Planning Your USA Trip
Planning Your USA Trip
Planning for a new trip can feel both overwhelming and exciting. Many small details go into planning a new journey, which can result in some people feeling overwhelmed. For example, planning transportation to and from airports, booking flights and trying to find the best departure and arrival times for your needs, and packing everything you might need for different climates can be daunting. This article will help you tackle the small details that might feel overwhelming so that you can focus on the more exciting parts of your trip.
All trips come with a certain amount of pre-departure stress. However, there are concrete steps that you can take to minimize your stress. To plan your USA trip, you must first decide where you want to go. With a country as large as the United States, the number of states and locations that you will be able to see, depends mainly on the amount of time you will be travelling. States towards the west of the United States tend to be more spread apart, and therefore they take more time to travel through. However, states on the east coast are closer together, so it is easier to travel to more states. Try to be realistic about how much you can see. If you are planning to drive, check out travel itinerary or road trip planners, so that you can get an idea of how long it takes to go from place to place. To make it easier on yourself, you could also consider signing up for pre-planned bus tours which tend to go to major tourist attractions.
After deciding upon your preferred itinerary, the next step is to explore whether you need a visa. This will depend mainly upon the length of time you plan to travel as well as the country from which you hold citizenship. For example, due to socio-economic and political reasons, people from Russia, North Korea, Mexico, and India may have a more difficult time obtaining a US visa. However, individuals from Canada and most European countries who plan to visit the United States are exempt from needing a visa for short-duration trips and only need to apply for long-term trips (more than 90 days for most European countries and up to 182 days for Canadians). If you determine that you need a USA visa, find the US embassy in your home country and follow their directions for applying for a visa. Make sure to leave adequate time for this step as there can sometimes be delays with the application process. When requesting your visa, it is essential to think about whether you need a multi-entry visa or if you only plan to enter the United States one time.
After exploring visa options, make sure your passport is up to date. If it is expired, apply for a new one as soon as possible. You will need to get photographs that adhere to the passport photograph requirements for your country. Even if your passport has not yet expired, you will also want to replace it if there are less than six months left before it expires; otherwise, you will likely be denied entry. After you have your passport in hand, you can go ahead and apply for your visa if you need one.
Another critical component to planning travel in the USA is to determine your budget for travelling. Accommodation prices can vary significantly from state to state, with major cities tending to have higher rates while rural areas or midwestern states tend to have lower prices. You can look for all-inclusive travel packages (which often include housing, meals, transportation, etc.) or plan this on your own. It is important to note that while most major cities have good public transportation options, more rural areas do not. You can also check out Amtrak routes if you prefer to rely on the train. Make sure you book accommodation and transportation early to get the best rates.
Next, comes the best part of planning your USA trip, which is looking for fun things to do! Perhaps you are heading to Disney World to finally meet Mickey or heading to New York to catch a Broadway show. You might have a couple of things in mind that you want to do. Now is the time to make a tentative plan for what else you want to see and do. If you are heading to Florida, this may entail spending a day at the world-class beaches. If you are New York bound, you may want to check out some of the country's most lauded museums, such as The Museum of Modern Art. Make sure to consider dining options, free things to do, walking tours, and other ways of seeing more of your destination. Then, it's time to purchase your flight!
When it is time to begin preparing for your trip, you will want to leave ample time to pack for your trip. It is essential to consider what the weather will be like when planning your trip. Places like Colorado can require a wide range of clothing as temperatures can drop more than 20 degrees at night. Thus, you may want warm clothes for the hot summer days and warmer clothes for sunset hikes and nighttime. Pack all required documents, including your us visa if applicable and any necessary visas for minors travelling with you. Additional documents you will want handy include passports, travel insurance, driver's license or national identity card, and fun reading material for your plane ride!