8 things you should know before travelling to the US
1. You won’t be able to see everything
The USA is huge, and unless you’ll be spending more than 6 months there, you won’t be able to see the entire country. Set your priorities and decide which places are high on your list. If you want to experience the best of each place, spend an average of about three nights per destination - give or take.
2. Get health insurance before you leave
The American healthcare system doesn’t cover travellers to America and can be very expensive, so make sure you sort out health insurance before you leave home.
3. Their portions are huge
Unless you’re at a fine dining restaurant, you can expect the portion sizes to be large. And by large we mean LARGE. Don’t be ashamed to ask for a doggy bag. One portion could probably last you the day - ideal if you’re looking to save some money on food!
4. Look for the local food
We all know the US is known for their large restaurant chains, but that’s not all they have to offer in terms of food. Most regions have their own distinct cuisines. Try the world famous bagels from New York, or New Orlean’s beignet pastries.
5. Avoid the busiest travel time
Try to avoid a trip during their busy seasons - Thanksgiving, and New Years are the busiest travel times in the US. People often go home for big family gatherings so prices of flights within the country go up, making things much more expensive.
6. You have to visit at least one national park
The national parks in the US are spectacular, and are a must-see if you’re heading to the more rural parts of the country. From the Death Valley in California, to the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky - you won’t want to miss out on seeing some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes.
7. It’s home to the weird and wonderful
There’s pretty much a festival for everything you can think of - roadkill, fungus, garlic - anything weird, the US has it. From the Humungus Fungus Fest, to the Duck tape festival, there’ll definitely be some bizarre festival going on while you’re there. It’s all part of the experience, right?
8. It’s all about the tips
If you don’t already know, tipping is a big thing in the US. The minimum wage for employees who receive tips is very low, so a lot of their earnings come from tips. In restaurants, you want to be tipping about 15% to 20% depending upon the level of service. The same goes for taxis, tour guides and hairdressers.
For more travel tips check out The SimCorner Blog.