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Checklist for Visiting Grandchildren in Canada

Updated on November 8, 2016

When you are preparing for a trip from the United States to visit your grandkids in Canada, there are a few things you want to be sure to have.


“A picture is worth a thousand words,” says the old adage.  Bring along your camera so you can capture some of the adventures with your grandchildren on film.  These photographs will be cherished for years to come!


Gifts and Goodies

It’s almost always less expensive to bring gifts and special items with you when you drive across the border than it is to send those things through the mail.  Remember to pack all the fun things you’ve been collecting for your grandchildren and family members, especially birthday and Christmas gifts.

List of Items

You’ll need to declare to the customs officers at the border all the gifts and goodies you’re bringing and intending to leave.  It’s easiest if you make this list while you’re packing, so you can keep track of all the things you are bringing.  The list needs to include each item you are bringing across the border along with the approximate US dollar value of the item.  It may be helpful to have receipts, especially for larger items.  Check directly with Canada Customs to know the specific requirements. 

Health Supplies

Canada and the US do not have the same kind of healthcare and insurance systems.  I suggest being prepared for unexpected medical necessities by having travel insurance for seniors. It will also be a good idea to have enough of your prescriptions and any preferred nonprescription medications to last through your entire trip.

Don't forget your passport!
Don't forget your passport! | Source


A must-have when crossing the 49th parallel these days is an official up-to-date passport. If your passport has expired, or you need a new passport, be sure to take care of those details well in advance of your trip. You won’t be able to get across the border without a valid passport.


Good Attitude

Visiting your grandchildren is likely something you look forward to with anticipation, and maybe some trepidation.  Young children especially can be very busy and you may be concerned about keeping up with them.  Differences in parenting styles between you and your children, and a new routine while visiting their family may be sources of stress during your trip.  Not to mention the fact that being in a different country has its own challenges of culture and lifestyle.  If you bring along your spirit of adventure, your willingness to explore, and your sense of humor, that positive attitude will help you to bridge all those gaps.

There are likely many other things that you’ll need, based on your individual circumstances, while you’re travelling across the US-Canada Border to visit your grandchildren. Bringing presents to share and your camera to snap some important photos, preparing for your healthcare concerns in advance, having your passport and list of items ready to present at the border crossing, and deciding to have a good attitude about whatever might happen will go a long way in helping to make your trip across the border to visit family a good one.


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    • sweetmummy profile imageAUTHOR

      Raylene Wall 

      7 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks TurtleDog! My inlaws have learned a few things in their trips up here and I thought it was worth documenting!

    • TurtleDog profile image


      7 years ago

      Clever article on a unique topic. Good info sweetmummy! voted UP!


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