Everyone’s experience with traveling abroad is different. Some people just like visiting a place and taking pictures, but for others, it’s all about the physical experience of being there. For some, traveling to the US has been a long-time dream, and having the opportunity to finally experience that can be quite overwhelming. What’s important is to do thorough research of the place you’re visiting and make sure you check all important documents.
If this is your first time visiting the US and you want to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, we’re here to help. Below are a few important things you should pay attention to before going to your dream destination.
Everything starts with proper documentation. Check your passport’s expiration date, and make sure it’s all good. Also, if you need to obtain a visa, go through the list of what documents you’ll need to get approval. Keep in mind to look for document translation services since the US is very strict about these matters. Having a certified and notarized translation of important documents is essential to get your visa approved.
Make sure you check for Covid-19 cases in the place you’re about to visit and see what regulations the country has. Also, don’t forget to bring your vaccination certificate or a PCR test. Traveling today is a bit more challenging than before, but knowing important details can greatly help you have a safe and enjoyable trip. One last thing, always make copies of important documents.
Along with Covid-19 preparations, you must purchase a travel insurance policy. The healthcare system in the US doesn’t have universal healthcare coverage, and if you don’t want to have to pay extra for an emergency, you better buy a good insurance plan. Most policies don’t cost much, and they will protect you in case of a medical emergency including sickness, injuries, etc.
Before you decide to purchase the insurance, familiarize yourself with how it works, and search for the best one you can find. The US is one of the most expensive countries in the world when it comes to healthcare. Although you may think it won’t be necessary to purchase an insurance policy, just remember that if you end up needing medical assistance you may be looking at a hefty bill.
Travel risks and laws in the US
Every country has some risk factors that travelers should consider before visiting. The US is no different. Be vigilant of pickpocketing, theft, burglary, and other street crimes. It’s best to travel in groups, especially if going in areas that seem dangerous and try not to walk alone at night. Note that the risks of crime in states that border Mexico may be more dangerous due to the illegal drug trade, however, this is unlikely to target tourists.
The laws in the US vary by state, so make sure you understand how they differ depending on where you’re visiting. For example, some have strict alcohol laws, like Utah, while others such as California have very strict laws about littering and smoking. Remember, carrying something that could cause controversy across state borders is unwise, so get familiarized with common laws before visiting.
Traveling by car
If you decide to rent a car and spontaneously hit the open road, make sure you download an appropriate app to map your route and determine when and where you’ll find gas, eat, and rest. Also, having a good GPS will help you navigate the places better. Make overnight hotel reservations in advance so you won’t have to worry about them while you’re on the road.
Remember to make a backup plan when traveling by car. Although planning everything is important, adaptability is equally necessary. As Covid-19 cases change by the day, you might experience sudden business closures, cancellations, and changes in restrictions. Prepare for these changes and consider an alternative if things don’t go as planned. Also, be flexible when booking overnight stays.
Doing good research and learning about the culture, laws, and other customs is essential wherever you’re traveling. Always remember that the US has a tipping culture, so make sure you leave a tip especially in restaurants. There are many more things you need to explore before you step on a plane, and have an open mind and flexibility since these are testing times and you never know what could go wrong.