If you live in the UK or Europe, it can be easy to just stick to your native continent when you are travelling abroad for holidays. After all, with Paris, Rome, Berlin, and Madrid on your doorstop, who needs anything else?
As wonderful as Europe is, there are numerous other worlds out there. The US is one of the most influential and powerful countries on earth, but it is also home to a lot of modern pop culture, media and nature you might not be able to find in Europe. If you’re planning your first trip to the US this year, check out this guide with some tips on how to prepare.
Choose the Right Destination
With a population of over 330 million and a surface area of 9.8 million square kilometers, the US is an enormous country. It’s full of incredible places to visit and where you choose will ultimately depend on your personal tastes and preferences.
If you want to visit iconic landmarks and check out the scenes from your favorite films, one of the main US cities should be at the top of your list. New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are all good choices, as are destinations such as Washington DC, Chicago, Boston, and Dallas.
If you want to get out of the big cities and get closer to nature, thankfully the US has some massive scenic locations. As an example, the Yellowstone National Park is an enormous expanse of wilderness that stretches across the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The park is home to wildlife including wolves, bears, and bison, perfect for the traveler looking for an adventure-packed US expedition. You probably won’t get to see bison roaming around near you at home anytime soon, shouldn’t that be enough motivation?
Plan Your Trip
Whether you’re visiting New York or Yellowstone, there’s likely going to be far too much to fit into a one or two-week holiday. To ensure you make the most of the time you have in the US, plan your detail in as much detail as you can.
Take the time to sit down and look over all the options you have. Think about what it is you really want to do and prioritise these activities. Then, add any additional activities in descending order, which won’t hurt as much if you miss out on any of them. This way, you can see and do what you want to the most and fit the ‘nice to have’s’ into time you have left over at the end of your trip.
If you’re travelling with a group, you may want to make a more concrete itinerary of the things you want to do as this approach may not work as well for a group bigger than 2 or 3.
Visiting the US is expensive. Flights from Europe can cost several hundreds of pounds, while accommodation in one of the more densely packed US cities can be just as expensive.
Perhaps the biggest financial risk lies in the US healthcare system. Everyone has heard the horror stories of American healthcare, with the cost of ambulance trip driving people to near bankruptcy.
In fact, the US is by far the world’s most expensive country to access healthcare. Per capita health spending amounted to $12,318 in a study conducted this year, significantly more than second placed Germany which totalled just $7,383.
If you were to suffer an accident and require medical assistance in the US, the financial consequences could be disastrous. Have a look at providers like Staysure and get travel insurance that can cover any medical treatment you might face while in the US. This can also offer reimbursement for cancelled flights or lost or stolen baggage.
The US really is one of the most diverse countries in the world, from north to south and east to west, travelling across this vast country will ensure a trip that you won’t forget. From diverse landscapes, interesting cities, sunny beaches and rugged mountains there is so much to see, do and experience in this wonderful part of the world.