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7 Things To Know Before You Plan a USA Trip

7 Things To Know Before You Plan a USA Trip

Planning a trip to the USA can be an awesome experience but requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. From visa requirements to ensuring seamless connectivity during your stay, health and safety concerns, there are many things you will need to sort out when you plan a USA trip.


Below in this brief guide about USA travel, we will explain some things you will need to consider when you plan a USA trip. These considerations will help you navigate through the intricacies of this magnificent country and make the most of your adventure.


Read on to find useful insights so you can plan a USA trip with confidence and ease.

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Things to Know When it’s Time to Plan a USA Trip

Check Visa Requirements

The most important step to consider when you plan a USA trip is the visa requirements. The United States has specific regulations and procedures in place, and depending on your country of citizenship and the purpose of your visit, you may need to obtain a visa in advance.


Ignoring or underestimating the importance of visa requirements can result in denied entry or serious complications at immigration checkpoints. So, it’s best to start by identifying the type of visa you need based on your purpose of travel, whether it’s for tourism, business, or education.


Review the documentation requirements, application procedures, and processing times to make your experience smoother.

woman on cell phone, plan a USA trip


Ensuring seamless communication with your loved ones is the most important aspect, no matter where you travel. In this context, having a local SIM card can greatly enhance your travel experience and provide uninterrupted connectivity throughout your journey.


You can buy USA SIM cards from within Australia that will help you avoid roaming fees and allow you to access the internet, make calls, send texts, and receive and send notifications. So, make sure you plan your USA travel with the best eSIM options from SimCorner and ensure that your travel is comfortable and convenient.

girl with umbrella
Season and Weather

The United States is a vast country with diverse climates. When you plan a USA trip, consider the time of year you plan to visit and the weather conditions in your chosen destinations. The climate can vary significantly between regions, so pack appropriate clothing and plan activities accordingly.


For example, if you’re visiting during winter, certain areas may experience cold temperatures and snow, while others may have milder weather.


On the other hand, if you want to visit a beach destination, select only the summertime to visit it. During summer, you will be able to enjoy all the outdoor activities and make your stay a memorable one.

dining in Europe, the best food cities
Tipping Culture of the US

Since you will be dining out and exploring different foods, you will want to understand this country’s tipping system better. In the USA, you are anticipated to tip for all sorts of services, including cabs, valet, porters, waiters, bartenders, deliveries, etc.


So – we aren’t talking about food services alone – you will be tipping most of the services. The typical tipping percentage is 15% to 20%. It is important to mention here that you aren’t obliged to tip – but – the tipping practice is typical in the USA, and the service providers will have to tip in their minds.


Depending on the services, you might want to tip more or less. You will want to keep in mind the following suggestions:


  • Housekeepers: $5 – $7 per night stay
  • Bartender: $2 – $5 for each drink
  • Food delivery: 20%
  • Shared shuttle service: 20%
  • Valets: up to $5 for each time the valet brings the car
  • Cab drivers: $10 to $15/ Uber or Lyft drivers 20%
  • Luggage assistants: $5-$10 per delivery and pickup
  • Restaurant servers: 20% minimum, 25% for great service *servers work for $2-$10/hour depending don’t the state you’re in so their pay is made up primarily of tips


Important Note: Before tipping, you will want to check your restaurant bill, as some restaurants tend to include the tip in the total bill amount.

Isle Royale National Park, best places to visit in Michigan
Isle Royale National Park

National Parks Are Great

Although the United States is big, you cannot miss out on visiting at least one national park during your visit. Of course, the USA is known for its amazing cities, but the National Parks are the real asset and offer a positive and essentially healthy balance.


The USA has numerous national parks, including amazing landscapes that offer great outdoor experiences.


So, during your stay in the USA, you will want to escape the hassle of city life, wander in nature, and explore the pristine lakes and green valleys that are part of the amazing National parks. Nonetheless, before you plan your trip, you will want to research the nearest national park and see how you can get there.

road trip to the uk

Road Trips are Fun in the USA

Typically the cities in the USA are far from each other. And in case you are wondering what is between those amazing cities – there are loads of stunning places and roadside attractions you can explore and enjoy.


This aspect perfectly explains why road trips are extremely popular in the USA. That said, you can travel from one city to another using the national bus operators.


Nonetheless, it is essential to mention here that when it comes to traveling with the biggest bus operators in the US, you will want to book earlier and benefit from the amazing deals that the bus operators offer.


You can also assess the best prices and routes using apps like Busbud. Nonetheless, if you don’t like to travel in buses or use public transport in general, you can go on road trips by renting a car and subsequently enjoy more personal freedom.


The essential benefit of renting a car is that you can park the car anywhere along the roadside and take pictures while enjoying the beautiful countryside the US offers.


With that said, if you choose to opt for a rental car in the US, you will want to check out the following aspects:


Do your research and assess the total cost of renting a car, as the amount mentioned on the websites usually doesn’t include insurance costs and taxes.


Based on your situation, you will want to decide whether or not to opt for premium insurance.
Remember that the gas prices are different for different states, so you will want to research the fuel price in the state you plan to visit. Then you will want to estimate the gas consumption based on the potential distance you want to travel.


You will want to check in advance for potential tolls on your route, as toll fees can add up pretty quickly.
Most importantly, when picking up the rental car, you will want to collect evidence about the car’s state by documenting and taking pictures of all damages on the car.


Also, take a picture of the car’s dashboard to record the mileage and fuel level.

Disney's Epcot Center
Disney’s Epcot Center

Itinerary and Attractions

With a vast array of destinations and attractions in the United States, crafting a well-thought-out itinerary will ensure you make the most of your time and create lasting memories.


Start by researching the popular destinations and landmarks that pique your interest. The United States offers something for everyone, from the bustling streets of New York City to the stunning natural wonders of national parks like the Grand Canyon and family vacation destinations.


Consider your preferences, whether you’re drawn to historical sites, vibrant city life, outdoor adventures, or cultural experiences, and plan accordingly.


Final Thoughts

You can easily plan a USA trip if you note the important recommendations above. Don’t wait until the last minute. Take your time and plan ahead of your travel dates.

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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