Traveling to US is a fabulous chance for you to explore many beautiful places, visit many world famous constructions. But to ensure you will have a wonderful vacation, you should remember the important things about US for the first time you visit here. Below are some helpful tips that you should know before traveling:
Make sure your passport is valid
Most travelers must have a passport which valid at least six months to enter US. However, citizens from certain countries only need a passport valid for the length of their stay. Contact the embassy/consulate to check specific requirement for your passport.
Understand your visa situation
It’s important for travellers to the US to understand the requirements for entering the country Check if you need a visa, what types of visa you should apply for, how long your visa valid…Understand your visa situation will help you have a suitable plan and avoid the trouble when you stay in US.
Know the rules about transit
If you have an international flight that transits through the US (particularly common with flights to Canada or South America), you will need to clear US Customs; technically, there’s no ‘transit’ in America, as all passengers are required to disembark and proceed through immigration and customs. Remember, this means fulfilling the visa requirements for the States, even if you’re only staying for a couple of hours in between international flights and your luggage is checked through to your final destination.
Be prepared to pay more than you think
Different cities and states have different tax rates, so prices depend where you’re visiting. In some case the price doesn’t include sales tax, you must pay more for an additional amount of tax. If you buy a burger for $10 in San Francisco, when you go to pay you’ll have an 8.5% sales tax added to that. Then add a 20% tip and that burger becomes $12.85. It may not seem like that big of a deal but it will if you go out for a fancy dinner.
Do Tip for Good Service
Tipping is a notorious minefield for travelers to the US. Minimum wage is low in the States, so tips are an important part of income for many workers. Tips are also common in other service and hospitality industries too, such as for bartenders ($1-2 per drink), housekeepers ($1-5 per night), concierge (dependent on the difficulty of your request), valets ($1-5 each time the valet brings your car), hotel porters ($1-2 per bag), doormen (a few dollars if s/he helps you get a cab) and taxi drivers (10-15%), so it’s worthwhile stocking up on dollar bills to have them handy for tips.
The USA is Really, Really Big
It is 3.8 million square miles to be exact. It’s so big, in fact, that it would take you about 40 hours to drive the 2,800 miles from Los Angeles to New York without stopping. And a good bit of that drive would be unbelievably boring. If you only have a short time to visit the US, flying is probably the way to go.
You Have to be 21 to Consume Alcohol
You only have to be 18 to enlist in the military, smoke cigarettes, and vote, but you can’t consume alcohol until you’re 21 years old in the US.
The Weather Varies Drastically
US is very big, it means that it might be 120° F in Arizona and 2° F in Montana at the same time. Check the weather and the road conditions before planning your trip.
English is the Spoken Language
The USA is a society full of individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds, but a traveler should anticipate seeing mostly English on signs and in-store shops.
Lack of Public Transportation – You’ll Probably Need A Car
The USA might be one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, but widespread public transportation is hard to find in this vast nation. Americans love the car as a means to see the wide-open nature and get from one location to the other independently.
911 is the emergency number in the US.
Make sure you have health and travel insurance before your visit
The US is one of only a few countries to still use the Imperial system. So, think of height in feet, distance in miles, temperature in Fahrenheit, and weight in pounds.
Credit cards and bank cards are usually the preferred mode of payment.
The US spans six time zones; make sure you know which time zone your destination is in for your flights and airport transfers.
Enjoy your trip to the beautiful United States of America!