The United States is one of the most popular destinations for holiday makers around the world. And it’s not difficult to see why.
The land of opportunity offers a huge variety of landscapes and experiences to suit every type of traveller. From the skyscrapers of New York City to the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon, every state has something different to offer visitors.
The weather varies massively across America too, so there’s always somewhere to go at any time of year. In fact, there’s so much choice that it can be difficult to know where to start planning your US holiday!
So, here are some tips and ideas on how to plan your next trip to America.
If you have only a week or so, focus on the East Coast or West Coast of the United States. If you have a bit more time and want to see everything from big cities to national parks, consider a road trip along the storied Route 66, which starts in Chicago and ends in Santa Monica, California.
If you have a month or more, consider getting off the beaten path by visiting some of America’s other major cities — like New Orleans and Miami — or heading out to explore its national parks.
The United States is enormous and diverse enough to offer several itineraries for any length of time. If you’re short on time and want just a taste of the United States’ incredible diversity, head to the West Coast and spend your days driving through mountains, forests, vineyards and coastal towns. Or if you’d rather spend your vacation in cities, fly into New York City and spend a few days exploring Manhattan before setting off on an East Coast road trip that takes you through six states and Washington D.C.
Depending on what country you’re coming from, you may need a visa to enter the United States. If you’re in doubt, check with your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. You will also have to have an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before you travel, which replaces the old green I-94W form that was previously given out on arrival.
The United States Department of Homeland Security has a useful guide on how to apply for an ESTA that contains links and all the information you need.
You’ll also need proof of onward travel out of the United States as well as proof of funds for your stay. Border officials generally don’t ask for this unless they feel something is amiss, but it’s always better to be prepared just in case.