Important things you NEED to do before travelling to the USA

So your planning your big trip to The United States of America! Whether what you have got planned is the trip of a lifetime exploring the states by car or simply a weekend trip for some shopping in New York City, you will need to be prepared for your trip to this country. Rules can be strict in the United States of America and at the same time it can be expensive a very expensive country to visit.


Below are 3 things that you must do before travelling to the states so that everything goes to plan.

Apply for ESTA

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens from 15 counties including The United Kingdom, Australia and most EU countries to travel to the United States of America for tourism or business without a visa for up to 90 days. Through the ESTA system visitors have their eligibility to travel visa-free to the United States verified and are then ready to travel!

Visitors must remember to apply for ESTA before travelling to the airport, ESTA recommends applying 3 days in advance to unsure any inconveniences although your ESTA approval usually comes through automatically after you complete your application. Some airlines will require to see your ESTA status at check in and without ESTA approval or a visa upon arriving to the United States you may be denied entry so this is essential to remember before travelling.

Book Insurance

It is always important to purchase travel insurance before setting off on your trip since you never know what situations you may encounter. Travelling without insurance to the USA is particularly risky because the medical bills here can be astronomical! Healthcare in the United States of America is one of the highest costing on the entire planet. It is so expensive that you would be foolish to risk travelling without insurance to this part of the world. We recommend purchasing travel insurance in advance and double check to make sure the US is covered. (In some cases it is not!)

Remember unlike the United Kingdom and many other countries there is no free healthcare even for citizens of the United States themselves. Access to Health care is important and it is good to be prepared.

Include Tips into your budget

It’s always important to factor in the culture before you plan your trip to a new country. If your European one of the first things you will notice when coming to the United States of America is the tipping culture! This can be quite difficult to get used too and if your not prepared for it then it can become damn right annoying after a while. Expect to pay 10-20% on pretty much every service you buy from restaurants, to cleaners, even a drink at the bar! Service is usually not included on the bill but be sure to check. On top of this sales taxes are also not added to prices in-store or online so remember when you get to the checkout you’ll be paying more.

The best thing to do is to set aside a further 10% or more to your budget just for tips alone.