Traveling to another country for the first time can be very exciting but it can also induce some feelings of anxiety. There is a lot of planning and preparation involved and it can be somewhat intimidating to plan a trip to another country. To help ease your worries and make things a little bit easier on you, we have put together a list of our top 5 tips for a first time traveler to the USA.
1. Get Your Paperwork in Order
To travel to the United States you will need a valid passport and you may need a travel visa as well. United States visa policy does permit citizens from certain countries to travel to the United States without a visa when they meet certain requirements. If you are the citizen of a country that participates in the US Department of State’s visa waiver program and you will be visiting the United States on business or as a tourist, for a stay of 90 days or less, you will not need a visa. However, you will have to obtain travel authorization via the Electronic System Travel Authorization, or ESTA.
If you will be visiting the United States from a country that is not part of the visa waiver program you will need to obtain a visa by visiting a US embassy or consulate and filling out the necessary paperwork.
2. Change Some of Your Local Currency into US Dollars before Your Trip
You don’t need to carry a lot of cash when traveling but it is a good idea to have at least a small amount of money, in US dollars, when you visit the United States. It’s easier to take care of this type of thing ahead of time, rather than scrambling to find an ATM or an exchange kiosk once you land at the airport.
3. Use Credit Cards, Debit Cards, and/or Travelers Checks
When traveling, it is never a good idea to carry large sums of cash with you. You could be robbed, you could lose your wallet, lose your luggage etc. It’s a lot easier to carry small amounts of cash and use any major credit card or debit card to make purchases. Travelers checks are another option and they are a lot safer than carrying cash.
Travelers checks can be spent like cash but they can also be replaced if they are lost or stolen. Travelers checks have two separate lines for signatures. You sign one line when you receive the check and you sign the other line when you purchase something with your travelers check. The cashier will then check to make sure the two signatures match and they will also look at your identification. This makes it very difficult for someone else to use your travelers checks.
4. Health Insurance or Travelers Insurance
No one likes to think of the possibility of bad things happening but it’s always a good idea to plan for them ahead of time. Check to see if your health insurance will cover you if you are in the United States. If your health insurance will cover you, make sure you take proof of insurance with you on your trip. If your health insurance will not cover you while you are in the United States, or if you are uncertain whether it will, it might be a good idea to purchase an inexpensive travelers insurance policy.
5. Plan Your Trip Carefully
The United States is a huge country with many incredible places to see and lots of fun things to do. There is no way you can do everything in a week or two so you need to plan your trip very carefully to make sure you will be able to see all of the things you want to.
To help you figure out which places to visit you might want to talk to someone who has been to the United States before. You may also want to use a travel agent to help you plan your trip. A travel agent can be very helpful, suggesting some of the best places to visit. They can also take care of a lot of the tedious tasks for you like booking plane tickets, hotels, rental cars etc.
If you are worried about the cost of hiring a travel agent, you should know that travel agents are usually able to get lower prices on airfare and hotel rooms than you could get if you were booking these things yourself. The lower price you pay for airfare and accommodations will more than make up for any commissions you pay your travel agent.
Author Bio – The author of this article Dillon Michaelson works for insanelycheapflights.com specializing in providing cheap flight tickets on major airlines for destinations across the globe. If you’re looking to fly to various places in US, Caribbean, Central & South America, do check out Spirit Airlines for more info.