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- Did you know
The United States of America is a federal constitutional Republic comprising fifty states, 48 of which are on the mainland as well as Hawaii and Alaska. It is a very multicultural society, with immigrants from all over the world. The US is the world’s largest economy. It's famous for a wide array of popular tourist destinations, ranging from the skyscrapers of Manhattan and Chicago, to the natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park and Alaska, to the warm, sunny beaches of Florida, Hawaii and Southern California.
Purchase in advance for better deals. Cover most major towns and cities throughout the USA.
Rentals can be expensive to hire and on gas. Drive away cars, driving other peoples’ cars across the country for them can be good for flexible travellers. Regarding rentals, you must be 25 years old with an international driving license.
There are lines connecting most of Americas largest cities, fares vary, from seats in coach to first class, from simple bunks to large suites.
American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Jetblue, United Airlines, US Airways to name but a few. It can be the most expensive form of travel but it’s safe and fast. You will usually fly between two major airports and then swap over to smaller ones.
Although gun crime is a problem in the United States, this rarely affects tourists. In fact the US is quite a safe country but make sure to find out what areas to avoid. If you are aware of your surroundings, stick with your friends, don’t go anywhere at night on your own and take care when you are out socialising you will be fine. This goes for most countries. Take care if you decide to go over the border to Mexico for a night out. Although it can be great fun there are dangers involved.
Never make jokes about bombs or terrorists in the States, especially at airports.
For more tips on staying safe, visit our security section.
Make sure you have comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you go to the US. Medical treatment is very expensive and you will not be entitled to any free healthcare.
The climate in the US varies considerably as the US is a vast country. Generally the best time to go would be late Spring and early Autumn. The weather won’t be too hot, and it will be quieter.
Tipping is standard practise. 15% is expected in most restaurants. €1 per drinks in bars,
European/other license is only valid for three months, after which you will have to get an American license. Go to the nearest DMV, Department of Motor Vehicles.
For travel tips on packing, camping, flying and much more, visit our travel tips section.
If you wish to enter the USA, you will need either a non-immigrant visa for a temporary stay of up to three months or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. You can also apply for a temporary work visa. Visit http://www.usa.gov/visitors/work.shtml for more information.
Many Europeans can enter the country for up to 90 days on a visa waiver programme, which must be done online. www.estaonline.com
All EEA countries, Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand
Children must have separate passports. You will have to obtain approval for travel to the US through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). Do this online as soon as you have your flights booked. Learn more at www.learn4good.com/travel/usa_visa.htm
For permanent residence you will first need to obtain an H1 visa. These visas are tied to a particular company, so you won’t be able to change jobs. After three years you can apply for a green card, which are valid permanently. If however, you leave the US for a year; your green card will expire.
Areas in high demand include IT, Science and medicine. You will need a job offer before you can get a visa. An employee can sponsor you, but they must prove to the authorities that there is no suitable American candidate. You could still end up waiting years for a green card. Remember it’s a highly competitive market and finding a job may take some time. Usually you are entitled to two weeks holidays, there are not many unions, and it can be very easy to get fired.
The first man to walk on the moon was an American called Neil Armstrong in 1969.
The USA has the biggest economy in the world.
You can own a gun in the US when you are 18.
You must be 21 before you can purchase alcohol.
The US is the third largest producer of oil in the world and the largest consumer.
The Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States.
English is the most common spoken language in the US but it is not the official language. In fact, there is no official language.
New York was the first capital of the United States.