“All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road.”
–Jack Kerouac, On the Road
For many people who live outside of the United States, a trip to America is a once in a lifetime opportunity and is something that they dream about doing. It is quite unlike anywhere else; it is a huge melting pot of cultures, languages, things to do, things to see and people from all walks of life.
However, because of this, it can also be overwhelming. With so much to do and see, how do you make sure that you are getting the very most out of your often all-too-short time in the country?
Here, we look at some tips to help you plan the perfect trip to the USA.
Make sure you have the appropriate travel documentation
Every single traveler from overseas, regardless of their age, citizenship and nationality, will need a valid passport to enter the United States. That is non-negotiable and you will be checked for this as part of the entry process when you step off the plane. However, after that, the rules and requirements may differ, depending on where you are from and the country you hold a passport in.
If you are coming from the Western hemisphere – Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda – whether by land, sea, or air – you will need a valid passport, but may also be required to show border crossing cards, driving license, birth certificate or Trusted Traveler Program Card.
Travelers from other countries – including Australia, most European countries, Singapore and South Korea, amongst others, are enrolled in the Visa Waiver Program. This means that they do not need a visa to enter the US for a period of up to two years. To gain entry to the US, they need to have a valid ESTA. This is a fairly simple document to apply for but it is important to keep an eye on the ESTA status checker to ensure there are no issues that will delay you.
Once you have all the necessary documentation sorted, it is time to have fun with the rest of the planning process.