There’s a lot more to travelling to the USA than the holiday hot spots on the East and West Coast. Here’s a few things you need to know if you want to take the ultimate adventure to the USA.
1. It’s incredibly diverse
While you might be familiar with the well-known destinations through Florida or California, each region in the US offers so much to be explored. From the Gulf States of Texas, Alabama and Louisiana in the deep south, to the mountainous South West and states like Montana and the northern coastal charm of New England where you’ll find the delights of Maine and Rhode Island, you might be surprised to find so many holiday-worthy destinations across the breadth of the country.
2. The Carolinas are a must
South Carolina and North Carolina might not get much attention in our part of the world, but to the US, these states make up their golden coastline. Sandy beaches and quaint coastal towns go hand in hand with southern charm, making for an idyllic getaway made even better by the region’s renowned hospitality.
3. It’s the gateway to the Caribbean
If you want to cruise the Caribbean or soak up the Creole vibes, the US is the best place to launch your island adventure. From Miami, it’s only a hop, skip and a boat ride to the world’s most famous paradise.
4. Road and rail provide the best scenery
You don’t have to fly around the country to enjoy the best of the US. Roadtrips are a great way to get around and see more of a region, while the train journeys are iconic, providing a more scenic option for exploring multiple destinations.
5. Tipping is a thing
It’s not an entirely foreign concept to us down under, but tipping is a way of life in the US. From outside the airport to the taxi and even your hotel or accommodation, make sure you have some small notes ready to go. Tipping as much as 15 to 20 percent can be the norm at restaurants, diners and bars. You can always ask the service staff what is expected.
6. There are State and National Parks everywhere
Parks might not be the first thing you think of when travelling to the USA, but the country is full of them. Almost every destination through the Mid South, South East, Mid Atlantic and New England and beyond offers huge State or National Parks and forests to explore. A bucket list item for outdoor lovers, the Appalachian Scenic Trail spans 14 states, and at 3,500km long is the longest hiking-only trail in the world.
7. Anytime is a good time
With the changing of the seasons, there’s always something to enjoy in every state and destination in the US. Where there’s snow in winter, there’s hiking and biking in the summer; where beach lovers flock to the sand in summer there are heaps of attractions to keep everyone entertained all year round.
8. Be prepared
Know your travel requirements ahead of time, most importantly arrival visas. Travellers from eligible countries (including Australia and New Zealand) can apply for the Visa Waiver Program no later than 72 hours before departing for the US, through the government’s official ESTA site.