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What will I need to bring with me when travelling to the USA?


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Old 06-14-2008, 09:46 AM
export export is offline
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Default What will I need to bring with me when travelling to the USA?

I'm 20 and am flying from the UK to the USA this summer. I'm spending just over a week in Georgia, and then another couple of weeks in and around San Francisco, California.

Just wondered what you guys thought I should bring with me, in terms of official stuff (tickets, ID etc) and what would be useful to bring, clothes or otherwise.

Any other hints about my travelling in general would be appreciated too... this is my first big solo travel, so I'm up for any advice you all have got for me!
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:51 AM
gonorth gonorth is offline
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Default What will I need to bring with me when travelling to the USA?

Its gonno b hot, remember that plus american food is nasty bring some food from home or foods that you are use too.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:55 AM
western western is offline
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Default What will I need to bring with me when travelling to the USA?

both places are going to be very hot! lots of shorts and tank tops and of course a bathing suit! The US is very different from the UK.. there isnt much more advice to give.. i mean bring as much money because california has wonderful shops that sell different things than UK. but hope that helps a little!! Have a Blast!
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:00 AM
trade trade is offline
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Default What will I need to bring with me when travelling to the USA?

A really good digital camera to catch the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge!
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:05 AM
KungFu KungFu is offline
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Default What will I need to bring with me when travelling to the USA?

Obviously, you need your passport. Inoculations are not required to visit the USA, though being vaccinated against Hepatitis A & B is a good idea even if you never leave home.

Almost all airline tickets today are "e-tickets", but it is still better to print the information and carry it with you. Note that you may be asked by the Immigration Officer to show a return ticket when you enter the USA, and having a printed copy of your e-ticket will reduce confusion. Also carry with you printed copies of any hotel or other reservations

Do join the frequent flier program of the airline you plan to take across the Atlantic. Joining is free and you can do it online. Note that you can get also FF miles by staying at hotels.

Take ID (ex. a driving license) in addition to your passport. Shops in the USA often ask for ID when someone pays with a credit card and carrying your DL (or something similar) should be more convenient than carrying your passport. Also take a student ID if you have one as many museums and other attractions offer a discount for students.

ATMs are everywhere in the USA, and occasionally withdrawing money with a credit or debit card is better than carrying around lots of cash. Try to only use ATMs that belong to a real bank because the kind in hotels, restaurants, bars, and stores tend to charge a high service fee.

Notify the issuer of any credit or debit cards that you plan to use them abroad. That will prevent an automatic "security hold" from being placed on the card(s) the first time you try to use them in the USA.

Take proof of medical insurance coverage with you and consider getting "trip medical insurance". Trip medical insurance is cheap and is sold by airlines & travel agents.

Send an e-mail meessage to yourself with your passport number, and the numbers of any credit cards you take with you. Sending scanned images to yourself is another option. That way the info is available via any computer connected to the Internet if somehting should be lost or stolen.

Sales taxes (basically VAT) in the USA are added at the cash register and are not on the price tag for most items. Retail sales tax in most cities is about 8%, so an item with $100 on the tag will actually cost $108 or so at the register.

Tip cafe/restaurant waiters and taxi drivers 15% (leave $1 extra for every $7 on the bill, so a $35 meal = a $5 tip). Tip 20% for really special service. You do not have to tip the staff at fast food places like McDonald's.

The minimum age to legally purchase alcohol in the USA is 21. Sorry.

The Internet, cinema, and TV have reduced the other differences between the UK and the USA so you won't have any real problems in daily life - except for drive left/drive right.

Georgia will be much warmer than the UK, so pack light, cotton clothes and take it easy during the afternoon.

SF itself can be cool during summer due to the cold-water current just offshore. However, just outside SF can be very warm.

If you are NOT visiting friends or family (and therefore don't know anyone where you are going), consider joining SERVAS. It is a global network of hosts & travelers and you will have local contacts in most places even if you don't choose to stay with a host. www.servas.org
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