Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
The United States of America, made up of 50 states, each with its own distinct geographical characteristics, enjoys a very wide range of climates. There is always find something to do and see, whatever the season.
Spring is great for hiking in the deserts in the South or exploring large cities without the crush of the summer crowds and the heat.
In summertime, it is best to head to the seaside and the beaches or to the mountains to go hiking, after celebrating Independence Day on July 4. Beware of the stifling heat in the deserts of the southwest. New England in the northeast of the United States is best seen in the fall, because of the magnificent colors during the Indian summer.
In winter, skiers will head for the Rockies while those more sensitive to the cold will prefer the welcoming warmth of Miami and San Diego. Come December 31, make sure you are in New York’s Times Square to see out the year in style, without forgetting a warm coat and a glass of champagne!
Formalities and useful addresses
To enter the USA, you will need a valid e-Passport (electronic chip) or a passport with a visa. Travelers with an e-Passport and benefiting from the Visa Waiver Program agreement, must request ESTA travel authorization prior to entry in the USA. If you are denied an ESTA, you can apply for a visa in your country of residence.
All the foreign embassies are located in Washington DC.
Tourist Information – Each state has its own tourist board. The institutions in charge of developing tourism can be Visitors’ Centers, Chambers of Commerce or Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Money and budget
Banks are open Monday-Friday from 9am-4/5pm and on Saturday from 9am-12pm. Most branches of national banks will exchange currency for a moderate fee.
When using credit or bank cards, the exchange rate applied will be that of the day of purchase to whih a commission is added.
The following are average prices observed in mid-season.
Car rental for one week (Category A): $250
1 double room in a large chain motel: $80/120
regular breakfast: $5/15
1 simple meal in a chain restaurant: $12/20
1 museum ticket: $7/15
1 small bottle of mineral water: $1/1.50
Health and safety
Before leaving, consult the British or Canadian Foreign Office websites for any last-minute information
Emergencies: [TEL] 911
The United States and Canada use 110 volts. European and UK appliances will require adaptors and flat pin plugs.
3rd Monday of January– Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday
3rd Monday of February – Presidents Day
Last Monday of May – Memorial Day
4 July – Independence Day
First Monday of September – Labor Day
2nd Monday of October– Columbus Day
11 November – Veterans Day
4th Thursday of November – Thanksgiving Day
Built for motorists, motels are generally located on the outskirts of towns or by major roads. Hotels are generally situated in downtown areas and in the city’s largest and highest buildings.
Smaller and more expensive, characterful Bed & Breakfasts and inns can have more than 20 rooms and resemble a small luxury hotel.
Finally, apartment rentals can be financially advantageous for stays over 2 days.
Post office opening hours are Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
There is no shortage of international airports in the US.