From soap operas to entertainment politics, we think we know everything about the United States. What if the Statue of Liberty tilts dangerously? What if the cowboy hat is not worn like in Dallas? The only solution to verify is to cross the Atlantic and see it all a little closer.
The United States honors itself on being the greatest “success story” in the modern world, a nation created by people with little in common other than a desire to find their own path to happiness or fortune. United around the noble ideals embraced by the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they have built the richest, most creative, and most powerful country in the world.
Prepare your trip to the United States with practical information from trip outfit travel guide:
Tourists generally go to the United States in the summer. But this is also the period when Americans pack their bags and go on vacation themselves. To avoid the crowds (especially in national parks), better choose fall or early spring. Fall is the perfect season to enjoy the splendid colors of New England and the Great Lakes region. East of the Rockies, summer is hot and humid in most of the country, especially in the South.
Deserts between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada (which is on the eastern edge of California), especially in the Southwest, experience very hot and very dry summers. The Southern California coast is pleasant all year round, but if you want to enjoy the beach and the action, it is best to go between June and September.
Basically, the temperatures increase when you go south. The differences between the seasons are more distinct going north or inland. In winter, the Northeast and the northern part of the Central Plain can endure long periods with subzero temperatures, when at the same time it is still warm enough for swimming in Florida (which enjoys a tropical climate) and in southern California.
Accessible 24/7 in most banks as well as in almost all shopping centers, airports, and supermarkets. Most take a commission of $ 2-3 per trade. Your bank may add fees.
It is strongly recommended to have a credit card with you, preferably Visa, American Express, or MasterCard, accepted almost everywhere. Without it, it will be difficult for you to rent a car or reserve a room over the phone.
Americans clearly prefer credit cards to cash for their daily expenses. Small businesses do not always accept tickets over $ 20.
By staying in campsites or hostels, taking the bus, and cooking yourself a meal, you can explore the country for around US $ 70 per day. However, it is difficult to go below the US $ 100 per day; having the US $ 175-225 per day is comfortable; from $ 300 per day, you sleep in silk, eat very well, and are stunned by shows and activities of all kinds. Renting a small car costs a minimum of US $ 40 per day and for something a little better, with all the insurances, you quickly reach the US $ 60-80 per day. Depending on the distance, you have to add between the US $ 20 and the US $ 40 per day for fuel.
English, and many secondary languages, mainly Spanish
There are several time zones. East to West: GMT -5h (Eastern Standard), GMT -6h (Central Standard), GMT -7h (Mountain Standard), GMT -8h (Pacific Standard)
No particular problem, except the high cost of medical care
Children are generally well-received in the United States, which holds great surprises for all ages: theme parks, zoos, mind-boggling aquariums, natural history exhibits, and interactive science museums. Children can also enjoy building sandcastles on the beach or exploring nature reserves on foot. Wherever you go, traveling with children will add an exciting dimension to your American experience.
“Give me your poor crowds, tired, impatient to breathe freely” is it written on the plinth of the Statue of Liberty. And streams of ambitious immigrants from all oppressed countries did indeed come to fuel America’s dynamism. Immigration is one of the essential characteristics of the national American identity, but it is incorrect to define the country as a “nation of immigrants” (the Indians were present before colonization and African Americans were brought against at will).
Despite this component, the country can be incredibly closed and xenophobic. For the past 30 years, the old idea of the “melting pot”- the crucible in which all differences merge into a new uniformity – has given way to the” salad bowl “model – the salad bowl in which each element retains its integrity while fitting into a whole. Ethnic groups present in the United States do not aspire to adopt the Anglo-Saxon standard.
Breakfast is “the most important meal of the day” in the United States. This is why the Americans take it rich, plentiful, and particularly well-stocked, in short, enough to last a whole day if necessary.
On the menu: the famous American-style breakfast that you will have to taste at least once during your stay. It consists of the famous pancakes that are often eaten with blueberries, French toast, cereals, hash browns (grilled potatoes), not to mention eggs and bacon.
As a drink, you will have the choice between fruit juice and “bottomless”, this famous ultra-long coffee better known under the nickname “sock juice”. Where to find this kind of breakfast? In some cafeterias, but to be sure you run into them, head to the youth hostels instead.
You can also have the first meal of your day at popular restaurants and coffee shops. Usually offering a varied menu, you can enjoy bagels and donuts, muffins, and granolas. For those of you who don’t know yet, this is a tasty mix of grains, yogurt, and fruit. To taste absolute!
Mostly taken between noon and 2:30 p.m., Americans are not very fond of lunch. Eh yes! Preferring it light and scanty, some of them are content with mixed salads with sauces for lunch.
Where to eat lunch? In the United States, there is no lack of good addresses!
If it takes on a somewhat “official” or even “intimate” character in Europe, dinner in the United States is not so important. Americans often take it on the go and see no harm in taking it in a bar where “happy hour” formulas are often offered, consisting of a dish and a drink, all at a low price.
If you want a more proper dinner, you can of course go to a restaurant. But we will have to leave early because, in the United States, we eat between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the evening. If you are not used to eating so early, you can fall back on Fast Foods but be careful, they too close their doors around 9 pm!
It is advisable to always book, except perhaps in the most economical establishments, or really out of season. In high-season tourist destinations, everything is often full months in advance. Online reservations, auction reservations, and price comparators are a good way to find specials.
Most American B & B’s are upscale addresses, housed in historic homes, with attentive service and good breakfasts. Prices usually exceed $ 100, to the range, in the finest B & B’s, between $ 200 and $ 300. A minimum stay is sometimes required, and some addresses do not admit young children.
The sites offering the rental of rooms in private homes are developing at lightning speed and are even becoming the norm for saving in big cities like New York or San Francisco.
Airbnb offers apartment rentals between individuals in all major American cities.
Regardless of the class selected, the rooms usually have a telephone, cable TV, alarm clock, bathroom, and the price contains a simple continental breakfast. In the medium category, there is a minibar, microwave, hairdryer, Internet connection, air conditioning and/or heating, and swimming pool. Higher category hotels add a gym, business center, concierge services, spas, restaurants – among others.
Although hotels indicate that they accommodate children free of charge, cribs and cribs may be charged extra. Always ask for the surcharges applied to telephone communications. Long-distance calls are always expensive, and some establishments also charge local calls and free numbers.
Motels are usually found at the exits of highways and along major roads. Breakfast is rarely included, and amenities are limited to telephones and TVs. Some rooms sometimes have a kitchenette.