USA tips: 7 recommendations to make the most of your trip

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Alejandra Rangel


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You've dreamed of it for a long time: traveling the United States, strolling in the streets of New York, playing in Las Vegas casinos, marveling at the Grand Canyon or even traveling the legendary Route 66. Today it's decided , you go ! Now everything becomes concrete and it will take organize this great journey. How to enter the territory in good standing? How not to miss the essential visits? Discover our 7 USA tips to make the most of your American experience.

Obtain an ESTA to go to the USA

It's the first of the USA boards. You cannot return to the United States without ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). ESTA is an electronic form that allows you to request permission to enter the United States without a visa, for a stay of less than 90 days. You will of course need a passport. We strongly invite you to consult the France Diplomatie website which offers useful advice for travelers for all destinations in the world. In particular, you will find the procedure to follow for obtain the ESTA via the internet, on a single dedicated site. Please note that many sites, unfortunately well referenced, offer to complete your ESTA. There is only one official website, make no mistake, always follow official government websites. Also note that the issuance of the authorization costs only 14 US dollars.


Learn English to benefit from your experience in the United States

This USA advice is hard to miss: practicing English will allow you to travel with confidence, without having to depend on the people who accompany you. You might be scared or you lack the confidence to express yourself orally ? Do you need to improve your pronunciation? Grammar is blocking you or you can't remember the vocabulary? Do not panic ! Here are the best techniques for speaking English: watch series and films in original English version with subtitles - in French if you are a beginner or in English if you are at a more advanced level -, join language clubs, follow YouTube channels dedicated to learning English, read in English or take online english course or with a teacher. Choose platforms that advocate dynamic learning through pleasure. Some sites offer a blog to learn, revise, progress, videos on a YouTube channel to support your learning, an Instagram page to join a community and stay motivated day after day. And of course, once there, meet the Americans and talk to them… in English!

Travel to the United States: book your must-see tours in advance

You have not yet booked your plane tickets to New York as you already see yourself in the crown of the statue of liberty, greeting all the tourists downstairs? Be careful, if you don't do it well in advance to book your ticket, you might be that famous tourist who has to stay downstairs! Ticket to ascend to the crown includes round trip ferry, visit to Liberty Island with pedestal and crown climb, and admission to the Ellis Island Museum. Count a reservation about three good months in advance! So take the time to find out what it is worth to book in other key places you want to visit during your trip to the USA.

Statue of Liberty

Prepare well for visits to American national parks

62! That's the number of national parks in the United States! From the Everglades in Florida to Bryce Canyon in Utah, passing through Yosemite in California or Yellowstone, the oldest national park in the world, American national parks are the stuff of dreams. And since you are not the only ones to imagine yourself walking on these mythical grounds, better to plan ahead. The visit of the national parks is organized a long time in advance to be sure of being able to enter them. Follow these USA tips: first you will need get the annual pass "America the beautiful" which will give you access to more than 2 sites protected by the federal state. Then, book the campsites, plan a full tank of fuel and sufficient food, find out about the activities offered by the rangers and… get up early!


Understand time zones

In the United States, 4 kilometers separate east and west, from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. In such a large country, we therefore use four standard time zones in the mainland : Atlantic time; eastern time; Central Time and Mountain Time; to which are added the time zones in other States and those outside States: Pacific time; Alaska time; Hawaii and Aleutian Islands time; Samoa time; the hour of the Chamorros. If Americans are used to to juggle these time differences. You will therefore have to check the local times if you have to move from state to state.

Monument Valley

Know the tip rule

When traveling, it is always useful to know the practices related to tips. Travel guides often provide an update on the subject. One of the tips to know well: as in Canada, it is strongly recommended, even mandatory in some places, to leave a tip (a "tip"). Indeed, servers are paid below the minimum wage. These are the tips that allow you to obtain a correct income. However, check the receipt to see if the words “service included” are not indicated. Calculate the percentage on the price excluding tax. You will have to leave between 15 and 25% depending on your satisfaction with the service. This applies to the restaurant for the waiter, to the hairdressing salon or even for taxis!

Organize the contents of your luggage

As with any trip, from the moment you take the plane, it is time to organize the contents of your luggage. What do we put in the hold? What do we take in hand baggage? What is necessary and prohibited? In general, in economy class you are allowed up to 23 kilos of checked baggage at no extra charge and around 7 to 10 kilos in hand luggage. You can bring alcohol and tobacco in limited quantities. Some other advice for the USA: think about bring an electric adapter to recharge your personal devices and to put your liquids (shampoo or cream type) in plastic bags provided for this purpose to avoid unpleasant surprises on arrival.

flight over New York

You now know what an ESTA is, you are ready to progress in English and you are familiar with local customs… that's perfect! Once these few basic tips have been taken care of, all you have to do is get on board and make the most of your trip ! We let you dream with these 4 unusual hotels in the United States.

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