Travel in America is exciting simply because the USA is a huge country with a nearly infinite variety of things to see and do. Whether you will stay in one of America’s big cities or go exploring across the country, proper preparation will ensure the success of your trip. It does not matter why you are travelling to the US – pure pleasure, business only, or a mix of both – the more you know before you go, the easier it will be to have a rich, unique experience.
The first thing to understand is that things in America are far apart, and there can be a lot of empty space between them. For example, most people have heard of famous tourist highlights like the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, the geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone Park, and Disneyland in Los Angeles. What first-time travellers to the U.S. often overlook when thinking about what to see is the fact that visiting only these four spots would take a week or more when travelling by air and much longer by ground transportation. Doing good research and planning ahead of time is critical for sightseeing in America.
Also recognise that America has a car culture. This means that things tend to be spread out, even in cities, and good public transportation is limited. There are only a few places in the centres of some of the most densely populated cities where people can live without cars. Touring and sightseeing without a car is really only possible in New York, Boston, and San Francisco. And visitors from other countries are often surprised to see that the centres of many large American cities are nearly deserted at night and on weekends. This is because most people live in the suburbs and only come into the city to work during the week. Unless you travel with a tour group on a bus, don’t count on being able to shop, eat, and sightsee in most cities without a car. Outside the cities, in the natural areas where many of the National Parks are, cars are required.
Once you understand the basics of travel in America, it is easy to have a great time there. The people are friendly and there are activities to fit any budget. You can get more information on U.S. travel from this infographic by the ESTA travel document experts at Application ESTA. Take a look at it for some beginning guidelines on packing for your trip, sightseeing in America, and fitting in with the local culture.