Now that things are starting to open back up again and travel restrictions are slowly lifting after the pandemic, you might be considering your next traveling adventure. If you’ve always loved the idea of exploring North America, there’s no better time than now to start planning your trip.
Traveling can be complicated to organize. There’s a lot to sort out prior to setting off, from accommodation to finances to leisure activities. You want to make the most of your trip while sticking within your allocated budget.
Here are some top tips for you to take on board for your time traveling around the US.
Arrange Your Accommodation Beforehand
You might think ‘winging it’ will be fine. In some cases, waiting until you get there to find accommodation might work. But it’s not worth the risk. Before you even think about packing up your belongings and heading to the airport, you should do research your accommodation options. If you’re traveling to multiple areas within the States, you will need to spend a little more time finding decent places to stay in each location. Depending on how many people you are traveling with and how long you plan on staying in each area, you might wish to stay at a hostel, lodging house, hotel room, or motel. Alternatively, if your budget allows it, you could rent out a condo for your travels.
Set Out Your Budget
Speaking of your budget, it’s always a good idea to create a spreadsheet that details your expected income and expenses prior to setting off. If you’ve been planning on traveling for a while, you’ve probably already saved some money, but you will still need to budget to ensure you don’t run out halfway through your trip. Take into account that most places will require a 15-20% tip on top of the original payment.
Stay in the Safe Areas
America, as with every other continent, has its stunning areas and its not-so-nice areas. If you’re traveling through a foreign country, you must always stay as safe as possible. This is particularly important if you are traveling alone. Research the local crime rates and choose the safest possible areas. Major tourist areas like Los Angeles, Miami, and Las Vegas remain well-lit day and night, but you should still be extra cautious.
Organize a Sponsorship for Your Green Card
When your employer decides to sponsor your green card, they must complete a process via permanent labor certification ads, sometimes referred to as PERM or immigration labor advertising.
Certain roles require a specific skill set, and these jobs can often remain vacant due to a lack of qualified US candidates. In these cases, employers may wish to recruit foreign individuals to fill these roles using immigration advertising. This process can take quite a while to complete, so if you are approaching your employer regarding a sponsorship, be sure to do it several weeks before your work permit or visa is due to run out.
Head to a National Park
The US is known for its breathtaking national parks. Experience the natural beauty of America while being surrounded by the built-up urban jungle. From the Yosemite National Park to the Death Valley Natural Park to Central Park, there are many green areas for you to stroll through.
Plan Your Transport
America is a predominantly car-reliant country. Most people drive due to the vast open spaces and long distances between different cities and towns. If you arrive in the US and don’t plan on using a rental car, expect to be limited with your public transport options, especially if you’re traveling to less conventional areas. It’s a good idea to plan out your route prior to arriving in the States and factor this into your budget and itinerary. Keep in mind that it can take several hours to travel from one state to the next by car or train.
Turn Off Your Mobile Data
You may have unlimited mobile data to use in your home country. However, when you’re in a foreign country, it’s likely that your data will not work. If it does, you can be charged extortionate prices for data roaming. Check to see if your current mobile plan covers international travel or whether they offer cheaper add-one so you can use your data while traveling. If not, there are plenty are public places that offer free WiFi that you can access.
Remember the Time Zones
The US spans six time zones. Make sure you know which time zone each area lies in, so you can plan your transport and accommodation check-in times properly. This is also important to know when you want to arrange a phone call with your friends and family back at home!
Expect to Pay More Than the Price on the Tag
Unlike many other countries, America displays prices without tax. If you put a bunch of items in your basket, expect to pay more than expected at the checkout. Generally, you should expect to pay an extra 10% on top of the stated price. This doesn’t just apply to retail stores. You may find that accommodation fees will be advertised excluding tax.
Staying on top of finances, remaining safe, and planning ahead will ensure nothing goes wrong with your travels. Keep these tips