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If you're planning a trip to the United States this summer or even looking ahead to your next winter in Florida, now's the time to start buying U.S. dollars.

The loonie has been on a tear since falling just below 70 cents (U.S.) in January and as of the beginning of May was right around the 80-cent mark. The dollar could easily move higher, and it could fall. Forecasting currency moves are even harder to predict than the stock market. But if you buy U.S. dollars today, you'll be getting the best exchange rate since last summer.

The dollar's been tracking oil prices this year – the two move very much in tandem. Can we count on oil prices holding their ground or moving higher? It's hard to say for sure, which is why you should be buying U.S. dollars right now. Lock in the best exchange rates we've had in month and you insulate yourself from the risk of oil and the dollar tanking again.

Worried about missing out if the dollar rises further? Then consider buying half or your U.S. vacation cash now and more in the months ahead. Don't get too carried away by the dollar's momentum, though.

In addition to the vagaries of oil prices, there's also Canada's soggy economy to think about. January was a strong month for the economy, but February brought a very small pullback in economic output. If we get more economic weakness, expectations for an interest cut could increase. That would be bad for the dollar.

We've had a lot of bad financial news over the past eight years – the dollar's strong rise this year is a rare exception. If you need to buy U.S. dollars, don't miss this opportunity.

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