There’s not much to say today so I thought I would answer some questions other Canadian Snowbirds have asked about cell phones, internet, and money matters as well as pass on some advice on fuel stops.
If you have the unfortunate situation, like we did in Texas, to be RVing in an ice storm remember to check the top of your slides when they go in and if there is a layer of ice put towels beside the slides to catch the ice/water as it melts. I’m glad we thought of this, the towels were soaked and frozen but they saved us from having a real mess on our hands.
Canadians can get a Walgreen’s card and it does save you a lot of money. The only thing you will need is a zip code; we used the one from our RV Park. As I mentioned previously some Walgreen’s have liquor stores and often by using your Walgreen’s card they have the cheapest prices.
Early in my blogging career I talked about opening US accounts … I am happy to say both our debit and credit cards work perfectly and paying the visa bill each month is easy to do directly from our US bank account. The only problem we have encountered is using the visa card for fuel. In order to pay at the pump you are required to enter the zip code in your billing address and of course our billing address is in Canada so we don’t have a zip code. Calls to Visa have determined that there is nothing they can do unless we provide a US address, so for now we have to go into the station and pre-pay our fuel. We may look into getting a US postal box down the road. We use our Visa card as much as possible because we earn points … although I’m not sure what those points will get us:-)
We are using StraightTalk for our cell phone plan. The first month we purchased a $45.00 plan, which gave us free calling anywhere in the United States, unlimited texting and unlimited data. Once you do your initial sign up you are provided with a US cell phone number which is yours to keep. We also purchased a $10.00 PennyTalk phone card to call home to Canada. This worked well but we were unable to pair other devices and I found there was an echo when using the PennyTalk card and most of the money went to the $.50 per call fee rather than actual talk time. For the next month we purchased a $60.00 international StraightTalk card, which has all the features of the $45.00 card, only we can also call home to Canada as often as we want (up to fifteen unique numbers) and there is no echo. We haven’t decide which card to buy next month … stay tuned:-)
Since we were unable to pair devices to my StraightTalk IPhone and often we were at parks without internet we signed up for a two year MiFi plan with Verizon. This plan provides us 5 GB of data per month and the best part is we can suspend the service when we are back home and then reinstate it when we come back next winter, and keep doing that until we have used two years of service.
My final bit of advice is to watch fuel prices. Every time we fill up we look at the stations nearby and prices can be anywhere from a few cents to $.20 a gallon more and I can never figure out why people are filling up at those stations! I use the “Gas Buddy” app on my IPhone to find out where the cheapest prices are but I’m sure there are other apps you can use.
If you have any advice on cell phone or data plans please feel free to comment, we would love to hear from you:-)
Until next time …