Visiting the United States of America is in the bucket list of most people around the world and rightly so. It is the hub of everything that is there to offer. Not only is it ripe with opportunities on the occupational front, but it also provides one of the most versatile and enriching tourist experience as well. Gorgeous scenery, historical buildings, theme parks, modern technological advancements, you name it and it is there. Millions of tourists visit the US every year. Las Vegas, California, New York and San Francisco are few of the common locations of interests but there are a number of equally endearing places as well that you must not leave out in order to have a complete trip.
If you are traveling to the US for the first time, you will need a VISA. However, there is a list of countries that are enlisted under the Visa Waiver Program and if you belong to that list, you can even apply for an ESTA. It is basically an Electronic System for Travel Authorization that determines if a person has the eligibility to travel to the country under the Waiver Program. You can apply for ESTA USA as soon as possible as there is no time limit to do so. You can check ESTA status within a few hours of applying. It will either be approved or rejected and you can take further steps based on the result.
Now that you have got the idea of ESTA cleared, here are a few mistakes that you should avoid when you are traveling to the US for the first time-
Do not eat near tourist locations
When you visit the US and want to try the exotic dishes, eating near the tourist locations is generally not a good idea. These restaurants are not only extra costly due to their location but also are not as tasty as it would generally be. It is basically based on the psychology that tourists are not going to keep coming back to the same place for food, so quality is not a primary concern. Moreover, you may have a wrong perception of the local food by eating at these places. Instead, walk a few lanes away and choose a place which looks reasonably local for the authentic taste.
Don’t get money exchange done at the airport
One big mistake that you can make is getting your currency exchanged at the airport itself. The rates are much lesser than it normally is. Instead, walk to the nearest ATM machine or credit card portal and get the money from there. Also, avoid the exchange of cash as you are likely to be ripped off here as well.
Do not always use cab services for traveling, public transport has very good connectivity.
Yes, cab services are convenient as you can hail one only by the click of a button but when you look at the monetary aspect of it, you will be spending a lot on transport itself. The US has very good public transport system, whether it be the buses, railway or the cable cars and they are cheap as well. Make your call based on the amount of time you have as well.
Avoid banks that charge a fee for transactions
Times have changed tremendously and most banks do not charge a fee for foreign financial transactions as they want to stay ahead of their competitors. If you are still using a bank that is saying otherwise, it is probably time to chuck it.
Get insurance for your travel
It may look unnecessary on the outset but traveling involves a lot of uncertainty and insurance is the best cover that you can have. Even a country like the US is not safe from disasters. You can be mugged, have a medical emergency, your luggage might get displaced, a large number of things might go wrong. Therefore, get travel insurance done when you are traveling to the country.
Look to stay in hostels
If you are a little tight on budget, this is the ideal place for accommodation. Contrary to popular belief, hostels are not unhygienic, shady or bed bug-ridden anymore. Since many people, especially the college-goers, prefer staying in a hostel these days, they are well-maintained and taken care of.
Visit the local tourist office
One mistake that most people do is to not visit the local tourist office. This is the best place to find out about the latest events in a particular area. They also guide you through the entire place and give you a complete insight into everything. You just need to follow their instructions and you will be fine.
Take your time to make bookings.
Excitement may get the better of you and you may hurry to make your bookings as soon as a plan is made but it might not actually be a good idea. Instead, wait for 2-3 months prior to your decided dates as the offers start rolling in at that time. No one wants to keep a hotel unbooked or a flight unfilled and they offer lucrative deals for the same. Take advantage of the situation.
These are a few tips on the mistakes that you should avoid when you are traveling to the US. These tips, in fact, apply in general as well and you can refer to them for all your travel plans.
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