Ever since the White House became home to Donald J. Trump, many Indians living in the United States of America have had to leave theirs. According to an article published by Washington Post in March ’17, 270 Indians were ordered to be deported by the United States government, some of whom were criminal cases, while others were cases of missing or insufficient documents.
We’ve put together a list of documents you must carry to the USA for a safe stay, as well as items to have a convenient trip.
Checklist for First Timers Visiting USA
- Passport & its copy – Make sure you carry your passport along at all times and keep a copy of it with your luggage or in electronic form. Mail it to yourself or save it in your Google Drive.
- Visa – Your purpose of travel to the US defines the category your visa will belong to, so make sure you carry the appropriate visa documents. You can check the US Governments Directory of Visa Categories to find out more.
- Flight Ticket – Be sure to book your tickets in advance to get the lowest possible price. Carry them with you all the time or their soft copies.
- Boarding Pass – Collect your boarding pass when you check in, online or at the airport, and keep it handy through your journey.
- Soft Copies of Documents – It always helps to email yourself soft copies of all documents, including passport, identity proof, address proof, contacts in America, etc., in case of loss or theft.
- Medicines – You can carry paracetamol tablets for common cold, fever, body ache, etc. However, carrying medicines for special ailments to the United States entails various guidelines and restrictions. For details, read these 5 tips for traveling to the US with medicines, given by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Vaccinations – The United States government has a set of vaccinations it requires all entrants to get prior to their visit. These include Hepatitis A & B, Polio, Measles, Rubella, Varicella and more.
Clothing & Accessories
- Items such as belts, wallets, sunglasses and eyeglasses should be carried from India, as these are expensive in the US.
- Regular clothing items can be found cheap and bought there itself.
- If you are planning to stay for long, do not carry woolens from India, since they might not be sufficient for the low temperatures in America. Plus, you might find them cheaper in the US.
Food & Utensils
- If you’re going for a long trip, it is advisable to carry Indian cooking masalas with you as the ones available there are not as good.
- Carry a pressure cooker if you use one often, they aren’t available in the USA.
- Travel insurance – This is a must have (not mandatory) for traveling overseas. Here are a list of best travel insurance for short term visitors to USA.
- Foreign Travel Card – Along with getting currency exchanged to US dollars, get a forex card issued from your bank.
- International Calling – You can buy an international SIM card from Uniconnect or download a low cost international calling app like Ringo.
When in the “world’s greatest country,” you’re guaranteed to have a great time. Just make sure you have all the necessities for a smooth experience. And more importantly, remember to respect the nation, its customs and its people, so that they can respectfully welcome you too. Blend in to avoid trouble and enjoy to the fullest.
Don’t forget to get insurance.
It is recommended that you get travel insurance when traveling to USA, as medical expense (even for common flu) can run into hundreds of dollars! Here are some of the best insurance for US visitors.
Are you planning a trip to the US soon? Let me know in comments when you’re traveling and if you have any questions. You could also message me on WhatsApp.