Planning A Trip To The US? Here Are 7 Things You Must Know
The US is supersized, from its big cities to its epic natural attractions. Although the political rhetoric these days could be divisive, politics don’t typically seep into small talk.
If you are planning a trip to the US, read on for 7 things you must know before entering the country, including the etiquette, ideal duration and exploration. Shall we start then?
US Is Huge. Just Pick A Region
The US can feel like a beast to be tamed with its 50 states, 63 national parks and 4 million miles of highways. One solution? Don’t do it all.
Essentially, deep dive into a single region on your trip. While the continental US stretches 3,000 miles from coast to coast, you have also got Alaska and Hawaii.
Ideal Duration Of A Trip
Exploring a major metropolitan area like Chicago or New York City could easily fill in a week, especially if you include day trips to outlying parks and beaches.
In order to really dig into a region, you will want at least 10 days. With a couple of weeks, you can visit two or more cities and explore one or two national parks in one region.
Don’t Overplan. Leave Room For Serendipity
It’s tempting to look at a map and assume you can make 4 or 5 different stops in a day. But be careful and leave room for delays in your itinerary.
While wildlife and gorgeous scenery around national parks will slow you down, you may find yourself wanting to extend your stay at one of your destinations.
Some Attractions Do Not Open Until Midweek
Essentially, Mondays can be quiet in the US. Because of staffing shortages, many restaurants and museums are also closed on Tuesdays, especially in small towns.
In a few remote tourist towns, some restaurants and attractions do not open until midweek. If you want to explore to the fullest, plan to visit Thursday through Sunday.
Planning To Hike? Pack Layers
Pack layers for hikes, even in summer. You will be glad you have a pullover as high-elevation deserts and most mountains see cooler temperatures at night.
Sun protection and a daypack for storing food and a small first aid kit are also recommended. Running shoes are fine but wear hiking boots for anything more strenuous than easy trails.
When You See A Restroom, Use It!
Because, it can be surprisingly challenging to find public restrooms. Your best bets in downtown areas are libraries, indoor malls, larger city parks and visitor centres.
In the suburbs, try fast-food restaurants and larger gas stations. The best option for those with small bladders is, therefore, “When you see a restroom, use it.”
Smoking And What You Must Wear
Most people in the US have little tolerance for smokers. In fact, the practice has been banned from several outdoor areas, such as parks, beaches and boardwalks.
Meanwhile, you will rarely feel uncomfortable in the country because of what you are wearing. That said, it’s recommended to bring along a smart casual for nice restaurants and upscale bars.