United States Tours
Adventures in the United States of America are packed with diversity. Each state offers something different, from spectacular national parks to cosmopolitan cities. Enjoy breath-taking views from the Grand Canyon, marvel at Alaska's glacier landscapes and discover a melting pot of cultures in New Orleans. Our small selection of adventures in the USA offer something for everyone, the only hard bit will be choosing which states to explore first!
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United States Travel Guide
United States of America Travel Guide
The United States of America (USA) is a huge continent made up of 50 states, a federal district and five self-governing territories. It is hugely multicultural, with the first Paleo-Indians migrating there over 15,000 years ago. During the 16th century the Europeans started to colonise the country and the United States was a product of 13 separate British colonies. The American Revolution begun in 1775, and on July 4th 1776 delegates from each of the colonies created the Declaration of Independence. The war ended in 1783 with the British recognizing the United States having independence. July 4th is celebrated annually in America now.
Geography and weather
Spanning over such a large georgraphical mass, the United States’ geography is diverse. The mainland mass, is bordered by Canada and Mexico and surrounded by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The states of Alaska and Hawaii are both separate whilst the populated terriroties of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marina Islands and the US Virgin Islands make up 23,789km.
Due to the large size, the climate types vary from place to place. Most of Alaska is polar whilst Hawaii, Florida and the populated territories of the Caribbean are tropical. The climate in the southwest Basin (where you can find Death Valley) is extremely hot and dry, whilst in the New England and Pacific Northwest, summers are warm with cooler evenings.
Visit www.worldclimate.com to get an idea of what the weather will be like on your tour.
Holders of UK, Australian, New Zealand and most EU countries are eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP). It is valid for up to 90 day stay. Any person travelling under this must apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) before travelling. It is a simple process online that costs USD$14 and it requires your passport details and US address.
For citizans not eligible to travel under the VWP, please contact your local embassy.
Important: From 1st of April 2016 all travellers who are using the ESTA system, must have an electronic passport. From 21st January 2016 new rules also exclude from the VWP most people who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria since 1 March 2011, and those who have dual nationality of these countries. This means that existing ESTAs could be revoked, and you will instead need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
The monetary unit in the United States is the American Dollar
Working out your budget
We recommend you budget minimum US$50 dollars a day for food, drinks and snacks as well as extra for any optional activities and tipping. ATMS and cash machines are available throughout the country and most credit cards are accepted. There may be a charge when using ATMs and in some regions it may be harder to find a cash machine, but overall you should not have a problem when withdrawing money.
On our Adventures for 20s & 30s only in North America, we operate a Food Kitty System for tours that include camping. Your tour leader will collect a payment of $10 per day on tour in cash on the first day of the tour. This money will go towards all food on camping days. We provide all cooking equipment and everyone will take turns buying, preparing and cooking the meals. Meals are not included when you are staying in cities and we encourage you to go out and feast on all the local foods. This is not applicable for Worldwide Adventures in North America.
From New York to Miami and Las Vegas North America has a huge amount of shopping opportunities depending on your budget. On some of our tours we will stop at local towns like Seligman where you can purchase traditional Americana memorabilia, and we encourage you to explore local markets too. Generally you will be able to purchase most things in the United States including necessities.
Tipping is expected in North America for anyone who provides a service including local guides, waiters and taxi drivers. These workers are paid a low wage so the tips go towards their way of life. In restaurants a 20% tip is standard and you should expect to tip $1 per drink in bars. For taxi drivers 10% is considered standard and the same for local guides whilst doing optional activities.
The United States takes security very seriously especially in tourist areas and airports. Like anywhere in the world, you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Care should be taken, especially whilst walking around the larger cities. Try to keep away from dark quiet areas if on your own, particularly late at night and put personal items like passport and tickets in the hotel safe where available.
Local food and drink
You will find a range of international and local cuisine to suit every budget. Excellent seafood is available along all coastal regions and Americana cuisine is available throughout.
Austin is home to some excellent food stalls, whilst New Orleans has a Cajun and French culture which is reflected in the delicious southern cooking. San Francisco is home to the country’s largest Chinatown and in Alaska you can try specialities like reindeer steaks!
All drinks such as water, soft or alcoholic drinks are at your own expense at all times.
The legal drinking age in the USA is 21 and this policy is very strict. You will be not allowed in to bars to nightclubs without proof of age, so remember to take your passport on nights out.
GMT/UTC -4 to -12. For other time differences please visit www.timeanddate.com
110 volts, double flat-pin plug