1 Remember layering on a new wardrobe before returning from a U.S. cross-border shopping orgy? “Nothing to declare,” we’d trill to Customs while wrapped like Beef Wellington. Maybe it’s time to take that trick 30,000 feet up. Airlines don’t charge (yet) for what you’re wearing, but every major Canadian airline now charges $25 for the first checked bag on their lowest fares for domestic and U.S. travel. In the U.S., Frontier Airlines charges economy passengers as much as $60 for using the overhead bins for a carry-on. It could happen here. We hope what happens first is the arrival in Canada of Southwest Airlines, now flying out of Buffalo, which steadfastly insists on flying two checked bags free and allows a free carry-on. Otherwise, you can sometimes reduce fees by being a frequent flyer or airline club member. Or bundle up.
2 Do you know Trader Joe’s? Shop at this purveyor of cheap fine food when travelling in the U.S., including Buffalo. About 80 per cent of the company’s 4,000 or so products are sold under the TJ label for half the price generally of the brand names that produce them, and none contain synthetic colours, artificial flavours or artificial preservatives. Best of all are the prices: a six-ounce bag of Marcona almonds bathed in olive oil and rosemary sells for US$6.49. Go to traderjoes.com for locations, products and prices.