Things You Should Know Before Traveling to the United States

Things You Should Know Before Traveling to the United States

USA’s rich topography has always enchanted tourists and is home to towering mountain peaks, lush valleys, vibrant forests, and vast deserts. The major landforms include the Appalachian Mountains, Rocky Mountains, Great Salt Lake, Mississippi River, Mojave Desert, and Death Valley. From beautiful landscapes to food, music, culture, and historical sites the country offers a plethora of experiences to the tourist. If you are planning to visit the US, here are a few lists to consider before traveling.

1. Tourist Visa or ESTA to Enter the US

 The US Visa Waiver program also known as Electronic System for Travel Authorization allows citizens of 40 countries to enter and travel to the US for 90 days without a visa. The Validity of ESTA is up to two years and you can make unlimited trips to the US not exceeding 90 days. ESTA is a simple procedure and takes 20 minutes to fill out an application form. You are advised to apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before boarding a flight.

Travelers not entitled to ESTA have to follow conventional Visa practice that varies from country to country. You can check your visa requirements on your country’s US embassy website or by visiting such an embassy or consulate.

Check out USA Tour Packages to plan your itinerary at affordable rates and convenience.

2. Check Your Passport Validity

To enter the USA, your passport must have a minimum of six months of validity at the time of travel. If your passport expires in less than six months, you will not be permitted to travel to the US. Make sure your passport is valid for the duration of the trip.

3. Plan your USA Itinerary According to Your Stay

Depending on the number of days you plan to stay in the USA, you can plan your itinerary. If your vacation is brief, you should generally concentrate on one city or a few adjacent cities, such as New York, Washington, DC, and Boston.  If you have a few extra weeks, you can decide to extend your journey by taking a flight to another coast (say, from New York to Los Angeles) or driving across multiple states.

If you have up to 12 weeks (approximately three months), you may take a road trip across the entire US mainland or focus on thoroughly investigating one area. It can involve going to numerous national parks, touring some of the most well-known cities in the nation, or going to several theme parks.

There are countless possibilities, but remember that due to the nation’s size, traveling from one location to another could take a significant amount of time or money, depending on whether you choose to drive or fly.

Make the following list while you arrange your trip: 

  • Free activities available in every town or city
  • parks of National Importance
  • Best routes for biking, walking, and hiking
  • a city tour Interest-based day trips
  • Interesting attractions

4. Restaurants Worth Visiting

Now, check if you can fit all of them within the time allotted for your journey. This will enable you to determine whether your itinerary is too ambitious or whether you have enough time to visit additional locations or activities.

Always factor in the time it will take you to get from one destination to another destination. For this, using Google Maps directions is a wise idea.

The US is unbelievably vast and has a lot to offer to tourists. Traveling to destinations will cost lots of money. So you can consider getting a Sightseeing Pass in the US. This will save some money and you can skip the admission lines.

5. Tipping Culture

In the United States, you are expected to offer tips to all services including drivers, room service, waiters, and bartenders. The normal practice is to tip between 15% to 20%. As a general rule if service is ok you give 15% if service is exceptionally good you pay 20%. Some restaurants include the tip in your bills total so check before paying.

6. Expect to Pay More Than What’s Displayed

While purchasing goods and services in the USA you will find the prices are slightly higher than those displayed at supermarkets, stores, or businesses. It is because on every purchased item you have to pay additional sales tax. As the tax varies depending on the state it’s better to consider a 10% addition to the total cost. The same rule applies to accommodation with resort fees.

7. Don’t Venture Abroad Without Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must when you are traveling abroad. Medical services in the US are costly. Travel insurance will cover medical expenses. Additionally, it’s great if your insurance includes trip cancellation coverage in case of flight cancellations or unavoidable changes in plans.

8. Carry Cash as You Travel

The US is not as advanced as European and South American countries when it comes to digital payments. So there are rural businesses that accept only cash. In some places, you are expected to pay tips in cash unless it is not added to a credit card.

In major cities, transactions are carried out with credit cards and contactless payments. But still, several businesses only prefer cash.

9. Must Visit Places for Tourists

Many states reflect the charm of the Country so you must visit these states for an enriched experience For instance. New York City has a central park and for art lovers, there is the Guggenheim Museum and Broadway where you can witness plays and performing arts. The skyscrapers and towers with high-end technology will leave you gasping. Los Angeles also known as the City of Angels is home to the most famous movie industry in the world. You have the option of visiting beautiful beaches in the evening. Hawaii is a paradise island with volcanic landscapes, beaches, and rich culture. Then there are scenic lakes, resorts, fantastic architecture,  and national parks that you cannot afford to miss.

US will keep you high-spirited with nonstop fun and entertainment. Plan a memorable visit to the US for your loved ones.