If you are planning a holiday to the USA, no matter what state or region, there are just some things you need to know before you go. We will cover such things in this USA Travel Guide. Such as, when to travel, if you’ll need any vaccinations, visa, budgeting tips and more.
We have you covered.
Are you ready for a holiday to the USA?
So, what is not to love about the USA, with beautiful national parks, wildlife, incredible architecture, history, amazing scenery and more. What are you waiting for, lets book that holiday to the US of A.
USA Travel Guide
When to travel to the USA
Depending where you are travelling to in the USA, will ultimately depend on when you might want to travel. Most northern areas of the US will be cold in winter, and warm in summer, whilst the southern areas will often be warm all year round.
Peak season in USA is between June and August, with warm weathers throughout the country. But with peak season, means big crowds.
In our opinion the best time to travel to the USA country wide would be in the shoulder months of April to May and September to October. Weather will be cooler, but reduced crowds, and you could find travel a little cheaper.
During winter, November to March will be quiet, but weather in the northern parts of America will be cold.
Are you wanting to visit New York during the festive season? Then get into the Christmas spirite with these best places to visit in New York City.
Try and avoid travel during school holidays, for cheaper and more budget friendly options.
You do not require any jabs or vaccinations before travelling to America. However, we might recommend that you are up to date with any of your booster jabs.
Health care is readily available, should you require medical treatment. Standard over the counter medical supplies such as painkillers, cold and flu remedies etc., can be purchased in pharmacies.
We would recommend purchasing travel insurance before you travel to the USA, as travel insurance will protect you should you require any emergency medical treatment. Not only will travel insurance protect you should you need treatment, which can get costly depending on the condition, but will also cover you for cancellations, lost luggage, and more.
Want to find out more about travel insurance? Then check out our post on Should I get Travel Insurance?
In most circumstances, you are likely to require a visa to travel to America. If you’re an American citizen, then you will not require a visa. We had to apply for a ESTA visa, due to our nationality, but was able to complete the forms online, and received a response very quickly.
You can find out more on visas for the USA on our post on How to get a Visa to the USA.
The currency used in the USA is the US $ (dollar).
We would recommend purchasing the currency before travelling to the US and always make sure you have enough for your trip, and in the event of an emergency. Please check with your bank prior to departure about using a debit/credit card and if any charges apply. It may turn out that using an ATM or your cards whilst travelling in America may not be that expensive.
Packing is essential when going on holiday, but you have to be smart about what to pack.
Depending on the time of year you’re travelling, and which region you’ll be visiting, will depend on what clothing you’ll need to pack. But it isn’t just about the clothing to pack, you’ll need to pack the correct documents, such as your passport and visa, if this is required.
To find out more details on what you should pack for your trip to America, including clothing, important documents and more, then head over to our post on What to Pack for USA. You can also download your FREE packing checklist, to help you pack the right things, so you’ll never miss a thing.
The United States of America doesn’t have an official language, although the language commonly used is English, or American English.
You may notice with American English, that the accent is slightly different to British English, and some words are pronounced slightly differently. But will mean the same thing as British English
There are other languages spoken in America such as Spanish.
Before any trip to the USA, you will need to set a budget, this is so you do not overspend, you can keep control of your finances and don’t return home with a hefty bill to pay back.
In our experience, we found that America was quite expensive, which is why you need to research and budget, so you can keep costs to a minimum.
To get a better idea on budgeting costs, we have included a table to help you to budget.United States of America Travel Costs
Did you know you can still visit New York on a budget? It is easy when you visit these Free Things to do in New York.
Staying safe in USA
Overall, the USA is a safe place to visit. But it would be wise to continue vigilance at all times. We include some tips on how to stay safe while on holiday in the USA.
Always make sure that you keep in contact with a family member or a friend throughout your trip and provide them with your itinerary. If something happens to you whilst you are travelling and they don’t hear from you, then your family member or friend can raise the alarm with the authorities.
Make sure you research the safe and unsafe areas that you are travelling to in America. You don’t want to be walking through a gang related area risking your life (unless you’re up for an adventure).
Make sure you keep all your personal belongings safe, including your passport, money, important documents, etc., A bum bag is a valuable bit of equipment while travelling! You can keep your belongings in your bum bag, around your waist and beneath your clothing, which will prevent them from being stolen.
Be careful when it comes to tourist scams and tourist traps, do research on any scams or traps that could put you out of pocket or put you in danger.
Always make sure you take a licensed taxi. If you don’t this could put you in severe danger as it can’t be traced.
Drink responsibly! Yes, that’s right, a holiday is a time to have fun and party on a night out. But you don’t want to get so drunk that you can’t make your way home and compromise your safety. Make sure you watch your drink being made and don’t leave your drink unattended, it is still possible to have your drink spiked.
If you are getting a taxi, make sure you book the taxi in advance and make sure a friend or family member has the date and time, including contact details for the taxi firm.
The list really could go on, when it comes to staying safe while travelling to the USA. By using a common-sense approach, will enable you to stay safe, but critically you’ll have so much fun.
Getting around the USA is relatively easy, and most areas have very good public transport services. Some remote areas, are unlikely to have public transport. If you are travelling to a remote area, you may wish to hire a car, or travel with a tour company if they cover that region.
Here are just some of the types of ways you could get around America:
There are a large number of international airports, and domestic airports all over the country. Making it quick and easy to navigate from different parts and regions of the country.
What better way to explore the US, than on a US Road Trip!
If you are arriving from outside of the US, then you will need to hire a vehicle. You could hire a car, or even a camper van or motor home, and in most cases, you hire the vehicle from a hire company at the airport.
If you are from the US, then you can always hire a vehicle, or take your own vehicle to your holiday destination.
Driving your own vehicle is one of the best ways to get around, it makes it convenient, and easy. However, parking in some places such as major cities may be expensive or limited.
We drive in the UK on the right, so driving on the left is a little different and unusual, so be careful if you are not familiar with driving on the left.
On our next trip to the USA, we are planning to do the classic Route 66, so watch this space!
Travelling around the USA via train, is a great method to get around. Most cities will have great connections with other towns and cities around America, making it a great way to sit back, relax and take in the scenery.
Travelling via bus is another great way to get around. Buses allow for great connections within a city, and many major towns and cities around the US.
Walking has to be our favourite way to get around. It is so much better for the environment, our health, and is a great way to explore a city.
The USA has many National Parks, making it a great adventure, getting out for an amazing hike.
Top places to visit in USA
There are so many wonderful places to visit in the USA. But here are just a few of our favourite places to visit:
New York has to be at the top of this list. It was the first city we visited together, which leaves us with so many memories. We have visited twice to the city, which definitely says something, but for a large city, it is excellent for budget travellers, with a number of free things to do.
If you haven’t been to New York before, then check out our Top things to do in New York.
The capital city of the USA, but another great place to visit on a budget, with a number of free things to do. We loved exploring the many monuments, but the one that stood out for us, was the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. It is stunning to admire during the day or night.
You can check out our Things to do in Washington DC, ready for your next travel adventure.
The one place we will never forget, and one we will be returning to again.
Las Vegas isn’t all about gambling, parties, or shows. Although this does form a massive part of visiting! Las Vegas has so much more to offer, such as the different Architectual designs of the hotels along the strip, Bellagio Water Fountain, and so much more.
Do you need inspiration on what to do in Las Vegas, then check out our post on Things to do in Las Vegas.
Wow, this is just stunning!
The beautiful colours of the rocks, which have formed over the thousands of years. It is incredible to think how this has formed, and by visiting the Grand Canyon you can learn more.
You can easily do a day trip to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, as there’s plenty of bus tours, varying from day trips, to longer overnight stays
This list could really go on, but we have selected just a few of our favourite places to visit.
Looking for more inspiration on where to visit in USA? Here are 20 things to do in Orlando with toddlers. There’s plenty to see and do, that doesn’t include Disney world Orlando.
Food and drink
Food in America is very diverse. You could easily walk down the street, and come across a number of different cuisines.
Cafés and fast-food restaurants are easy to come by, and a great place to eat if you are on a budget. However, they are not the healthiest of dishes.
On the other end of the scale, there is plenty of high-end places to eat, with great tasting food, but expensive on the wallet.
We loved eating at different places in the USA.
Is there anywhere that you would recommend? Leave a comment below.
LGBTQ+ is widely accepted in the USA, however there are pockets, that are not so tolerant or conservative.
In most cities such as New York, and San Francisco there’s a great LGBTQ+ community. We have been out on a really lovely night to The Village in New York, and would recommend just pub crawling (wandering from one pub/club to another enjoying a drink at each place), and making new friends along the way.
It is possible to find, a minority of people who are homophobic, but these tend to be a few and far between. Just be mindful of people around you, be respectful and you shouldn’t encounter any issues.
On each of our trips to the US, we never encounter any homophobic behaviour, or abuse.
You will now have a good idea on how to stay safe, how to get around USA, how you can budget for your trip and more with this USA Travel Guide: Everything you need to know before you go. We hope you enjoy America just as much as we did and it won’t be long before you’ll want to be visiting again soon. We can’t wait to get back out there and go on holiday to the US, hopefully we’ll get to do Route 66.
Have you visited the USA? What was your highlight? Where would you recommend visiting? Maybe you haven’t yet been to America, but have something you have always wished to do? Is there anything from this list that we haven’t included, but think we should mention?
We would love to hear about it, so please just leave a comment below.
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