Things to Know Before Traveling to the US with a Family or Group

The United States is one of the most traveled destinations of the entire world. The places such as California, New York, and Florida are the top destinations to go in the country. However, visiting the U.S., you should be aware of some things so you can have a more enjoyable trip.

Given below are a few things you should keep in mind before traveling to the US.

1. Apply For ESTA

Whenever an outsider is visiting the states, he or she needs the authorization to enter the country. No matter which country you are from, you will need to apply for a Visa. However, getting a visa can be challenging at times. Citizens in some countries do not require a permit for 90 days, as regulated by the VWP or Visa Waiver Program. The VWP is applicable for every non-American citizen and is needed for the ESTA or the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. When traveling in a family or group, keep in mind ESTA application for a group and family is made together to get clearance on the same dates.

2. Check the Validity of the Passport

Usually, you will need a passport validity of at least six months before going to the states. There are exceptions to this rule though, with citizens of some countries with a lower duration, and some with a higher duration. In any case, check the rules for your country and extend the validity of the passport for the required period.

3. Use a TSA Approved Lock

The guidelines regarding security in the states are strict. For this reason, the baggage and luggage of every individual are checked by the Transportation Security Administration. (TSA). TSA inspects the bags through screener and sometimes they will ask you to open the bags. While you have to wait for each luggage to get cleared, it can be time-consuming. To avoid such scenarios, get a TSA approved lock beforehand. The TSA officials can open these locks with their master key, which means that you can continue to use the lock later on. Luggage with TSA approved locks are cleared quickly as well.

4. Know the Basic Driving Norms

The majority of the world is accustomed to seeing right-hand driving vehicles. The cars are also mainly driven on the left side of the road in Europe. However, in the state’s vehicles are driven on the right side of the road, and the steering wheel is placed on the left side. For those who are not accustomed to driving such left-hand steered cars, it may be quite tricky to adjust at first. However, the primary driving patterns are all the same, just flipped.

Expect to pay taxes

The price charges that you would typically see in the states are mostly tax excluded. This means that you have to pay the additional sales tax in some states. If you only check the listed prices and calculate your expenditure with them, be ready to pay a small percentage more than you initially thought you would.

The rates of taxes are not the same throughout the country. Therefore, it is a good habit to do some homework regarding the tax rates of the states you are going to visit.

Other Tips:

  • In case of any emergency, call the number 911 for the police.
  • The USA has a total of six different time zones.
  • The imperial metric system is used for measurements in the US. So think yards instead of meters.

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