Visiting America For The 1st Time: A Guide

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The United States of America is one of the popular tourist destinations for British travellers – 4.9 million tourists visited in 2017. Visiting the States is the dream for many people – it has so much diversity that there is something for everyone – cowboys, Disney, space travel, music and landscapes that range from lunar through to canyons and snowscapes requires careful planning. Here’s a guide to visiting America for the first time, so that your holiday can meet your expectations.

  1. Travel Documents

Visiting America is not as simple as buying a ticket and turning up at the airport. There are now travel restrictions in place for people who are travelling on certain country’s passports. You need to check that you are eligible to travel. Lots of countries’ citizens are entitled to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) – 90 days of travel without the need for a visa – click here to apply for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Your passport also needs to be digital with a chip in it. Failing to make sure that you have the right travel documents means that you will be refused entry.

  1. Your Luggage

You need to consider the luggage that you are planning to take to the States. There are many items that are restricted by the federal agencies. There are obvious things like firearms on the list, but problematic items too such as some medications. If you need to take certain medications especially for chronic conditions, double check that they are not on the list. You may need a letter from a doctor to clarify the situation.

If you are planning a shopping trip to the States, you must be mindful that you will have to declare any items that you buy and pay the resulting import tax. If you can’t prove that you brought the items from the UK you may have to pay customs – receipts, tags on clothing, etc. are indicators that you bought them in America.

  1. Your Itinerary

You will have an itinerary of places that you want to visit. America is a huge country, so be selective about how much you can squeeze in – you want to be able to enjoy your time there and not just spend time in transit. If you are going to explore the Midwest, visit French Lick Westbaden to relax and enjoy the culture. If you are going to Disney’s Florida, schedule some beach time to help you unwind. You want to feel like you have had a holiday before you return home!

Going to the United States is a wonderful opportunity to explore the country that influences so much of our own culture. Whether you are a music lover heading to Nashville, or a theme park junkie wanting to enjoy the Orlando offerings, you must ensure that your travel documents are appropriate before you travel. You must also be vigilant that your luggage adheres to the strict policies concerning import and export so that your holiday can start or end without a hitch. Have a fabulous time – but remember to take time out and relax too!


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