Planning a trip to the USA?
No matter the season, an American sojourn is always a fabulous idea.
From coast to coast, a litany of adventure awaits, here are a few handy hints on what to expect.
First up, get your flight documents in order America’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows effortless passage through US customs but to be eligible for the VWP, you’ll need to apply prior to jetting off.
Pack the plastic fantastic
Unless you’re off the grid in the backend of the Appalachians, and probably even then, chances are card will be the preferred payment method.
Prepaid multi-currency travel money cards are also an excellent option.
The early bird gets the flight
Security can be fairly, shall we say, “thorough” at American airports, so get there early to avoid stress.
As a general rule most hubs suggest at least three hours for international flights, and two for domestic.
Wear your best socks, as you’ll need to remove your shoes, it’s still a thing there.
Don’t mess with airport security
There’s little room for dodgy humour at the American security gate, this is not the place for amateur hour.
American Customs officials are particularly fastidious and sensitive to things said, so leave any travel-related quips at home.
When it comes to eating, loosen your belt
In the land of turducken, the Luther Burger, the Quadruple Bypass burger, the Fat Darrel, the Redonkadonk, and various other sandwiches that will do their darndest to tickle your tastebuds, it’s likely that your USA adventure will add a few centimetres to your waistline.
Serving sizes can surprise; so if you’re not super hungry, order an “appetizer”; the US version of an entrée.
Observe the local customs
Just sayin’, Americans — like any nationality — have their own etiquette and unwritten rules.
The short list: doggie bags are permissible; don’t jaywalk; and make sure to tip — seriously, don’t forget that last one. The “official” line says tipping is voluntary, but with low minimum and base wages — particularly in the service industry — millions of American workers rely on tips for their livelihood.
Not good at maths? a calculator is a diner’s best friend especially when it comes to calculating taxes at the end of the meal — with that in mind, stock up on a fat wad of one dollar bills.
Make sure you’re insured
If you do yourself damage en-route, you could be up for some hefty medical bills.
Best sort out your fully comprehensive travel insurance prior to flying.
Embrace and enjoy!
Our travel expert, Carolyn Allen is Manager of Warrandyte Travel and Cruise. Contact her on Carolyn@warrandytetravel.com.au