Almost every one on this planet aspires to experience the magic of the beguiling land of the United States of America. The country that is spread over more than 3.5 million square miles and divided into 50 states is definitely one of the most incredible holiday destinations in the world. But what stands out as the essence of this country is its promise! A promise that can reach the magnificent mythical proportions for travellers and holiday makers! Each part of the country sparkles with its own distinctive brand of charisma. America is the land of glittering cities, dramatic coastlines, beautiful snow-capped mountain peaks and lonely desserts.
Be it the great city of New York with all its infectious effervescence or the dignified appeal of Washington, DC or Miami with its wonderful sun, sand and surf experience; holidays to the US is like exploring the most famed and almost fabled landmarks on the earth. The white light of travellers’ innocence and inquisitiveness falls into the prism of this numinous region and reflects out brilliant colours of joy, knowledge, awareness and excitement.
Come and experience the ecstasy and elation created by the country’s marvellous natural and man made grandeurs. The fascination is portrayed through the exhilarating blend of cultural trends and gaudy lifestyle of its people. There is a mind-numbing array of attractions and activities that one can enjoy. The beautiful beaches of Hawaii, The Grand Canyon in Arizona and the startling frozen landscape of Alaska are world class tourist magnets that draw holiday makers from all over the world.
New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Tampa, Hawaii, Chicago and Washington, DC.
- Location – North America. Bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, the country lies between Canada and Mexico
- Time Zone – UTC – 4 to UTC -10
- Capital – Washington, DC
- Area – 3,755,241 sq miles (9,631,418 sq km)
- Population – 307,212,123 (July 2009 est.)
- Currency – US dollar (USD)
- Calling Code – +1
- Official Language(s) – English
- Largest City- New York City
- Religion- Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)
- Government – Federal republic
- Visa – For information about obtaining a visa for USA, British Nationals can visit the FCO website at www.fco.gov.uk or contact the relevant authorities.
Americans are renowned world over for their frankness and friendliness for visitors from other countries. The United States has a relatively short history and this has resulted in a number of cultures and traditions blossoming alongside each other in the region. USA is an amalgamation of a range of ethnic groups that vary vastly across the huge area of the nation. An American city like New York boasts of a plethora of different ethnicities that may be represented within a small neighbourhood. Even with this sea of differences, there is a very strong sense of national identity as well as few predominant cultural traits among people.
Americans have strong belief in the individuality of a person and they tend to believe that an individual shapes his/her own success or failure. A relaxed and casual ambience is usually the norm in the region. Dressing is mostly casual; however some high-end restaurants and clubs may call for more formal attire. Americans love their fast food items like pizzas, hamburgers and fried chicken, but they are not in anyway reluctant in embracing delicacies from other parts of the world. American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey are the most popular sporting activities in America with most of the adults and children following them devotedly. Golf, tennis, soccer, bowling and cycling are few other recreational activities that Americans enjoy. New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving are some of the major festivals and events that are celebrated throughout the US.
It is important to note that the United States of America is a huge country with a myriad of diversities and to define the American culture and its way of life within a parameter is surely not possible.
From the freezing chill of Alaska to the pleasing warmth of Florida, the United States of America has an enormous region that is filled with extreme climates and diverse landscapes. The overall climate in the region is temperate with certain prominent exceptions. Hawaii and Florida are tropical in nature while Alaska has an Arctic tundra climate. The Great Plains is dry and grassy, the far West is barren desert and the California coast is Mediterranean.
Summer is considered to be the most popular time to visit most parts of the country. However, huge crowd as well as sky rocketing airfares and hotel costs can be unbearable for some travellers. The fall season offers relief from exorbitant prices and big crowds. Additionally, the temperature during the period is quite pleasant and not too hot unlike the summers. Generally, spring and fall are far less expensive periods to travel to the United States where one can easily procure cheap tickets on airlines to the US as well as low-cost accommodation. In some parts of the nation, winter can also be a good time to enjoy the off-season discounts.
Find the latest airfares and discounted offers on flights to USA operating from UK.
Safety Tips :
- Over the period of time, the crime rate in the United States of America has declined drastically. However tourists are well advised to follow fundamental safety rules and precautions.
- Avoid wearing costly jewellery and carrying valuable items in run down areas.
- Do not sleep in your vehicle by the roadside.
- It is best to stay on main roads and well-lit areas.
- Tourists are recommended to always keep a copy of essential documents with them.
- The limits of both drunk driving and speed are pretty low in the US as compared to the UK. One must take care of that. It is also sensible to have a comprehensive road atlas of the regions through which one is travelling.
- Always check out beforehand the prevailing weather conditions before setting out on a long journey.
- Hurricanes and tornadoes are few of the natural disasters that pose a serious threat to the country. It is advisable that tourists gather as much information as possible before planning a trip to the US.
General Tips :
- The US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) enables most British passport holders to visit the country for up to 90 days.
- It is considered polite to shake hands when being introduced to someone.
- Unless it is too crowded, try to keep some physical space between yourself and others in public places.
- Social kissing is generally not practised in America.
- Americans are extremely sensitive about racial issues. African American, Native American, American Indian and Latino are some of the acceptable terms for racial references.
- Most of the American states have banned smoking in restaurants and bars. Over the period of time, smoking has turned into something like a social stigma in the country. It is almost obligatory to ask permission before lighting up a cigarette in company.
- It is important to have a comprehensive travel and medical insurance that includes medical treatment and evacuation.
Foreign Exchange is conveniently available at all major banks and international airports. Money exchange services are also available at most of the major hotels.
(Note: This destination guide is based on information gathered from reliable resources available on the internet and provides only general information about the destination. Southall Travel holds no responsibility for any misrepresentation of facts and will not be in any way liable for any kind of eventuality arising from the use of information given in this guide)