If you’re one of the first-time visitors to the USA, you may feel a bit apprehensive with the controversy surrounding new President Trump and his much-disputed travel ban on some countries.
The good news is, that its mainly business as usual in airports and other ports of entry in the US and visitors are still going to the United States by the thousands. Don’t forget to take out your EU Residents Travel Insurance, as part of ensuring a worry free and enjoyable visit to the US and read these safety guidelines to help you.
Manage Your Luggage
Going through the US Customs baggage check may seem like an intimidating experience with all the unsmiling, uniformed officers checking your luggage, but if you follow protocol, you will breeze through customs without any issues. While packing, be aware of items that cannot be brought into the USA such as bakery items, meats and agricultural goods. Make sure that you give specific details on the Customs Declaration Form. Be prepared to be selected for a random bag search where an office will ask you to open your bags. If this happens to you, just go through the process calmly and answer questions truthfully and confidently.
Make sure your luggage meets size, shape and weight requirements; otherwise take a look at these tips on travelling with oversized and overweight baggage.
Know the “good areas” and the “bad areas”
Despite what visitors may have seen on TV about crime and the ready availability of guns, most US cities are safe places to visit. Big, urban cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Miami all have “good areas” and “bad areas”, just like any other city in the world. Know these areas.
Have Land Transportation Arrangements
Remember that the US is a car-dependent nation, and public transport outside of large cities is not always available and may be unreliable. Make sure that you have researched and arranged your transport in advance. Renting a car is a good option if you are confident driving in the US. Before doing this, be aware of driving regulations for foreign nationals. You must have a valid driver’s license and some US States require an International Driver’s Permit. This must be obtained in advance from your country of origin, but make sure you allow enough time for the application process.
Prepare for mishaps and emergencies
Many people often take this for granted, but this is where good travel insurance comes in. There have been too many tales of emergency situations while on holiday which could be easily resolved with a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Be prepare for situations such as cancelled flights, sudden illness or accident, or lost bags. With a good travel insurance policy, you can get help and have your expenses covered.
Have a great, safe trip to the USA!