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flag United States United States: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organizing Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources

 

Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
See the Visa section on the Travel webpages on the US Department of State website
Diplomatic Representations
List and websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions
 
IATA Travel Center
 

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Organizing Your Trip

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Recommendation
In the USA, you can use Public or Private Transports: Public transport includes Rail and Bus services (present most of the time in all the cities). Private transport includes taxi cab or limousine services.
Maps of Urban Networks
New York City Metropolitan
Los Angeles Metropolitan

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Transportation From Airport to City Centre:


Airport

Distance

Taxi

Bus

Train

Car Rental
Los Angeles Intl (LAX) 24 km / 15 miles USD 30 / 30-35 min USD 3 / 30-45 min Available Available
Chicago O'Hare (ORD) 9 km / 5 miles 10 min Available Available Available
New York - Kennedy Intl (JFK) 21 km / 13 miles USD 45 / 40-60 min Available USD 5 /1 0-15 min Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Recommendation
The railroad network is good but trains for passengers are slower and less frequent than in Europe. The network of intercity buses is denser and tends to be cheaper. The network of the domestic airlines is very extensive. The plane is the mean of transport more used.
Rail Companies
Amtrak

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Airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
American Airlines Major Yes Yes
United Airlines Major Yes Yes
US Airways Major Yes Yes
Continental Major Yes Yes
Delta Major Yes No
Jet Blue Low Cost Yes No
Northwest Airlines Major Yes No
Southwest Airlines Low Cost Yes No
Virgin America Low Cost Yes No
Spirit Airlines Low Cost Yes No

You Can Consult the List of Airlines Banned Within the EU. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Traveling By Yourself

Recommendation
If you drive in the USA, remember that each of the 50 states has its own set of traffic laws and regulations. Fortunately, most of the laws are the same.
The gasoline price in the USA is cheaper than in Europe for example. However, you still have to remember that the unit measure is the gallon (3.785 liters) and the price changes from one state to another.
Road Maps
The United States Map
Find an Itinerary
Google Maps
MapQuest
Live Search Maps

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Visiting

Different Forms of Tourism

Historical
- Fort Sumter: Third System masonry coastal fortification located in Charleston harbor, South Carolina
- Liberty Bell: in Philadelphia, is an American bell asociated with the American Revolutionary War.
- Independence Hall is a US national landmark located in Philadelphia. It is a red brick building, built between 1732 and 1753, and designed in the Georgian style.
- Washington Monument is a large, tall white-colored obelisk in Washington DC.
- Pearl Harbor is a harbor and deep naval base on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
- Statue of Liberty in New York city.
- Ellis Island in New York was at one time the main entry facility for immigrants entering the United States.
Cultural
The United States has its cultural heritage from: American Cowboys; Cowboy Cattle Drives; Native American Indians; Native American Culture; American Sports; American Holidays (Thanksgiving); Country & Western Music; American Cooking.
Nature
The National Park System Includes 378 areas. Among them are 55 National Parks and 72 National Monuments. In 1998 the NPS units were visited by 287 million people. The Blue Ridge parkway in Virginia attracted the most visitors: over 19 million. With 10 million visitors the most frequently visited National Park was the Great Smoky Mountains NP. Other parks that attract many visitors are The Grand Canyon (4.5 million), Yosemite NP (3.5 million) and Olympic NP (3.3 Million).
Visit USA Tourist to see all the National Parks.
Religious
For more information go to the Religious Travel Association website.
Thermal
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming has the largest collection of geysers, hot springs and thermal phenomena in the world.
Beach
Some of the Most Popular beaches in USA are located in North Carolina, Florida, New York, Hawaii, Massachusetts and California.
Winter Sports
The United States has around 750 cross country ski areas spread out all over the country. Cross-country and downhill skiing as well as snowshoeing, snowboarding, and dog sledding are the activities you can enjoy on public lands.
Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities are very popular. These include running, boating, camping, hunting, hiking, fishing, skiing, and rafting.
Shopping
American whiskey, fashion jeans are popular items for shoppers from other countries. The big shopping malls and discount stores are the favorite places for the Americans during the week end.
Tourism Organizations
USA Tourist
Visit USA
USA Tourism

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
No specific vaccinations are needed in the USA.
International Hospitals
For a list of hospitals that will accept your US international insurance plan, visit Expat Medical Insurance.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
For Further Information on Safety Conditions
Department of Homeland Security - Travel Security and Procedures
Transport Security Administration
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Emergency Management Agency - Disaster Information
 

Emergency Numbers

Police, Medical, Fire 911 (112 from a cell phone)
Municipal Government 311
 

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia (GMT-5 in winter, GMT-4 in summer)
It is %T:%M %A In Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas (GMT-6 in winter, GMT-5 in summer)
It is %T:%M %A In Los Angeles, San Diego (GMT-8 in winter, GMT-7 in summer)
Summer Time Period
From April to October.
 

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Average Temperatures in Chicago: from -7°C in January to 20°C in June, in San Francisco from 12°C in January to 18°C in June and in New York from 0°C in January to 22°C in June.
For Further Information
US Department of Commerce: Climate Analysis Branch
National Weather Service
Federal Emergency Management Agency - Disaster Information
 

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall

Climate

 

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Eating

Food Specialties
Appetizers: Crab Cakes ; Rockefeller Oysters; Crab Soup.
Main Courses: Chili con carne, Burgers, Chicken Gumbo, Shrimp Gumbo, Jambalaya, Country Ham.
Cocktails: Eggnog, Southern Mint Julep.
Bakeries: Corn bread; Peanut brittle.
Desserts: President's cake; The King cake from New Orleans.
Drinks
Soft drinks like Coca Cola, Fanta, etc are the most drunk. Young people, above 21 years old, drink American beers like Budweiser and Coors. Wines and Bourbons are very much appreciated in the USA; you can find some interesting American wines from California, Oregon and other states. Imported international alcoholic beverages are also available.
Dietary Restrictions
None

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Paying

Domestic Currency
American Dollar
ISO Code
USD
To Obtain Domestic Currency
It may be useful to arrive in the country with some dollars in your pocket. You may also change foreign currency into dollars at a bureau de change, use traveler’s checks or withdraw dollars directly from ATMs.
Possible Means of Payment
You can pay almost everything with your credit card. Another useful means of payment is the traveler's check because it is insured by the bank whereas cash is not.

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Speaking

Official Language
English is the official language of the majority of American states and the most commonly spoken language in all states, although it is not the national official language.
Other Languages Spoken
Spanish, in particular in Arizona, Texas, California and New Mexico. Other languages, such as Amerindian languages (Navajo, Hopi, etc.) and also Chinese, Japanese, Italian, German, Polish, Greek, etc. depending on the community of immigrants.
Business Language
English.
Getting Some Knowledge
English as a Second Language (ESL) program offered by Universities or private schools. Foreigners can take English classes at different levels and improve their writing and speaking skills in English.
Free Translation Tools
Cambridge Dictionaries : Online Dictionary

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Useful Resources

To Find an Accommodation
LuxuryTravel
All Hotels

USA Bed and breakfast

Budget Hotels
Hostels
Traveling in USA
Lonely Planet - USA

To Find an Apartment
Apartment Rental Agencies

Craigslist
Sublet
Apartment Guide
To Find a Job
American Staffing Association
Monster
Career Builder
The Ladders

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Last Updates: January 2015