The United States of America (USA) is one of the biggest countries in the world. From sea to sea, top of the mountains to the ocean shores, this country encompasses a large portion of the North American continent.
The country has a rich history that dates back well over 200 years, and to this day the USA leads the world into the world of tomorrow. They offer some of the highest budget and high-quality entertainment that gets spread around the globe. A country of this scale is a hot spot for international tourists.
There are numerous cities to visit, landmarks to see, and many places to explore across the beautiful American landscape. This article will look at 15 aspects of the USA ranging from key and useful things to know, to additional amusing and interesting facts to keep in mind. Traveling to the USA is highly recommended for anyone around the world at least once in their life.
Here we go: Things to know before going to America
Do you still need to present a PCR Covid-19 to enter the United States?
No, as of June 22, 2022, the U.S. dropped the testing entry requirement for all visitors. Proof of vaccination is still required. (Source: travel.state.gov)
Everything is Huge (Food, cars, roads, rooms, etc.)
This is one aspect that separates the USA apart from the rest of the world. Everything from the food portions to the size of rooms and buildings is often bigger than their counterparts across the ocean.
This means a traveler can expect to get more for their money wherever they go. The power to make everything big and bold is the pride of modern-day American.
Travelers can look forward to experiencing this different approach to the classic food they know and love from back home.
Lack of Public Transportation – You’ll Probably Need A Car
The USA might be one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, but widespread public transportation is hard to find in this vast nation. Americans love the car as a means to see the wide-open nature and get from one location to the other independently.
However, this system can be troubling for those looking to visit the country. Travelers should expect to be traveling between the major cities on airplanes or buses. Train networks are mostly confined to within the bounds of the major cities.
You Must Be At Least 25 Years To Rent A Car in the US?
Most of the rental companies will require that! Some of them will let you rent a car but you will have to pay an extra fee! This surcharge fee will cost you between $25 – $30 depending on the location and company.
Check out this post for more details about renting a car under 25 and fees.
Metric System Is Very Confusing
Another surprising way the USA differs from the rest of the world is through the use of the metric system in measurements. While nearly all developed countries use a system with centimeters and milliliters to measure out substances, the USA is still using their timeless inches and feet units for the same purpose.
This conversion divide can be problematic for travelers who might not understand the exact value of the numbers stated. Travelers should keep a conversation table on hand to reference if there is any chance they need to precise amounts.
The Different Climates
The USA is a country that experiences all 4 seasons and a wide variety of climates all over the country. The north tends to be on the cooler side, while the deep south remains warm.
At the same time, the east coast experiences hot and muggy summers while the west coast has fairly consistent weather year-round. The southwest is a desert region where plants and trees are hard to find. All the various climates mean a traveler should bring along appropriate clothes to wear based on the region and time of year the individual wishes to visit.
Is USA safe for tourists? Not Always
As part of the developed world, the USA is naturally one of the safest places to visit. However, there are certainly some dark areas that the authorities would recommend avoiding. Start by always traveling in pairs, and if you must be alone then travel in a well-lit area.
The big cities, in particular, have dark underbellies that should be avoided at all costs. The USA is a type of country where simple vigilance will keep you safe throughout your trip. In the event of an issue, don’t be afraid to rely on the police. They have the best interest of the community in mind.
Does UBER or LYFT work all over the US?
Uber is slightly more expensive than LYFT but they usually have nicer vehicles. Lyft is more affordable and the drivers are more chatty than UBER drivers.
Have fun 🙂
SALES TAXES are usually not included in the price
While doing shopping of electronics, clothes or other goods you might get a bit shocked when it comes to paying because of the higher final price.
Most of the states handle their TAX individually and the way how they display the TAX or the actual amount of TAX can differ. KEEP IT IN MIGHT TO AVOID CONFUSIONS!
Washington State and D.C. are Two Different Places
As with any language, there is bound to be some communication issues that foreigners encounter. This is often from similar-sounding words being mixed up when used in a similar context. However, this problem extends into the naming of place because Washington is such a popular name in the USA.
Foreigners are frequently confused by the west coast state of Washington and the capital of the county in Washington D.C. on the east coast. The easiest way to avoid this confusion is never forgetting that the capital is designed to operate independently of any states in the union.
Tipping is always expected!
Yes, the tipping policy in the US is quite clear! Get used it before you get in trouble 🙂
Well, you won’t get in trouble but you will confuse the waiter a lot and you might get bad looks from them, especially when they try to work hard and offer great service.
Tips should usually be between 15% – 25% of the total price of the bill. Here is a detailed guide on tipping it United States.
You Might be “Investigated” at the Airport
Since the fateful events of 9/11, airport security around the globe has become increasingly tighter. A traveler who is going to some of the busiest airports should expect long wait times and a complete check of what they are bringing to the airport and on-board the plane.
It’s recommended that travelers arrive 2-3 hours before they take off to allow sufficient time to clear security and reach the plane. This is especially important for the USA where many of the world’s busiest airport operates.
You have to show your ID very often (GET USED TO IT)
It’s important to keep your PASSPORT with you most of the time. DRIVING LICENSE or ID from your country won’t usually be enough.
Even if you’re 40 years old and they still ask you for ID when ordering alcohol or entering a club.
It might come annoying and slightly insulting if you are from a different country but just get used to it (same as locals).
English is the Spoken Language
The USA is a society full of individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds, but a traveler should anticipate seeing mostly English on signs and in-store shops.
English is the universal language of the world, and as such, this is usually not a hindrance for foreigners. Though it would not hurt for travelers to get a book of phrases or memorize key lines to help them get around. Most Americans are willing to lend a hand if anyone is looking for a specific location or need directions.
Obtaining a Visa Might Be Difficult
Some of the most important necessities for traveling abroad is obtaining a passport and a visa. This is a method by which a country has to give permission for a foreign individual to come to visit. The USA demands that almost all non-citizens first obtain a visa before entering the country.
In order to obtain one, it only requires the traveler to submit an application and wait for it to clear. This is usually a seamless process that results in no issues arising. However, individuals from specific countries should expect their application to take longer due to external circumstances in global affairs.
You will need a lot of money! USA is expensive
This might seem like common sense, but bringing money is absolutely essential to making sure your trip to the USA goes smoothly. The major cities are located far apart and their numerous stores along the way for travelers to see.
An individual should expect to spend large amounts of travel money to get around, especially if they plan to visit more than one city. A short bus ride or a walk is rarely good enough to get where you want to go.
Check some cheap USA motel chains for accommodation!
Make sure you know where you going! Have a map on your road trip
A map is an essential part of traveling anywhere across the USA. Streets are grouped by blocks and sometimes buildings house multiple businesses. It is highly recommended for travelers to plan out their day in advance.
The map is also handy in case you get lost. It can be easy to get swept away in a crowd of people around tourist hot spots. Make sure that you and any travel partner know the plan when you can’t find each other. The sheer scale of the country makes needing a map to occur more often than you might think.
Driving on Left Side
While much of the world drives on the left side of the road, it is important to keep in mind that the road rules of the United States are fundamentally different.
Americans not only drive on the right side of the road, but the driver’s seat is on the left side of the car. This puts the country’s transportation framework at odds with the rest of the world. If you are planning to drive around the USA, then be sure to fully read up on road signs and travel tips. Even if the basics are flipped, it might not feel the same as your home country.
Sporting Events Are Must
One of the biggest events in the USA is when sports team go up again each other. There are national leagues for baseball, basketball, and football at both the professional and college level. No matter the time of year, there is always one of the leagues in the active part of their season.
These events are some of the most-watched television of the year. A traveler should definitely plan an evening out at a sporting event. It does not get much more American than rooting for your favorite team at the top of your lungs.
Nature Exploration – Never-Ending Land
Between the mountains and the oceans, the USA has a large variety of nature to explore. A traveler can experience the populous beaches on one side of the country or make a climb to the top of the nation in the Rocky Mountains.
The Midwest offers open plains with a majestic view for as far as the eye can see. Then lastly, the Grand Canyon in the southwest is one of the most unique features on the planet. There is an endless amount of places to go and visit around the country.
Americans are Loud
The notion that Americans are loud is one of the most common stereotypes a foreigner has likely heard in their lifetime. While it’s true that Americans tend to make sure they can be heard, this is a reflection of the abundance of entertainment that the country offers.
From the movies to the parks, singing, and performances, the USA has a wealth of ways for people to express themselves actively and passively in all kinds of media. American culture is all about being the best you can be for yourself.
— check out this great video —
There are countless countries in the world, but few as richly diverse and large as the USA. This is a country that is very welcoming to foreigners and loves to show off everything it has to offer. From the food, the entertainment, nature views, and the everyday people, the USA is a country that is proud of what it has accomplished for itself and the world.
Visitors can see some of the most prestigious buildings in the world while getting a glimpse into history through all the historical sites spread around the country. The mix of cultures and ethics brings out a blend of life that one will never find in other parts of the world. Visiting the USA is an experience unlike any other. An individual from anywhere who looking for a trip abroad should consider the USA. You never know what kind of experience the trip will have in store.
You will need a CREDIT CARD (not debit) to rent a car
In most cases, U.S. car rentals will accept debit cards to verify credit at the time of rental. Renters must also meet some minimum criteria to be able to rent a car.
For instance, they should be older than 25. However, younger drivers may pay an additional surcharge and must be at least 21 years old in most states and provinces.
You must have a valid driver’s license issued in the U.S., Canada or any other country that meets the car rental requirements.
You may also be required to provide a round-trip plane ticket or travel itinerary with returning date and your passport.