The United States has a lot to offer to its foreign travelers, with such a variety of climates and cultures, it can accommodate just about any type of vacation you have in mind. Here are our top tips for Traveling around the USA.
- Get the proper insurance
Not only will you need the standard travel insurance but you also have to take into account what activities you will be doing. Most travel insurance policies do not cover any winter or water sports so you will need to purchase ad-ons if you’re planning on doing any extreme sports. You should also consider how you are going to get around – what if you were to get into an auto accident in the US? That’s the last thing you want to deal with on vacation – having the correct insurance takes a huge weight off your shoulders and protects you from any nasty bills. And remember healthcare costs in the US are some of the highest in the world!
- How will you get around?
In the US you might find it hard to travel by public transport. Their greyhound bus service covers some areas and can take you across the country but you will more than likely need a car to explore the states properly. Whether you can drive your own car depends on where you‘re coming from and where you’re going. It will probably be much cheaper and much easier to rent a car when you get there. In the case of renting, you must also consider that you will need to return the car at the end of your trip. Often due to this, you will need to end up where your road trip started.
- Consider your driving route
Do you want to travel the east or west coast? Do you want to cruise down the famous route 66? Maybe you are looking to explore the less-traveled areas of the US or you want to build your own travel route from scratch. The best thing to do is to list the places you want to visit and map it out, then work out your route from there. You should be realistic with your planning and be prepared to sacrifice some of those places on your list. Check out this American Road Trip Planner to make it even easier.
- Consider the cultural differences
You may think that the US isn’t that different from Canada but all countries have their own way of doing things and it’s important to be aware of all their idiosyncrasies. Understand tipping etiquette in the US – as minimum wage is very low, service workers rely on tips. There is an unwritten rule that a tip of 10-15% is expected in restaurants, you will also be expected to tip bartenders, valets, housekeepers, doormen and taxi drivers. Another cultural difference to consider is that the US still uses the imperial system so program yourself to think of height in feet, the temperature in Fahrenheit and distance in miles. Don’t be alarmed if the weather channel says it’s 90 degrees outside!