There’s plenty to love about winter in Arizona: swimming, sunning and hiking, spring-training games and lush, green golf courses at every turn.
Canadians really appreciate Arizona. They flock here for weeks or months as snowbirds.
More than 700,000 Canadians visit Arizona each year, according to the Arizona Office of Tourism, with more than 40 percent coming between January and March.
Rae Mapey is one of them. She and her husband, retirees from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, spend five months a year in a golfcourse condo in Phoenix.
The only problem they have with spending so much time here is keeping track of purchases so they can declare the goods when they cross the border to return home. Mapey recalls a time when her sister and her husband were scrounging for receipts to prepare a list of items they bought during a visit.
“I thought, ‘There has to be an app for that,’ ” she said.
The former bookkeeper, who has a computer background, couldn’t find a suitable one, so she created her own. Simply Declare turned 1 last week. It costs 99 cents and is available through the App Store for Apple devices. Find out more about it at simplydeclare.com.
The app, which has been publicized in Smart Money and on CNN Money , is not just for Canadians wintering in Arizona. It’s for international travelers anywhere. Headed to Europe this summer? Plug in your trip information, your home currency and the duty-free allowance per person, then enter items as you make purchases. Users can photograph their receipts by opening their camera app through Simply Declare.
The currency information is in real time, Mapey said, so the totals calculated reflect current exchange rates, even if the items were purchased months earlier. The app requires a Wi-Fi connection, but roaming charges are not incurred. She said about 15,000 people have purchased the app.
Mapey’s most recent entry in her Simply Declare app: a $100 bedspread she bought for her mother on New Year’s Day.
What are your favorite travel apps? E-mail us at traveleditor@arizonarepublic. com .