When planning a trip to the United States there are a couple of important things that you should prepare in order for your journey to be a smooth one.
Preparing Your Official Documents for Travel
Make sure that you have a valid passport since people traveling to the U.S. are required to have at least six months of validity on their passport. Many countries now issue electronic passports as well. Having an updated passport ensures that your identity is recognized and that your travel is official.
It is important to know whether you need to apply for a Visa or an ESTA Visa. The United States has a Visa Waiver Program that allows nationals from member countries to visit the country for up to 90 days without a regular Visa. Those who are not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program must apply for a Visa.
If you belong to a member country then you simply have to apply for authorization to travel through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA. The United States has a special agreement with 39 countries for the ESTA visa which will make a person eligible to travel to the U.S. for two years before having to renew it again. The benefit of this type of Visa is that it is easier to apply for than for a regular U.S. Visa.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization has revolutionized the process of Visa applications and has made it so much easier to apply for one. There is a simplified form to fill out with personal information that is accessible on the official website, after confirming your details you can simply pay with your credit card. This process will grant you an approved ESTA which will allow you unlimited entry to the U.S. provided that each visit is not more than ninety days.
Preparing Your Budget for Travel
It is important to prepare your budget for traveling so that your trip itself will be smooth and free of worries. Make sure that you have enough money in the bank as well as having debit and credit cards that you can use on your trip.
When it comes to estimating the costs of traveling to the United States, be aware that you may have to pay more than usual when you travel to the U.S. because prices do not usually reflect the sales tax of the items and food you will be buying. Expect to give tips to service workers since there is an established tipping etiquette in the United States. The minimum wage is low in the U.S. and that is the reason people give tips to augment the income of workers. Giving a dollar or two to somebody who helps you with your bags or serves you food at a restaurant will certainly be appreciated.
Preparing Your Itinerary for Travel
An itinerary or travel plan is important when you travel because it gives you a blueprint of activities and places to go on your trip. Research ahead about places that may interest you. Map out the places you want to visit and experience. Although you do not need to follow your itinerary to the letter, it is nonetheless important in focusing your time and energy towards places you want to go and activities you want to do while you are in the U.S. since it is a country with so many wonderful places to visit.
With your documents ready, your budget squared away, and your itinerary prepared, all that is left to do is to buy your ticket and pack your bags for the adventure of going to the United States of America.