When you visit the United States of America from another country, you should be aware of some differences. Whether you are visiting on a short trip or an extended vacation there are some things you need to know before you make your plans. First off, the methods of measurements are different from other parts of the world: Kilos become pounds, litres are gallons and kilometers are miles. But that’s not the only thing we want you to know before you hit up the U.S.of A.
Here 5 travel tips we thought you should know before your visit.
- USA Visas
Unless you are from very few select countries which won’t require you to have a Visa beforehand, you need to get a visa from the US Embassy in your country. There are different kinds oft Visas depending on the duration of stay and the purpose of your visit. Ask your embassy which Visa is best for you. Another good source of information can be found on the web pages maintained by the US State Department.
Visas fall into one of three categories. 1.Visitor Visas, also known as tourist Visas (easiest to obtain) -They permit the recipient to visit the USA for up to three months. 2. Temporary employment Visas and 3. Immigration Visas are severely restricted and thus more difficult to get. To visit the USA, you will need your passport and Visa. To avoid any hassles at the border when crossing, make sure to get the right documents before travelling.
The USA is a vast country made up of 50 states which all have different regulations regarding transport. Air Travel is frequently the most practical method of covering the large distances between sights in the USA. It is the fastest, the most convenient and frequently the most economical means of transportation.
In the cities, it’s easier to move around using the subway systems which are a cheaper means or hailing a taxi for a few more dollars. There are buses that can take you to different sides of the city you are in as well as to other cities nearby.
Trains are not a good choice in the USA as they are likely to cost almost as much or even more than the airfare and take days to take you from one city to another. For instance airfare between New York and Los Angeles is roughly $400 and will take you 5 hours while the train fare is $300 and will take you 4 days.
Most hotels in the USA are not priced per person, but they are priced by the room. If you are travelling as a group, look out for shared accommodation and ask for group discounts. From motels to 5 star hotels, you will find something that suits your budget and needs.
It’s advisable you book your accommodation earlier in advance to get your sleeping arrangements in order. Also by booking early you will have the comfort of mind and avoid any last minute husltle. In the major cities you may find hotel rates considerably higher than in other countries, take a look at the hotel’s website and plug in some dates for an idea of the type of accommodation you are looking for and the price range.
- Shopping Tips
Many people visiting the USA on vacation enjoy shopping for bargains. American whiskey, high fashion, and electronics are some of the popular items for shoppers from other countries. You can find many bargains in the US if you know where to shop and how to take advantage of the competitive sales.
The USA is full of malls and department stores where you can score something from your shopping list and more. The big shopping malls can mostly be found in the suburbs. There are still some department stores and downtown shopping areas in most US cities, but the big shopping malls and discount stores are usually located out in the suburban communities. Some of the major outlet centers are located in the countryside and are miles from the nearest major city.
- Dining Tips
From 5 star restaurants to hotdog stands at a corner of the street, you will find some place to enjoy your next meal. Dine in the finest restaurants in some of the posh neighborhoods where you are likely to brush shoulders with your favourite artist or actor or take you meal on the go.
Don’t forget to tip your waiter. Tipping is a big part of the American dining experience. But if you are looking for something a little more low key, fast food is certainly available all over the USA and is very popular. You will find a wide variety of fast food restaurants serving all sorts of delicacies from American style hamburgers, hot dogs and fried chicken to Italian pizza, Mexican tacos, Greek Gyros and Chinese egg rolls. Enjoy the local beer at a bar around the corner and make a few American friends while you’re at it.