Us Travel Tips And Advice
No comment addedAs the commercial says “you have seen the movie, now visit the set”.
Have a great time when visiting the US, and so here are a few hints and travel advice for you.
Arriving In The US.
Post 9/11 (September 11th 2001), the world changed and so did air travel to the United States. It got even more difficult after August 10 2006, following the failed terrorist plot which planned to blow up planes over UK and US cities using liquid explosives.
Some travellers would say getting there is now an adventure in itself !
Do NOT expect to clear your arrival or destination airport in a hurry.
No comment addedIf there is one day in your life to be early, this is THAT day – so set your alarm call, wake up early and smile.
Be at the airport early, expect to be asked questions (at least once), expect searches in your baggage, and master the ability to take off and put on shoes and belts (at least).
Do NOT, under any circumstances ever make even the smallest joke or jibe about security or terrorism.
Things to FORGET when you travel include: Any sharp objects in hand luggage not limited to – nail clippers, scissors, penknives, lighters, lighter fuel and firearms (god forbid).
If you are booking a flight which transits in the US, remember to leave yourself plenty of time to pass through immigration – particularly in Miami.
If you are leaving through main UK airports, remember the ONE piece of hand luggage rule. They will now NOT let you through security with more than one piece of handluggage, and that includes a handbag. So if you have a handbag and, for example, a computer bag you will have to fit one inside the other until you have passed through security. There are no exceptions.
Other items you are best advised NOT to pack in other luggage are: Firearms (you just said that above), meat, any meat products, seeds, fruit, plants and illegal drugs.
Duty free allowances vary and change, but as a general rule goods which are worth more than $400 (US citizens) or $100 (foreign travellers), are your limit.
Visitors, over 21, are allowed 200 cigarettes, 3lbs of tobacco (although where you would smoke is a tricky one) and 34 fl oz of alcohol. (the fl oz and lbs by the way, as well as inches, feet, ounce and yard are worth learning or remembering (dependant on your age), the US operates on the imperial system not metric).
To stay up to date on the do’s and don’ts, the what to do and what not to do, including travel advice, passport and visa information, these two are the best we know of. Either the US Embassy in London at http://london.usembassy.gov/ or
the FCO (brilliant site), go to http://www.fco.gov.uk then the travel advice button (near the top left of their site).
No comment addedTime Zones
(so you know what time your arriving or departing)
Continental United States spans four time zones:
From east (think New York) to west (think San Francisco) , these zones are:
Eastern: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) minus 5 hours.
Central: GMT minus 6 hours.
Mountain: GMT minus 7 hours.
Pacific: GMT minus 8 hours.
Daylight Saving: Begins at 2 AM local time on the second Sunday in March, when clocks are put forward 1 hour, and ends on the first Sunday in November.
States and territories in the United States that do not observe daylight saving time include: Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and most of Arizona except the Navajo Nation. Some parts of Indiana did not observe daylight saving time in the past, but has since 2006, despite being split into different time zones.
(there are 5 further times zones: Alaska (-9), Hawaii (-10), Atlantic (-4), Samoa (-11) and Chamorro (+10).
As standard electricity in North America is 110>115 volts, an adapter is neccesary for most appliances (except Japan).
No comment addedUS Public Holidays.
January 1st: New Year’s Day
Third Monday in January: Martin Luther King Day
Third Monday in February: Presidents Day
March/April: Good friday and Easter Monday
Last Monday in May: Memorial Day
July 4th: Independence Day
First Monday in September: Labor Day
Second Monday in October: Columbus Day
Fourth Thursday in November: Thanksgiving
November 11th: Veterans Day
December 25th: Christmas Day
Emergencies: 911 – will connect you with the police, fire and ambulance.
Operator: 0 (thats zero).
Local Information: 411
Long Distance Information: 1+area code+555-1212
Toll Free Directory: 800-555-1212.
All countries have their fair share of crime and security issues, and the US is no different.
Commom sense is the thing to remember, and always be wary of who is around you.
If you’re driving, never pick up hitch hikers, or people you do not know.
If you have car trouble, stay with the vehicle – turn on your hazard light and lift the hood/bonnet.
Do not take a rental/hire car that’s marked and labelled as one; you might as well just write a big sign on it saying “Tourist”.
Don’t leave your vehicle unlocked or items on view.
Use the hotel’s own safe rather than room ones.
Using ATM’s/cash machines at night !!!, well that’s up to you.
Don’t leave small children by themselves, particularly not in cars while you do the shopping.
Try and avoid walking alone at night, and if you do stick to well lit areas.
Our advice: DO NOT !, OK.