I am a frequent United States visitor…in fact I’m actually a Greencard holder (woop!). Mr Honeymooner however, is not. He’s also awful at planning in advance and so if I wasn’t here to prepare him for his trip he’d probably be turned away at the airport for forgetting his passport or something ridiculous like that.
If you are a ‘Mr Honeymooner’ yourself, or you’re planning your first trip to the U.S.A, here are are my Top 5 ‘Always be Prepared’ USA Travel Tips:
- ESTA/Visa – UK citizens can stay in the US
A for up to 90 days without a visa but they need to apply for an ESTA (google it). It doesn’t cost very much, maybe $15 or something, but you do need it to be allowed to fly! Don’t get caught out at the airport and be refused boarding! As far as I know, it’s valid for up to 2 years and you can make multiple entries into the USA during that time as long as you long onto your application and update it to your new destination each time.
- Passport – Yes an obvious one! But make sure your (and your travel companion’s) passport are valid for the dates of your travel and for at least 6 months after you get back! I don’t know why….but I’m pretty sure this is a thing.
- Credit cards – I have the Halifax clarity card which has a great exchange rate, doesn’t charge me to spend abroad, and includes free cash withdrawals (I just log in online and pay it off on the same day and only get charged a tiny amount of interest). I travel to the states a lot (most of my close family live out there) and having a credit card is SO FRIGGIN NECESSARY! The reasons for this are trifold:
- Everywhere accepts card!
- You don’t feel like a dodgy drug-lord carrying stupid amounts of cash with you when you travel.
- The rates can actually be better than converting your cash. Just remember to always choose to pay in the local currency.
- House keys – Leave a spare house key with a trusted friend or relative. That way you have someone able to water your plants/put your mind at ease during holiday paranoia like checking to see if you really did leave your straighteners on before you left for the airport ;).
- Unlock your phone – If you’re going to be away for months like us, unlocking your phone means you can get a pay-as-you-go type sim card from your destination country without having to buy a spare phone. My UK mobile plan is with three so I already get to use the ‘feel at home’ privileges in a lot of countries, saving me loads of data and calls home but a USA sim will really help me out in emergencies/calling a taxi/making restaurant reservations.
These are so called ‘admin’ tasks as Mr H would say. But they really do make your life easier if you take a bit of time to go through them – he’s so lucky to have me! 😛