Here’s a guide to ensure your visit to the United States of America is thrilling and trouble-free
1. ESTA Application
While the Singaporean passport gives us seamless access to most parts of the world, you still need to complete some paperwork before heading to USA. A foreign visitor will need to apply for ESTA – a travel approved authorisation to the USA – at least 72 hours prior to departure. You may head to the official page to apply for a fee of US$14.
2. Long-Haul Flight
Be ready for long-haul flights to the USA. We’re talking at least being in the air for 14 hours, if you opt for a non-stop flight to San Francisco. New York City takes up to 21 hours, including a mandatory stopover. With that in mind, you may want to make your journey as enjoyable as possible with in-flight comfort accessories and entertainment.
3. Pick A Season
Spring, summer, autumn, winter, enjoy a variety of seasons depending on which state you’re visiting. Since Singapore climate’s tropical all-round, popping by the winter and autumn periods would make the trip more memorable. For starters, Niagara Falls in autumn is a sight to behold with its cascading waters amidst gorgeous golden foliage.
4. Understand Transportation Options
Varying from city to city, the best type of transportation may differ. For instance, you’re better off relying on the subway system in New York City than renting a car – the city’s known for congested roads. But if you’re in Los Angeles, travelling by car will make things easier, carpooling app Uber will be very useful in this case. Some places even offer alternative modes such as San Francisco’s cable car system.
5. Remember To Tip
Tipping is customary in the USA, where a large portion of it makes up these workers’ salaries. So prepare to keep a stash of one dollar notes on standby, usually calculated 10 to 20 per cent from the total bill. For dining establishments, a gratuity fee is included in the bill. While it is the norm, tipping is normally up to your discretion.
6. City Gems For Yours To Explore
The glitzy cityscapes in the USA are something to look forward to. From architectural wonders to heritage buildings, there is a surplus of city attractions that will make a visiting urbanite feel right at home. Such highlights include Washington, D.C’s 215-year old United States Capitol, Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and New York’s must-sees of Trinity Church, Ground Zero and Times Square.
7. Pop By Canada Perhaps?
Canada is only a car ride away from the USA, which truly warrants a trip there. In just a snap, your American vacation just included Canada in the itinerary, where you can get to visit attractions such as Lake Ontario, Notre-Dame Basilica, and Mont-Tremblant – a city set within the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec.