The United States of America should top your travel bucket list because spending money on lifetime experiences is far more satisfying than splurging on materialistic things. Catering to this belief, an approximate of 1.17 million Indians travelled to the US in 2016 alone, according to figures published by Statista. This number is expected to cross the 1.41 million mark in 2022.
America is an incredibly diverse nation, both in culture and in terms of natural bounty. Tons of historical galleries and monuments, small towns as well as widespread farmlands, classic American cuisine and unbeatable mountain ranges, beaches and deserts come together to form the grand country of USA!
But, if you are travelling to the US for the first time, here are a few things you should do before you leave home.
Checklist for Your US Trip
Travel Papers and Documents
Your passport, visa and flight tickets are three things you should just not forget while travelling to any country, not just the United States. And, for added safety, it is a good idea to keep copies of all important documents with you, in print and electronically. Other than these, your ID proof, address proof of where you will be staying in America, etc., should also be with you.
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.
Medications and Vaccinations
Over the counter medicines can cost you an arm and a leg in America. It is best to carry your own from home. Paracetamol tablets are best for basic aches, cold and fever. In case of vaccinations, the government of the United States of America requires all entrants to get Hepatitis A & B, Polio, Measles and Varicella injections before entering the country.
You can make payments in America either in cash or by card. It is always better to carry a spare but functional debit/credit card in case one stops working or gets lost. Indian currency can be exchanged at hotels, airports and currency exchange outlets easily. Make sure the cash you are carrying is kept securely in locked bags or pouches.
It could be a good idea to bring some key Indian spices with you to the US. While they might be easily available, they can put your budget back by quite a bit. Or what if there isn’t an Indian store nearby?
To help make your initial days hassle-free, bring small utensils and cutlery. You can bring a Kadhai if you are fond of Indian cooking. Apart from these, keeping basic things like a set of spoons, forks, etc., handy would be a great idea.
Winter clothing and all other types of clothes are easily available in the US, if you forget something at home. What might not be easily available is Indian wear. So, consider bringing salwar suits, dupattas, sherwanis, pathani suits, juttis from India.
Travel insurance, foreign travel cards, international SIM cards and so on are always useful in a foreign land. It might be easier to carry a forex card, rather than cash. For calling, you can download calling apps or simply get hold of an international SIM.
Carrying all your essential items to a new place is the first and foremost step towards making your experience a smooth one.