Important things to know if you are traveling to the US for the first time
- Getting along with People
USA is a huge country and it hosts folks from various origins/ countries. There can be a huge difference in the lifestyle within USA based on the city/ region in which you are going to stay. For example, east and west host people from different origins. If you are from asian origin you can be rest assured that you will find lot of asians in USA which will make you feel at home. However, make sure you mix with all the people irrespective of their origin. Make friends. Socialize.
- Weather Conditions/ Climate
Check online for the weather conditions of the area where you are going to land and stay. United States is a huge country and the weather conditions can be extremely cold or extremely hot. Make sure you carry necessary clothes with you.
- Understand the locality
Before you fly to USA make sure you have done enough online research on the locality in which you are going to stay or work. Google for near by grocery shops, markets. Use Google maps to understand the distance and available routes.
- Understand the Transport System
Find out about the local transport system. Check whether public transit system by bus or train is available or not. Understand that in USA most people use their personal Cars for commuting from one place to another and there are few places in USA where the public transport system is not as good as it is in India. So you need to be completely prepared and aware of the local transport system before you arrive in USA. For example, make sure you know how to reach from Airport to Hotel and from Hotel to Grocery shop etc.
- Make sure you get your international driving permit
Before you arrive in USA make sure you get your international driving permit from your home country.
For leading a smooth life, driving a car is a must in USA. Life can be a nightmare if you don't know driving. With the help of IDP you can rent a car and then prepare to get driving license for United States.
One more important factor is the timezone. Understand that USA has different timezones like Pacific, Central and Eastern. Unlike India, different cities have different timings and the difference between east and west coast is around 3 hours.
Travel Tips For First Timers
- International flights recommend that you check in at least 4 hours ahead of the flight, so it is advisable to keep a one hour buffer and arrive at the airport at least 5 hours ahead of your flight time, specifically if this is your first international journey. Don't forget to read and understand your travel ticket carefully. Don't make basic mistakes like arriving for a flight at 1.30 in the night when actually the flight is at 1.30 in the noon.
- Carry your destination address and a pen. You will need it at the time of check in.
- Your passport, tickets, destination/ hotel address, insurance are very important documents. Make sure they are kept safe throughout the journey.
- Understand the baggage rules, maximum number of bags allowed, the weight and size restrictions. These vary from country to country and may also be different for different airlines. It is best to check on the website of the airline on which you have booked your ticket.
- At the time of check-in you will get boarding pass(es) for your flight/ connecting flights. Read them carefully and keep them secure.
- In the flight, drink enough water. Take good rest/ sleep. This will help you tackle the jet lag later.
- If you have connecting flights, make sure you know the flight number of the next flight and by looking at the displays at the airport you can find out the gate number from which the connecting flight will depart.
- Before your flight lands you will be given a arrival form/ customs form. Fill that form carefully with all the right information from your passport, ticket and visa. It will also ask you about the value of articles that you are carrying/ amount of cash that you need to declare. If you don't get this form on the flight then you will get it at the airport.
- When you land, make sure you carry all your belongings with you. Don't forget anything on the flight, specifically things like mobile/ mobile charger.
- At arrival you will face a short interview, where the customs officer will verify your visa and the purpose of your visit. They may also take your picture and fingerprints. Don't worry this is just a basic check.
- Next, collect your check in bags from the baggage area. Proceed to exit. You may or may not need to go through the baggage screening process. In case you are asked to go through the screening make sure you provide all the details accurately. DO NOT Lie.
- That's it. You have finally arrived. Meet your loved ones waiting for you outside the gate or follow the signs of taxi/ ground transportation/ shared ride as required.