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Since the United States is home to cosmopolitan cities and countless natural wonders, many people across the globe will want to visit. The tourist attractions range from beaches and jungles to high snowcapped mountains and vast deserts. Other than for tourism, you might also want to visit the United States for business, work, or studies. Here are some important things to remember as you plan your first trip to the US.
1. You will need an ESTA or a Visa to Enter the USA.
If you are planning to visit the USA, you must understand the legal requirements you should fulfill. Generally, you will be required to apply for a visa to enter the US. For instance, if you want to visit the most famous city in the world, you should have a visa for New York. However, some people may not be required to apply for a visa. Instead, they should apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization(ESTA).
If you are a citizen of the 40 countries listed in the Visa Waiver Program, you will need an ESTA. The ESTA is valid for 90 days, and the counting begins immediately after you land at any US territory, even if it is not your destination. Those requiring an ESTA include persons traveling by cruise ship or air.
Applying for the ESTA about 3 days before the travel day is advisable, as the application process takes about 20 minutes.
2. Ensure You Visit at Least One National Park
While the USA is popular for its buzzing cities, it also provides a healthy balance of outstanding landscapes and nature. In fact, if you are into history and nature, you will enjoy visiting Theodore Roosevelt-the first national park in the world. The USA has about 62 protected areas with an impressive range of national parks with all kinds of outdoor activities, flora, landscapes, and fauna. Do not just explore the urban side, as nature also offers a lot.
3. Confirm if Your Passport is Still Valid
To enter the United States, some foreign citizens need their passport have at least 6 months of validity when you travel. In simpler terms, if your passport expires in less than six months, you must renew it before traveling. Also, ensure that your passport remains valid during the entire time you intend to spend in the United States.
This will prevent you from getting in trouble with the authorities. This rule do not apply for many countries as Canada, Australie, E.U….)
4. Book Your International and Domestic Flights Separately
If you will be traveling in the USA for a short period of time but want to explore various destinations that are far apart, flying will be your ideal option. Purchase these tickets separately from international ones and travel in Economy, many business class on domestic flights don’t worth the price and international business classes.
This is because flight aggregators and airlines tend to add a premium to domestic flights when bought together with international ones. On the other hand, if you book the flights separately, you will enjoy more choices across all airline alliances.
5. Check you mobile plan before traveling
If you’re a foreigner visiting the United States and need to use a mobile plan during your stay to check your emails, go on social medias… there are a few things you should know to ensure you have a smooth and affordable experience.
First, it’s important to check if your current mobile plan from your home country offers international roaming services at a good price. If it does, you may be able to use your phone in the United States with little or no additional fees. However, it’s important to check with your provider to understand what fees or limitations may apply, such as data caps or higher rates for certain services.
If your current plan doesn’t offer international roaming, you have a few options for getting a mobile plan in the United States. One popular option is to purchase a prepaid SIM card from a US carrier as T Mobile, which can be inserted into your phone to provide you with a local phone number and data plan. This can be a convenient and affordable option for short-term stays, as many carriers offer low-cost plans with unlimited calls and texts, as well as data packages that can be tailored to your needs.
Another option is to sign up for a postpaid plan with a US carrier, which typically requires a credit check and a commitment of at least one year. While postpaid plans can be more expensive than prepaid options, they may offer more features and benefits, such as unlimited data, free international calls, and access to premium content.
It’s also worth noting that not all phones may be compatible with US carriers, particularly if they use a different network technology than what is used in the United States (Only 5G work in the US now). Before purchasing a prepaid SIM card or signing up for a postpaid plan, make sure to check if your phone is compatible with the carrier’s network.
In conclusion, if you love traveling, especially to the US, you should always have an updated Visa. Also, remember to carry enough money to avoid any inconveniences during the trip.