Things to Know Before Visiting the USA: Pro Tips for Travelers

April 29, 2023


Traveling to the United States can be an exciting adventure for anyone seeking a new experience. However, to avoid the most common mistakes, it’s important to take time to prepare before heading out on your trip.

Being prepared is about more than just packing and checking your documents. You need to know a few things that will make your trip more memorable and enjoyable, no matter how short. Whether you are on your way to the USA to visit family, sightseeing, or just for business, here are some essential tips to remember, especially if it’s your first time.

Visa Requirements and Documentation

As an international traveler planning to visit the USA, you must understand the visa process and requirements. Before you leave home, you should ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay and that you have obtained the correct visa for your purpose of travel.

It’s advisable to make copies of your travel documents, such as your insurance policy, visa, and passport. Keep them separate from your original documents; paper copies can come in handy if the original documents are lost or stolen. You’ve got to admit that if you cannot verify your identity at any given time, it could land you in some hot water.

Research Your Destination

The US is a big country, and each state has its own unique culture and attractions. Before you travel, take the time to research the state or city you plan to visit. Look for popular attractions, local customs, and other specific information that could impact your trip.

In addition, consider the best time of year to travel to your chosen destination. Some cities have extreme weather conditions that can negatively affect your trip. If you’re traveling when the sun shines the brightest, remember that some areas can get extremely hot while others may be humid.

Learn to Drive on the Right Side

Driving in the USA can be challenging, especially for those not used to driving on the opposite side. Be sure to practice operating a vehicle before you even think about renting a car.

If you’re uncomfortable driving, it’s best to use public transportation or a taxi. The US has an extensive public transportation network with affordable fares. You can also find ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, to get around in major cities.

Take Out Travel Insurance

Unforeseen circumstances can happen to anyone, even the most careful traveler. Taking out adequate travel insurance before embarking on your trip is paramount. While it might add to your travel expenses, travel insurance can save you from huge costs in an unexpected medical emergency or lost luggage. It may add up to 6% of your trip cost, but it can be worth it.

Suppose you are in contact with multiple travel insurance agencies and want to ensure they are reliable. In that case, you can always put their contact information inPhoneHistory, to know everything there is to know about them.

Currency and Tipping

You can exchange your country’s currency for US dollars at major airports or banks. One US dollar equals 100 cents; the most common denominations are one, five, 10, and 20-dollar bills. You can also use your credit or debit cards to withdraw cash from ATMs. This may seem like very basic knowledge to you, but some readers may not be aware of it.

You should also know that tipping is a part of American culture, and it’s customary to leave a gratuity for services rendered. 15% to 25% is a standard tip for staff in restaurants, hairdressers, and taxi cab drivers. Some restaurants even add this without asking, so don’t get upset.

Make Friends with Locals

One of the best things about traveling is meeting new people and learning about different cultures. Making friends with locals is a good idea, as they can provide valuable information about their city or town. They can also introduce you to their favorite spots or give you tips for saving money during your trip.

The US is known for its friendliness; people are generally open to conversation and making new friends. Strike up a conversation with someone at a local café or bar, and you could be surprised at how much you learn.

Respect American Customs

Americans are proud of their culture and traditions, so respecting them is important. One common custom is the Pledge of Allegiance, which is recited in schools and public events. Similarly, religion plays a significant role in the country, you should respect this by avoiding disrespectful behavior or clothing.

Remember, the population consists of people of various cultures and traditions. So be open to learning new things, and you will have a more enriching experience.

Health and Safety Precautions

The US is generally a safe country, thanks to an excellent police force in every state, but it’s never too much to take safety precautions to avoid becoming the victim of crime. Keep your belongings close to you, especially in crowded areas, and never leave your luggage unattended. Be aware of your surroundings; if you’re walking at night, stay in well-lit areas.

You should also be aware of the emergency number 911 in the US. In case of an emergency, dial 911 and explain your situation. If you’re in a public place, look for staff or security personnel to assist you.

Be Prepared for the Cost of Living

The cost of living in America varies depending on the state or city you visit. Major cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York — are known for their high cost of living, while smaller cities — Indianapolis or Oklahoma — tend to be more affordable.

Research your chosen destination, including the price of accommodation, food, and transportation. Make sure to budget accordingly to avoid overspending and running out of money during your trip.


Traveling to the US can be an unforgettable experience, but being prepared is key. From obtaining the correct visa to everything mentioned above, a little preparation can go a long way.

You can ensure a fun, safe, and unforgettable trip by researching your destination, learning about the culture, making friends with locals, and respecting customs. Plus, with America’s reputation for friendliness and hospitality, you will surely have a welcoming and enjoyable time. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *