It’s almost everyone’s dream to go to the United States of America. It consists of 50 states and each home to countless beautiful attractions, a vast collection of diverse landscapes, and many beautiful mountains to explore. The country is also rich in history that dates back well over 200 years and to this day the country still leads the world in terms of economy and technology advancement. Making it a top choice for foreign tourists.
California, Washington, and New York are among the top cities that tourists prefer to visit. Although, there are a few things you need to plan before visiting these cities as it can help you have a memorable first trip to the US. Here are four important things you need to know before going to America.
If you are a national of India, Bangladesh, and China you may need to apply for a US Visa. However, not all countries need to apply for a visa, countries like Australia, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, and pretty much all of Europe are included in the USA’s visa waiver program. You just need to acquire an ESTA, it is basically a process that checks if you are eligible to enter the country without a visa. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to apply for ESTA as it only requires you to apply online through https://www.estaform.org/ and other travel agencies. You may also apply directly to the Department of Homeland Security if you want to be sure. Once you have been granted an ESTA it is valid for 2 years with multiple entries. Apply for at least 72 hours before your date of departure for the US to have a seamless journey.
If you’re used to not tipping after you dine, practice it now as America has developed a tipping custom that has been around ever since. It is a normal practice and not leaving one to your server is considered rude. Most Americans work on a minimum wage job, earning two dollars per hour, so it’s common to leave 15% to 20% tip on top of your bill to compensate. It does not apply to just a restaurant only but you also need to give tips to bars and taxi drivers as well especially if you’ve received a good service.
When you buy goods and services in America, the amount indicated on the price tag or on the menu board isn’t always the final price. It’s because the sales tax is not yet included and it varies depending on the state where you made the purchase. So when you make a payment for the items you want to buy at the counter, expect the cashier to tell you the final price slightly a little higher. This also goes for most hotels and resorts.
America is known as one of the most advanced countries in the world. Over the years they made freeways and railroads to connect cities and made travel more convenient and because of this, going from one city to another has become more accessible and cost-efficient. Depending on where you are heading, there are some choices for public transportation. Amtrak has more than 300 plus trains en route to 500 destinations. They also have long-distance bus operators such as Greyhound and Megabus, which offer comfy seats and first-class service, making your road trip to America one for the books. Otherwise, if you are hoping for a much faster way of travel, you can always purchase a plane ticket, discounts are available at any time of the year.
The country has a lot more to offer and when your time comes, be sure to remember these things and plan accordingly to have a memorable trip – and do check our other post about what you need for your first visit to America.