Top Tips: Visiting USA

AmericanI’ve been to America twice, my first trip was kind of a misfire but after spending three weeks driving around the good ol’ US of A I think I have some wisdom to pass on.  Here are my top tips for visiting America:

  • Everything is really far apart!  My top tip is to check out the distances between all the things you want to see, even if you are driving it can take hours to get from one attraction to the next.  Finding your way around the cities is usually quote straight forward and things are well signposted but we did find you often have to take three right turns instead of one left turn as the roads are often one way.
  • You have to pay sales tax on your purchases and it’s not included in the price on the tag.  So very annoying!  It means you never know what you are going to pay, and you always end up with loads of change because everything ends up with a weird price at the till.  Sales tax varies depending on the state but my tip is to add an extra 10% on to the price of everything.
  • American chocolate is horrible- like brown wax.   (Although a North American told me she feels the same about British chocolate!).  My tip is not to eat it!  Stick to jolly ranchers! Everything that is already unhealthy is made much worse for you, they add high fructose corn syrup to everything and make the pack size huge!
  • Book tickets for big attractions like Alcatraz, Ellie Island, Top of The Rock etc far in advance as those tickets can sell out.
  • Look on Air BNB for cheaper accommodation, especially in expensive cities like New York where hotels are prohibitively expensive or horrible and too far out of town.
  • Leave space in your suitcase, even with the extra taxes stuff is still lots cheaper in America (than the UK anyway) so you should stock up while you’re over there!  For example, I’m kicking myself I didn’t buy some GAP jeans that were approx. $90 (£60) because they seemed expensive but in the UK they would be about £90 ($135).

Well that’s all my brain can think of now!  I have only visited a small fraction of the United States so I’m sure there’s a whole bunch I don’t know about.  If you have any tips please comment below.

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