America is one of those places that everyone wants to visit. There is bound to be one city, one state or one attraction in the US, that is on your bucket list. However, America also seems pretty daunting. There’s so much to think about if you’re planning a trip there. Do I need a visa? Is it safe? Is the flight with my child (or children) going to be an absolute nightmare? Partly for my own research, but mainly to help out anyone planning a trip to America, I’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know.
Do I need a visa?
The visa rules around America can be a little baffling at times. According to the US Embassy, you’ll need one unless you’re eligible for their Visa Waiver Program. This means you have to be visiting for business or tourism, for less than 90 days. Those with an e-passport from the UK are fine, as long as you haven’t been arrested before. You also can’t apply for the VWP if you particular communicable illnesses, or if you’ve been deported from the US before. Oh, you also have to have a return or onward ticket, with an itinerary to present to customs. Pretty straightforward then…Right? Anyone not eligible will have to apply for a visa from the US Embassy. This can take quite a while, as you’ll likely need an interview, and costs $160.
Is it safe?
The majority of America is pretty safe for both holidays and to live! However, there are some places you want to avoid. Make sure you check out the most dangerous cities in the U.S. before choosing where you’re going to visit. That’s Detroit off the list then! Travelling to America is just the same as anywhere else. You need to use a bit of common sense and keep your wits about you. Don’t stand in the street counting your dollars or get in some stranger’s car. You know the simple things. Do some research into the place you’re visiting before setting off. Seek out advice from other travellers too. The travelling community will always help you out!
Travel and accommodation
This is another area you’re going to want to do some research into first. My top tip? Make sure you book with a reputable airline. One that knows you’re going to be on a long-haul flight so provides entertainment. You’d be surprised at how many smaller airlines don’t even have a TV screen for your 6+ hour journey. Look on sites like Trivago to compare the best deals for accommodation. And always, always, read the TripAdvisor reviews. You don’t want to end up in some filthy dirty hotel, just because it was super cheap. Another good idea is to consider self-catering or going down the AirBnB route. This means you can have your own space, without having to sit in your hotel room, in the dark, when the kids go to sleep.
That seems to cover just about everything! The key is to do some serious research and planning before you jet off. As long as you’re fully prepared, travelling to America should be a breeze.