I was just checking a few of my regular websites, and a quick look provided some interesting ideas. I think everyone from up north has seen what can happen to northern industries that are no longer compatible with competitors around the globe, whether it be forest products, auto manufacturing and many other money sources.
The travel business is another example of an industry struggling with global competition. The first site I checked specializes in selling vacations to almost anywhere in the world. I saw a week all-inclusive at a hotel in Guayabitos including round-trip airfare from Vancouver and transfers to Riviera Nayarit for $289 USD a few weeks ago (plus a bunch of crazy taxes). Sure, this is shoulder season pricing, but it’s a good example.
While doing my regular check for British Columbia news, one article that jumped out at me noted that 20-25% of Canadians report a hurdle accessing a dentist due to financial constraints. A recent trip to a local Jaltemba Bay dentist provided some very different numbers. First, my dentist offers a cleaning special for the month of April for $300 pesos, and at times she sometimes offers 2 for 1 promotions; x-rays run approximately $200 pesos; a root-canal last year cost me about $2,000 pesos; and prep and a new porcelain crown cost me another $3,500 pesos, or just under $300 USD. I’ve had a number of northerners point out their co-pay, or what they personally must pay up-north before their insurance company pays the big portion, is over these prices. So it pays to shop around to see what procedures can cost before committing to any work.
Now lets look at eye care. Many people get an eye exam, then order their eye glasses from the shop. I had an eye exam and purchased a pair of prescription glasses with good frames and polarized, transition lenses for roughly $3,000 pesos. Again, some people pointed out the cost of similar glasses up north would be about double or triple that price.
We have heard claims from northerners that they financed their total trip by using a local dentist. I know this might not be what you had in mind while spending a week laying in the sun on the beach, though it might be worth it to rough-it for a few hours to save some money.
by Rob Erickson
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