how much you spent during your trip in case you are asked to declare your purchases.