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Top 7 Things to Know Before Heading to the US

Planning a hassle-free trip to the land of opportunities? The USA attracts tourists from across the globe and is in the travel bucket-list of almost every travel enthusiast. The country showcases some diverse and picturesque landscapes on the planet. This destination encapsulates all incredible experiences that any traveler expects of an overseas escapade.

Before traveling to any country, it is only wise to get acquainted with important rituals, culture, and other things, which you have to encounter. It only takes a little research and skimming through some basic tips to be a little aware. Below are some of the key tips to help you get started:

Get Familiar with the States and Cities

First things first, make yourself familiar with the geographical division of the country. Don’t worry! It is not as tough as getting the hang of the Spectrum internet bill pay service! You just have to do some research online. For those who are travelling to the US for the first time, America is a huge country divided into 50 different states.

The country features a variety of topography and weather conditions. For instance, the North East is known for rocky coastlines and mountain ranges, and the Midwest has green forests, stretchy lakes, and grassy plains. Get to know the geography of where you are heading and pack accordingly.

Know the Situation of Your Visa

As an incoming traveler, you need to understand your visa requirements. There are certain countries such as Denmark, Belgium, and Australia, which have the freedom of entering the United States for up to 90 days without having a visa. Falling in the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) doesn’t mean you can arrive without any paperwork. You still need to apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) to get your approval.

When traveling from other countries, you need to follow the standard rules of acquiring the visit visa.

Anticipate Paying More than You Estimated

Another thing that you are going to experience! The prices, which are usually displayed exclude taxes. The price tags you see don’t include the sales tax so in the end, expect to pay a little extra. Keep yourself prepared to pay a little extra so you are not taken by surprise. Also, different states and cities have different rates of taxes. Therefore, the pricing of various services and products will depend on where you are visiting. It’s safe to assume a 10 percent addition if you want to be overly cautious.

Also, if your stay is in a resort, you will be charged a little extra to cover tennis courts, pools, internet, and other lavish extras. This resort fee is not usually added to the advertised rate.

Explore Their National Parks

America is known for its buzzing cities and glamorous nightlife. But it also boasts of a striking range of national parks. If you are nature-lover, make sure you explore these parks. You will get to witness lush forestry, red deserts, sky-scraping mountains, bottomless valleys, and so much more. Some noteworthy mentions are Mammoth Cave National Park, Death Valley, The Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Yosemite National Park, Yellow Stone National Park, and the list goes on.

Get Acquainted with the Tipping Etiquette

You need to be familiar with the tipping culture otherwise, you will be considered rude. Tipping your taxi driver is a regular practice in the United States. Since the minimum wages are a little low, it is a common practice to compensate with a 15% to 20% tip. Tipping is common in the hospitality and service industries. So, make sure you tip the waiters, bartenders, and housekeepers. If your math is a little dusty, the calculator in your smartphone will serve the purpose.

Turn Off the Mobile Data

International visitor? If yes, don’t make the mistake of using your mobile data. Many international travelers make this mistake. The roaming rates for mobile plans are too expensive. Check with your carrier if your mobile phone plan allows you free international roaming. And if it doesn’t, take advantage of free Wi-Fi and hotspots whenever you can.

Be Careful About Wandering in the Cities

Wherever you are travelling, many cities have suburbs and certain areas, which you should avoid. In the said country, the line between safe and risky places is quite thin. You can hardly differentiate between a dangerous and a friendly neighborhood because sometimes they may differ by just one block.

In order to be safe, try to gain local wisdom on where not to wander and assess your surroundings frequently. Also, be mindful of the people you interact with, even if someone seems to have a harmless query like how to pay Optimum bill online. Don’t let the discussion go to questions about your whereabouts. Don’t give them your personal info.

Happy traveling!