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Facts for the Traveler

Vacation Holiday Trips offers travel tips and information for top travel places and best destinations. We feature links, resources and large selection of budget airlines, chartered planes, sea cruises, ferries, travel agencies, land transports and attractions including beaches, medical tourism, retirement homes, historical and pilgrimage tours.


Facts for the Traveler

Visas: Most visitors to the US require a visa. However, Canadians need only proof of citizenship. A reciprocal visa-waiver program allows citizens of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland to stay up to 90 days without a visa if they have an onward ticket.
Health risks: None, apart from the high cost of medical care
Time: Eastern (GMT/UTC -5), Central (-6), Mountain (-7), and Pacific Standard (-8)
Electricity: 110V, 60Hz
Weights & Measures: Imperial
Tourism: 45 million visitors per year

When to Go

The US is most popular with travelers during the summer, but this is when American families pack everything up and head out to visit Aunt Tilly. To avoid mobs (especially throughout the national-park system), it's better to go during autumn or early spring.

Autumn is an especially good time to visit New England and the upper Great Lakes because fall colors are at their best. Most of the country east of the Rockies is hot and humid during summer, especially the south. The deserts between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada are very hot and dry during the summer, especially in the southwest. California's southern coast is comfortable year-round, but if you want to experience the beach scene, it's best to visit between June and September.

Events

Americans love parades and pageantry, so there's no shortage of events and festivities. Half the country comes to a standstill during the Super Bowl, the roving American-football finale held in late January. New Orleans' Mardi Gras, in February or March, is a rowdy, touristy, bacchanalian knees-up. St Patrick's Day, in mid-March is celebrated with parades and pitchers of green beer; it's especially fervent in New York and Chicago. The Kentucky Derby is raced in Louisville in May.

Independence Day (the Fourth of July) is celebrated with lots of flag-waving patriotism, fireworks and the odd beverage. Inveterate travelers should drop into the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, in August. Halloween (October 31st) is a big deal for kids, who go trick-or-treating around their neighborhood in even worse clothes than they normally wear; in Greenwich Village, West Hollywood and San Francisco the holiday is subversively celebrated with glam parades. Americans go home to mom and pop for a big feed on Thanksgiving, the last Thursday of November.


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