Travel Tips for USA - America Online Travel Flight Tips for America
  Smart Pack | Handling Money | Trasport | Phones | Stay |
| Travel Healthy | Eating | Tipping | Electricity | Shopping |
American Slang | Personal Safety | Traveling women | Private properties

Smart Packing Tips


Luggage Packing and Travel Safety Tips for America

It’s a vast country, with various conflicting seasons. So packing would depend upon just where you are going. An eye on the weather report and general climatic changes of your destination would help.

Apart from this some general packing tips go a long way in making any trip a smooth one. Throw in a few zip-closure bags or any waterproof ones. They come handy for small multiple items or wet clothes and stuff that haven't couldn’t be dried before packing. Clothing with front pockets to put in loose casual things are useful. A pouch attached on your belt is also great.



Handling Money Tips


1 US Dollar (US$) = 100 cents
Note denominations: Coin denominations:
US$1000
US$1 = "Susan B. Anthony "
US$500 50 cents = "half-dollar"
US$100
25 cents = "quarter"
US$50 10 cents = "dime"
US$20 cents = "nickel"
US$10
1 cent = "penny"
US$5  
US$2
 
US$1  


Transportation Tips


By Air – a necessity

It is the
most practical way of covering the States. Most of the times flying makes sense in terms of money, time and convenience. A 5-hour flight (5000 km) is covered in 3-4 days by train costing $300 - $500, with limited sleeping accommodation. A drive means 5 days, and the gasoline and lodging alone will likely cost considerably more than the airfare. So now you know what’s best.

Busses the economical way

If you are looking for
short distance travel and an economical way of doing it, think Busses. Busses are great for urban or suburban transit. But they can be very limited in rural areas. Longer rides are of course not so comfortable.

Renting cars – a good alternative

If you are staying for a long time in the USA, say a few months, rent a car. One just can’t do without it here, especially in places where public transportation is inadequate or non-existent. Also in most large cities, the major shopping centers and sports or entertainment facilities are usually located in the suburban communities far from the metropolitan center. Without a vehicle, sightseeing, shopping and touring can be very inconvenient.

Travel Security Tips for America

Rental cars in the USA normally come equipped with automatic transmissions, air conditioning and a radio-cassette player. If you request a standard transmission, the rental company will probably have none available when you arrive, as they are extremely uncommon. If you are traveling with children under 2-years of age make sure you have a child's car restraint seat or request one from the rental agency. It is illegal to carry small children in a car without safety restraint seats in most states.
An international driver's license is not required in the US. You can usually rent a car and drive with a valid driver's license from your home country.


Hitchhiking – just not done

It’s better not to try this. Apart from being illegal in many states, it’s quite dangerous too. Hitchhikers when out to hitch a ride on the roads often risk a fine if apprehended by a police patrol.

Bicycles - a good way to look around

If there’s time, you can bicycle across parts of the USA. But they are not very common in the US and so car and truck drivers are not as accustomed to bicyclists on the roads. So just be alert and cautious! Bicycles are however, banned from the freeways and interstate highways, but are permitted on all other roads. Many cities and towns have off-road bicycle paths and trails.


Phones Tips


If you are visiting USA for a little while, you of course need not purchase telephone equipment nor go through connection providers because you have many choices of using a telephone. Know about the best and the most economical of phone services.

Avoid coin operated public pay phones as much as possible for the simple reason that they are usually expensive, sometimes even exorbitant especially those operated by private concessionaires. Telephone cards are a better bet when using public telephones. However if you must make a coin operated call, find a telephone operated by major service providers like Bell Atlantic, Southern Bell or Pacific Bell.

Check out if your hotel provides free local calls. Some do. They may charge a reasonable rate for long-distance calling. Some hotels charge a modest service charge for every phone call and it’s worth it.

Telephone Cards are excellent and have become very popular across the country. They are available at gas stations, convenience stores, drug stores and newsstands all over, in denominations of $5, $10 and $20.

Cellular telephones on rent are available at most car rental agencies. They would ask for a credit card deposit and charge about $5 to $10 per day rent. But the on-air time can be very expensive. ($1.25 to $1.80 per minute) Charges for minutes of airtime are calculated both on incoming as well as outgoing calls. Step away from the home cellular radius and the charges whop up even more. You can get prepaid cellular calling cards from the service providers. The cards normally cover only your air-time, so you may also need a credit card or prepaid calling card to cover long-distance and international calls.


Stay


 

Unplanned traveling can turn uncomfortable, as there are strict rules barring one from sleeping in train stations or bus stations. That’s just not done here. The police are an alert lot and are bound to wake you up. Moreover it’s not safe. Arriving at a city or town in the middle of the night and looking for a place to stay may not be a good idea. So do try to plan your accommodations in advance. However, if you are on the road and wish to book in to motel rooms along major interstate highways, it’s not a problem. You’ll get a reservation there and then.

Across the country there are an array of hotels to suit every budget. There are hotel chains running specials with double rooms costing as little as $29.95.


Travel Healthy Tips


There are no particular vaccinations you need to take before entering USA. Just follow your own pattern of health care and things would continue to be fine. In warm climates, you’d do well so check your requirement of salt and potassium, if you are moving around too much in the sun that is. Otherwise, there are no hazards really. Enjoy!


Eating Tips in USA

Food and Eating Travel Tips For the United States

Food in USA is not just hamburgers, pizza and fast food. They may be the most talked about all over the world but seriously there’s more to it that just that. This is a place where people from all over the world have come and settled and sure enough that reflects in the food cooked.

But first what the country is famous for. You’ll find Fast Foods across the length and breadth of the country. They come in a wide variety - all sorts of delicacies from American style hamburgers, hot dogs and fried chicken to Italian pizza, Mexican tacos, Greek Gyros and Chinese egg rolls. They are most popular probably because they are delicious and almost always inexpensive.

Now through the rest of the kitchen. Fried chicken, meatloaf, baked potato, corn, baked beans and apple pie would be considered traditional American dishes. They are termed traditional because they are eaten most often. Wholesome and delicious, you may dig in too.

Regionally you’ll find cooking highly influenced by the cultural background of the people living in a particular area. Italian cuisine is popular everywhere. Chinese too. There’s no dearth of health foods here. If you prefer low fat, low calorie or vegetarian food, you will have no trouble finding it. Salad bars are very common and many restaurants feature low calorie or low fat food on their menus.


Tipping Tips

Tipping is a common practice here. Tip for services in restaurants, bars and pubs, taxis and hairdressers. You may calculate an amount ranging from 10% to 20%. Always check whether the service charge was included in the restaurant bill, especially if you are paying by credit card, as this is the tip.
 



Electricity
Tips


Home appliances run on 115 volt electrical systems at 60 hertz. So if yours operate on a different voltage, go for a voltage transformer or converter. If you are using small electronics like razors and non-heating appliances, use a 50-watt converter. High-power stuff like heating appliances, hair dryers, irons, coffee makers need a 1600-watt converter. You can also purchase combination converters for both types.
 



Shopping Tips

You can find many bargains in the US if you know where to shop and how to take advantage of the competitive sales.

The shopping malls and discount stores are located out in the suburbs. Some even lie in the countryside, miles from the nearest major city. So it may be a good idea to rent a car and drive down if you want to do any serious bargain shopping.

You may check out department stores for good quality stuff. Fashion clothing, house wares, appliances, luggage and jewelry mostly well known brands and the latest trends in the market. But these are not low quality products and you can’t bargain prices. But again in July and August, they

Shopping Travel Security Tips For the United States

have end-of-summer sales, in November, the Thanksgiving Day sale of pre-Christmas merchandise is one of the biggest shopping days of the year and this is when you can bargain your way through. From December 26 through mid-January, they hold big after-Christmas sales. In February, all the winter merchandise goes on sale. In addition, they have many special promotions and clearance sales. So there you go.

You may also check out factory outlets. They sell high quality branded merchandise at discounted prices. But the product may come with slight manufacturing flaws and would be as old as the last season. But considering the 20% and 40% discounts they offer, they are always worth it.



American Language Tips

Phrases
Blown away – greatly impressed
All wet – completely wrong
Bummer – bad experience
Cut out – leave
Face-off – confrontation
No sweat – no problem
Mellow out – calm down and relax
Hang loose – relax
Nuke – heat up in the microwave
A real riot – funny
Hit the sack – go to bed
Scarf down – eat quickly
Tool around – drive around
Veg out – relax and do nothing

Money

Dough – money
Bread – money
Buck – money
Wad – bundle of money

Food

Grub – food
Anti-freeze – liquor
Chow down – eat a lot
Dynamite – powerful (used for drinks)
Had a buzz on – slightly intoxicated
Joint – cheap bar
Kegger –
beer party
On the rocks – with ice
Spuds – potatoes
Pig out – eat a lot or overeat
What say?
Hustle – satu
Airhead – dua
Bent – tiga
Blimp – impat
Bombed – lima
Chintzy, Cheezy – enam
Con, Clip – tujuh
Cop – lapan
Flaky – sembilan
Huffy – sepuluh
Jam – trouble
Intense – serious
John – bathroom
Kicks enjoyment
Neat good
Nicked arrested
Pad a place to live
Pickled intoxicated
Push off leave
Rack – bed
Rap – talk about
Slammer – jail
Smoke eater – fireman
Split – leave
Straight – honest
Wheels – car
Zip -  



Personal Safety
Tips


City

Life in the USA is definitely not like the show in the movies. No gun-toting kids, and mugging at every dark street corner. Not every third person is a stalker and a psychopathic killer. Forget the horrors that you saw in the movies. You are safe in the USA. There are cultural differences and there may be friction, but as an exception and not a rule. Remember the media hypes only those incidents that are rare. But the way they hype it, it’s not surprising that people even avoid visiting the country. But of course every city has its bad areas and you’d do well to avoid them. Talk to the locals and get an idea as to which places you should avoid in that area and at what times.

Driving Tips

 

While driving, remember to lock your doors and just do not stop for strangers. Stop for the police of course if they signal you to. Their vehicles are always marked and the men are in uniform.

Also be careful of the "bump and rob" attacks. It’s a trick some criminals use to steal cars. What they do is drive behind and bump the target car. Then when the driver gets out to assess the damage and exchange words, the criminals get out and rob the victim. If you are bumped by another car, pull into a well-lit area where there are other people around before getting out. If it gets to be something serious like cars following, call 911 on your mobile phone. But again its better not to give them an opportunity. You can do this by, we repeat, keeping your car doors locked at all times and avoiding driving and parking in dark neighborhoods at night. And always, always talk to the locals and find out which parts of the town are unsafe.


Traveling women

Women Traveller tips - Online Travel Safety Tips For the United States

People in the USA have a funny attitude toward women. Now this may not be a rule again and not happen everywhere and every time but women entering a bar or even a restaurant or café alone can be seen as "looking for company." Whether you are moving around single or even in a pair, you may do well to avoid places that have a mostly male crowd. And if you are there already and feeling uncomfortable then better not get into trouble, leave and move to a more hospitable place around town.


Private properties


Private properties are taken extremely seriously. You can be arrested or worse, shot at by the owner or guards, if you happen to venture into one that is marked as one. If you are out camping, do check where you are before pitching your tents. Also avoid camping beside highways. If you are going out into the wilderness, you may consult a guidebook for designated wilderness areas where free camping is permitted. There are also commercial camping grounds that you may check out.


  

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