By Chiranth Nataraj
From the country’s diverse culture and landscapes to its unique customs and laws, the U.S. can be a rewarding yet challenging destination for international travelers.
To make your travel to the U.S easier, consider these seven things before visiting America in 2023:
- Visas and Passports:
Depending on your country of origin and the purpose of your visit, you may need a visa to enter the United States. Tourist visas are typically issued for stays of up to six months. If you plan to work, study, or stay in the U.S. for longer, you may need a different type of visa. It is essential to research the visa requirements for your specific situation and apply well in advance of your trip. Additionally, all travelers to the U.S. must have a valid passport.
Read: Bringing parents to the US from India for a visit? Here are the 5 things you should consider (December 26, 2022)
- Health Insurance:
The U.S. does not have a nationalized healthcare system, and as everyone knows healthcare is extremely expensive in the US. So, it is important to have health insurance coverage while you are in the country. As your home country’s insurance will not cover you in the US, you will need to purchase travel insurance or temporary health insurance for your trip to protect you from any unforeseen circumstances.
- Currency and Tipping:
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of the United States, and it is widely accepted throughout the country. It is a good idea to exchange some of your home currency for U.S. dollars before you leave, or to use a credit or debit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. In the U.S., it is common to tip service workers, such as waitstaff, bartenders, and hairdressers, 15-20% of the total bill. Tipping is also expected at hotels, where it is customary to leave a small amount per night for housekeeping.
The U.S. has a vast network of roads, highways, and public transportation systems, so it is easy to get around the country. However, keep in mind that the U.S. is a large and geographically diverse country, so travel times can vary widely. If you are planning a road trip, make sure you have a reliable vehicle and a valid license to drive in the U.S. If you prefer to fly, there are many domestic and international airports throughout the U.S., and you can often find good deals on flights if you book in advance.
Read: What are benefits of choosing visitor insurance plan with a PPO Network? (January 26, 2022)
The U.S. has a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels and resorts to budget motels and hostels. Airbnb is also popular in many cities, and it can be an effective way to save money on accommodations. If you are planning to stay in a hotel, it is better to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
- Culture and Customs:
The U.S. is a melting pot of cultures, and each region has its own unique customs and traditions. It is a good idea to research the local culture and customs of the places you will be visiting and to be respectful of them while you are there. In general, Americans value punctuality and personal space, and it is considered rude to interrupt someone while they are speaking.
The U.S. is a safe country, but like any other destination, it is essential to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions for your own safety.
Overall, the United States is a vibrant and diverse country with something to offer for every type of traveler. By familiarizing yourself with these 7 things before visiting, you can make the most of your trip and have a safe and enjoyable experience.
(Chiranth Nataraj is the founder of Visitor Guard. He has more than two decades worth of experience in developing insurance and technology solutions.)
Read: What does Visitor insurance cover? (November 8, 2021)
Read: Why is visitor health insurance recommended for travel to USA? (October 7, 2021)
Read: How to buy the best health insurance for Indian students in the US (October 16, 2022)
Read: Is health insurance mandatory for international students in the US? (September 11, 2022)