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Hiker in Sequoia national park in California, USA

USA Travel Guide

This vast country offers diverse landscapes and experiences for travelers to soak up and enjoy. From the Grand Canyon to the geysers of Yellowstone, and the Mist Trail of Yosemite to the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park, traveling within the USA offers incredibly rewarding experiences and a chance to truly get away from the crowds. Before you set out on your tour, prepare yourself with the essential travel details in our USA travel guide.

USA travel guide
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Visa application

Visa and Entry

Anyone entering the USA for tourism or business without an American, Canadian or Bermudian passport are required to have a visa. 

Depending on your country of origin, you may qualify for the Visa Waiver Program which allows you to enter the USA for up to 90 days without a visa. Instead, you’ll need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) online at least 72 hours before you travel. Once approved, an ESTA is valid for two years.

If you’re not from one of the participating Visa Waiver Program countries, you can apply for a visitor visa for tourism (known as a B-2). For this, you will need to submit  an application form and attend an interview at your nearest US embassy or consulate. 

We advise you to make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from your trip’s end date and that you apply for your visa or ESTA well in advance.

USA travel guide - cash

Cash and Currency

The local currency in the USA is the US dollar (USD or $). You’ll find bank notes are split up into $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Currency can usually be exchanged at your arrival airport or at your local bank before you head off on your trip. Most corner stores around the country offer ATM facilities as well.

Credit and debit cards are accepted at businesses in most cities and towns, although make sure you inform your bank that you’re planning to use your cards to avoid any issues. VISA, Mastercard and AMEX are the mostly commonly used cards in the USA. 

USA travel guide - language

Language

While the USA has no official language, English is by far the most widely spoken. Spanish is the second most popular language, with an estimated 50 million people speaking it fluently across the USA. The highest population of Spanish-speakers in the USA are found in the states of New Mexico, California and Texas. 

Certain states, including Alaska and Hawaii, also have their own indigenous Native American languages.

Medicines

Health Information

While there are no vaccines strictly required in the USA, it’s a good idea to be inoculated against rabies and tetanus before you travel. Also, make sure you update any routine vaccinations that may have expired. 

Across the USA, you can expect good healthcare service, with hospitals and medical centers in all cities and towns. To be on the safe side, always purchase travel insurance for your trip to cover any emergency medical treatment you may need. If you take regular prescribed medications, ask your doctor for extra in case your return trip is delayed. 

If you’re involved in an accident during your vacation, call 911 to reach the local emergency services.

Yellow Taxi

Getting Around

As such a large country, it’s not surprising that nearly 90% of the population own a car in the USA. The roads are typically well-cared for in major cities and huge highways connect most cities and national parks, making driving easy. 

Additionally, there are reliable train services connecting most cities along the East and West Coasts; however, flying is by far the fastest option. Almost every city in the USA has its own airport, with regular and affordable domestic flights. 

Most large cities offer excellent public transport systems and reliable ride service companies such as Uber or Lyft, while national parks usually have regional transport services that take you right up to the park gates. Inside the park, you can avail free shuttles that will take you wherever you wish. Please note that some national parks, such as Zion in Utah, limit vehicular access within the park to reduce environmental impact so visitors are expected to take park shuttles. 

Do you have a question about traveling in the USA? Get in touch with our team for the latest information and inputs on planning your tailor-made trip.

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