Tips for a newcomer to USA: Visiting America for the first time

visiting america for the first time

A country of pure diversity, the US offers something for everyone. If you’re thinking of visiting the US for the first time, read on to find some excellent tips for newcomers to America which can help you plan your ideal first trip to the States.

No matter where you’re coming from, America can be a culture shock for some and for others just a red tape nightmare, but we’ve got you covered with details of how to get the ESTA visa, places to go, things to do and the most visited tourist attractions in USA as well as general US cultural advice to avoid making any faux-pas on your first American adventure.

First-time Travel Documents for USA

It’s a well-known fact that the USA has strict immigration policies which any traveler has to consider when visiting America for the first time but luckily there is now a super simple solution to what in the past caused headaches and stress for many travelers:

  • The ESTA visa allows citizens of the 39 eligible Visa Waiver Program countries to enter the US easily and quickly for their vacations.
  • With just one online registration for ESTA, travelers can get their approved ESTA for travel to US within hours of applying.
  • With the ESTA for Australian citizens, New Zealanders, British citizens and many Europeans, it is now very straightforward to ensure you have the correct travel documents for first-time travel to US.
  • You can get started planning all your US vacations for the ESTA validity period of two years.

Places to see and things to do in America

Among the thousands of attractions to visit in US, you can be sure to find something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of festivals, casinos, beach resorts, mountain hiking, camping in the great outdoors, monument hunting or want to indulge in the official shop-‘til-you-drop capital of the world, America is the place to be.

First-time travelers may be slightly overwhelmed by all the choice, even for return trips to the United States, there is an endless list of activities for tourists.

    • Visit NYC for some of the most emblematic movie locations of all time or Hollywood, California to see where the movies come together;
    • See the nation’s capital and visit the home of the most powerful people in the world in Washington D.C.;
    • Take a journey to where dreams come true in DisneyWorld, Florida or a trip back in time to Colonial Williamsburg to experience life around the time of the Revolutionary War.
    • You can even take a saunter through one of America’s most incredible National Parks and learn about the abundant wildlife, flora and fauna from a real park ranger

US Travel Tips

Some of the best visiting America tips that you’ll find before your first vacations in the US are simple but everyday pieces of advice about customs and general ways to go about things as you travel around the US for the first time such as driving rules and remembering that in the USA, there are 4 standard time zones on the US mainland

Keep in mind the following when traveling to US for the first time:

  • Tipping in the US: When you eat out at a restaurant in America, it is customary to leave a tip for the waiter or waitress who served your table. Of course you can use your common sense to gage the level of service and the corresponding amount but the generally accepted quantity is 15-20% of the final bill.
  • Smoking in public in America: Be careful as to check the local laws and rules on smoking in public places where you take your US vacation because you could find yourself in a place where it is totally prohibited and you don’t want to get yourself into trouble with US authorities!
  • US sales tax: Taxing on consumer goods varies all over the USA and therefore on your first trip to the States, you could be surprised by the difference in prices when you get to the cashier in a supermarket or retail store.

Armed to the teeth with the basic knowledge and necessary travel paperwork for a first-time visit to America including your approved ESTA visa, valid passport and travel insurance, you’re ready to jet off and enjoy the new experiences that await you stateside.

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