USA Travel Tips and Info: Plan Your Visit to the USA
The USA is a country with many attractions in the world; it has always been home to many cultures, races, ethnicities and political freedom. Many people have started to migrate, move or even plan a visit to the USA since the beginning of its infancy. Travelling to the USA can be bit tricky and cause a lot of problems or inconveniences for people that do not prepare for it. Though the process to plan, gather your documents and apply can be a bit daunting at first, the procession later on once you learn is very easy.
The culture and ways of life of Americans is unique, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basic information about the ways they live, laws and regulations, as well as destinations. The most important step of this process is planning, it’s best to plan weeks and months ahead learning what you should do than having to waste time in registrations.
Planning your visit ahead:
You should always look online for the cheapest and most convenient flights ahead. If you are already familiar with the boarding process and the registration procedure, then you should by all means look for inexpensive flights online.
Another very critical step is to research where you are staying in the US and choose carefully where you stay. So look for accommodations that fit your criteria and that are most favourable to you. Travelling to the US can get very expensive, so book your accommodations ahead to get the best deal for what you pay. Another very important thing to keep in mind is to stay in areas in the city that are the least expensive. If you are staying in NYC for instance, it’s best to book your stay in an Airbnb in Brooklyn rather than staying in Manhattan.
You should always pack light and check out the etiquette for the airport, you are not allowed to pack high amounts of liquids, any sharp objects, anything that resembles weapons and firearms. Keep in mind that you will be asked questions about your stay in the US such as why are you staying over, how long you will stay, and where. Furthermore, they will require your bio identification such as fingerprint scanning and eye scan.
Be aware that your data roaming will be subject to many additional charges in the US, so make sure that you are staying in a place that has WIFI since your internet and connection can get pricy overseas.
Getting to know the culture:
There are so many small but important gestures and etiquettes you should know about when it comes to staying in the US. One of those is tipping. Tipping in the US can be very expensive, it can get up to 20 percent per what you pay and can even be mandatory. Even when it comes to items that are already displayed and fixed at a certain price, the price can get higher according to the tax payments in that state or that region. So always expect to pay more and ask people you know about taxing and tipping in your area.
Make sure your documentation is valid:
One of the worst things you can run into is when you have already planned everything, and the documentation is not valid or you need more certificates. Always double check your documents and make copies of important papers such as the VWP, the ESTA, and the passport and always keep them handy.
A very helpful thing you should definitely invest in is a proper travel insurance, this is especially important if it’s your first visit to the US. These companies will cover any fees lost if you flight is cancelled, getting injured during the trip, lost luggage and losing your passport. So it’s important to keep in mind that it’s worth the money if anything occurs.
Speaking of money, always make sure you check if the transaction fees will be higher in case you exchange from your original currency the USD. In some cases, it can get up to 20 percent per transaction, so make sure you have enough bills with you at all times as well as money in your card to avoid the commission rates.
Best things to do in the US:
One of the best thing about the US is that there are so many locations and destinations that are fun and interesting but still cost no money at all. These free activities such as National parks, museums, beaches, mountains, festivals and road trips. You should always research what the state you are staying at has to offer and go to every free museum or activity around. In some major cities such as California, Florida, and NY, there is always a festival or a major event happening almost every day.
In every state, there are historical places or national pride treasures you should always visit. Some states have exceptional wildlife while others are known for their modern cosmopolitan lifestyle. Food destination are also one of the hottest destinations nowadays with unique cuisines all over the world.
There are many destinations that people travel overseas just to see in real life that you must go check out such as the empire state building, the statue of liberty, Kennedy space centre and many more. It’s also very important to boo, your visit to those locations in advance since they can get very crowded in popular seasons. It’s best to visit those attractions in the time when it’s less crowded.
The great thing about visiting the USA is that the weather and the culture can be very diverse. The way people live in Alaska is completely different from the Texan life in the north not only in regards to their climate, but in their cultural and social way of living as well.
Preparation and planning ahead for international travellers:
You are required to fill ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization when passing through by air or sea. This is a very important piece of document for all non US citizens.
The visa waiver program allows visitors to enter the US up to 90 days without the visa procedure. Before you even worry about the ESTA validation date, you need to make sure that you have at least 6 months of validity in your passport. The ESTA validation date can differ from an situation to another, but it typically stays valid for 2 years.
Along with the VWP and the ESTA, I-94 form is needed to validate the boarding and travelling process. In addition to that, an IPIS might be needed to acquire more information. You should always check with your local residential department in order to know what is the etiquette and proceed when gathering documents.