About The United States Of America
Being the World’s lone superpower with the largest economy, everyone, everywhere is familiar with something about the USA; whether they have visited or not. The iconic Empire State, Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate, the White House, Grand Canyon and of course Hollywood.
The United States of America has varied landscapes ranging from the magnificent Rocky Mountains to cascading waterfalls, the vast desert landscape of the Southwest, spectacular beaches of Florida, gigantic redwoods in California and the immaculate villages of New England. America is diverse and forever evolving.
USA Travel Info
Language: English is the official language used by over 90 percent of the population. The other dialects include Spanish, Chinese and French.
Currency: United States Dollar.
Visa: Visitors from 38 countries around the world are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA). This will allow you to stay in the USA for up to 3 months as a tourist. If you are traveling with an ESTA, you must obtain authorization online before boarding. Other visitors who are planning to visit the USA must obtain a B-2 Visa by paying $160 fee.
Electricity: The United States of America operates on 110 volts with a frequency of 60 Hz. I recommend bringing a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each country you visit.
United States Festivals & Celebrations
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was started in 1999 and has now turned into a huge event that people attend from all over the world. Coachella is a mix of art, music, and culture and this festival is the ultimate destination of all Pop music lovers.
Burning Man: Burning man is top of the list for every festival enthusiast and is held at Black Rock City where participants supposedly burn their past and feel all geared up for future transformations. Crazy but spectacular out of this world costumes are worn and it’s a surreal few days in the desert.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta: Ever imagined seeing a sky full of multi-colored hot air balloons? If you want to make this dream come true, head to Albuquerque in New Mexico to observe a massive hot air ballooning event that continues for nine days.
Safety In The USA
America is a safe place to travel to although thefts, bag snatching and scams are prevalent in all big cities so be mindful of this. Major cities like New York City are under the constant threat of a terror attack, as with all major cities worldwide, but security measures are in place. Based on my own travel experiences in the USA I wouldn’t leave home without travel insurance no matter how safe the destination is considered to be. You can still miss flights, lose your luggage or break a leg, especially if you’re as accident prone as I am. For this reason I recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few weeks or months before you plan to visit the USA.
Top Things To Do In The USA
Empire State Building, New York
Empire State building is an iconic skyscraper of New York and tops the bucket list of most visitors. Its observation deck is the world’s most famous and the highest in New York. The building is in the heart of New York City, and once you reach the observation deck on the 86th floor, you can see a 360-degree view of the city. If this is not enough for you, you can go up another 16 stories and see the entire New York City. The main thrill is the height. Standing here, you can see views as far as 80 miles below you.
Mendenhall Glacier Cave, California
With temperatures rising year after year, getting to see a place like Mendenhall is a treat. The photographs of this place are so alluring that you cannot avoid coming here if you are in California. These ice caves are sited in a glacier, and you can only reach them if you climb or kayak over it. Once you are there, you will be awed by the incredible cave ceiling that is almost cloud-like. You would have never seen anything of the kind.
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
Horseshoe Bend is one of the best and the closest Grand Canyon experiences located at the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon. It provides one of the most stunning views of the Colorado River, and Horseshoe Bend is one of the most visited destinations. The place is also a hit among photographers capturing the surreal contrast between the clear Colorado waters and the rock formations.
Explore Kamokuna, Hawaii
It is the most surreal experiences you might have had in your lifetime. Watching tons of lava flow out of the Kilauea Volcano into the ocean is just mesmerizing. When the lava touches the water, molten rocks shoot up and clouds of acidic steam rise. No words can describe how incredible the entire phenomenon looks and you can take a boat or a helicopter tour to witness all this carefully.
Visit the Antelope Canyon, Arizona
The Antelope Canyon is situated in the Navajo territory. The place is terrific, and it provides the perfect Instagram shots to visitors from across the globe. Most tourists prefer to visit the upper Antelope Canyon because from here you can witness an eerie looking beam of light sourced from the opening. The location of the Canyon is near Page, Arizona and you will find it submerged in some natural colors when the sun shines through it.
White Water Rafting down the Hudson River, New York
Whitewater rafting in River Hudson is the coolest thing you could have done in a long time. Starting for the upper Hudson, you can go on a thrilling seventeen-mile adventure. Surrounded by the striking mountain views, you will forget that you are in a city. The best thing about this activity is its vast range, from vigorous rapids to calm waters. You can get some history of the place from the guide before the beginning of the next adventure.
Take a Jet Boat through Niagara Falls, New York
If you are in New York for a few days, do not miss seeing the iconic Niagara Falls located in the Finger Lake region of the city. Reaching it is easy; you can either take a two-day bus tour or a very short scenic flight. The falls are magnificent, totally mesmerizing. Take a jet boat ride and get wild and wet. Several companies offer these rides, so look for the best deal.
Climb Haiku Stairs, Hawaii
The Haiku Stairs are also locally called the stairs to Hawaii heaven. Although the stairs have been closed thirty years back, they are still a well-known tourist destination. They were built during WWII for the military troops to get access to a radio station. The entire staircase has 4000 steps, and the trek is famous for the incredible view it provides. From the top of the steps, you can get surreal views of the summit Puu Keahi.
Sequoia National Park, California
This Park is famous for its giant sequoia trees which are so grandiose and magical that they will stay in your memory for a long time. The park is home to many such gigantic trees including the General Sherman Tree that is the most massive tree on Planet Earth. A visit to this national park is a must, and you will be surprised by how small everything else appears standing next to these giants.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming
This spring is the largest hot water spring in the US and is among the most photographed element of Yellowstone National Park. Famous for its signature multi-colored waters, the spring is larger than a football ground and thicker than a ten story building. The reason behind the colors of the water is that several species of bacteria reside in the cooler wares of the spring.
What To Eat In America
American cuisine is something that everyone falls in love with, even if they hate to admit it. Americans love to eat comfort food which might not exactly be healthy. Some dishes high on taste factor that you must try while in the USA are listed here.
Burger: The burger needs no introduction and who doesn’t love a good crispy, juicy patty inside a fresh bun. The American burger boasts gooey cheese, lettuce, tomato, and some tangy pickle sauce. It can be further topped with caramelized onions, mayonnaise and mustard.
Cheesecake: This dessert melts in your mouth but sadly the calories do not. The buttery biscuit base is topped with loads of heavy cream cheese and is so damn tasty.
Hotdogs: Cooked sausage is grilled and sandwiched between a sliced bun. The locals top it with mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, onions, chili, cheese, and relish.
Mac and Cheese: This macaroni and cheese dish baked in the oven is considered to be the ultimate comfort food of the USA. Use a mix of good cheese for the best result. While no single person can claim to be the inventor of this dish, everyone has his version of mac and cheese.
Chicken and Waffles: Long back some genius decided to combine delectable fried chicken to the greatest waffles to form a sweet and savory breakfast dish. You cannot miss this sinful delight while you are in the US.
Where To Stay In The USA
America can be quite an expensive place to visit. Finding excellent accommodation in the USA is easy but finding affordable accommodation, if you’re on a tight budget, is the hard part. Luckily USA hostels and dormitories make travel here more affordable for backpackers and any travelers on a shoe-string budget.
Don’t wait until you arrive to see what’s available or you may be disappointed to find that all the best accommodation options have already been snapped up. America is a very popular year-round destination with business travelers and sight-seeing tourists alike.
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in the USA.
If you’re backpacking in the USA or traveling on a tight budget then Hostel World is another great option. Staying in hostels makes travel in America much more affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies.
USA Trip Planner
Best Time to Visit The USA
The best time to visit the USA is between April and October, this is if you want mild, reasonably warm or if you’re lucky hot weather. If you want to see America with hot weather and blue skies then aim to visit between May and September.
USA Travel Budget
The USA can be an expensive city but it’s still generally an affordable destination for travelers on a tight budget. The cost of your trip to America really depends on the level of comfort you will want while here. If you’re backpacking and planning on staying in dormitories, hostels and eating fast food then budget between 35 to 50 dollars a day. If you prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotel rooms and eat in mid-range restaurants you could spend anywhere between 50 to 100 dollars per day. If you want to enjoy luxury 4-5 star accommodation and gourmet restaurants in places like New York City and Los Angeles then budget about 250 dollars plus a day.
- Budget: $35 – $100
- Mid-range: $100 – $250
- Splurge: $250 +
Meal For One
- Budget: $8 – $25
- Mid-range: $25 – $60
- Splurge: $60 +
USA Packing Guide
Packing for a trip to the USA is easy, just remember to pack lightweight and breathable clothing for Summer trips and warm, waterproof clothing for trips during Spring, Autumn and Winter.
Be prepared for the weather to get extremely cold in some parts of the USA during the winter. You will need high quality thermal wear and scarves, woolly hats, gloves and a thick winter coat. If you forget to pack something you can buy anything you need while you’re in the USA.
Other essential items to pack for a trip to America include a good quality travel backpack. Choose the brand carefully and make sure you find the right size backpack for your torso. Believe me, doing this will make all the difference and prevent major backache. Smaller items to pack include a padlock, sleep sheet and a money belt to keep important documents close to you.