North America USA

USA: How to Plan Your Trip Like a Boss

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For a lot of people, the United States is on their bucket list. There are so many amazing cities and states to visit, as well as the history and fame that the USA has. So it is easy to see why many people would want to take a trip out there. For many, it will be a once in a lifetime trip. That might be due to cost or travel time. So if you are planning a trip over there, you will want to make it one to remember. So in order to make it a successful trip, you will need to do some planning. Here are some tips and advice for planning a getaway to the US, to help make it the best trip it could be.

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Visa and Passport

Of course, when you travel to the US, or indeed anywhere, you need to have a valid passport. However, due to the number of people wanting entry into the US, there are other requirements than just turning up with your passport. You need to apply for the visa waiver programme, which means you can be in the US for up to 90 days. This has to be done beforehand, though. So make sure that you apply for the electronic system for travel authorisation as soon as you have booked your trip. You can easily do it online, just make sure you visit the official ESTA site. You need to know where you will be staying, as well as your flight numbers.

Insurance

We all hear about just how expensive it can be to have any kind of medical care over in the US. So it is important to make sure that you have the right travel insurance for your trip. Then if the worst does happen, you won’t be left having to pay for an expensive bill. This is especially important if you are going skiing or doing watersports, for example.

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Shopping and Tax

If you have not been to the US before, then it is important to know that sales tax is not included in the price on the sales ticket. In the UK, the price you see on the tag is the price you pay. But this isn’t the case in the US. So it is important to bear that in mind when you are factoring in buying gifts or souvenirs. The tax also varies from state to state, so you’ll want to check what the rate is before you visit. Then you can make sure that you know what you will be expected to pay.

Tipping

When you are eating out, tipping is a big deal. For good service, you are meant to pay at least 15 or 20 percent. Even for bad service, you are meant to tip around 10%. This is quite unusual for us as Europeans as it isn’t something that we are used to. So it is just something that you need to think about when eating out at restaurants and thinking of your budget. Obviously, at restaurants that don’t have waiting service, there is no expectation to tip.

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