Travel is very popular, and rather easy in the US. People usually
travel by car or by airplane.
Big cities: Experience the culture, architecture, museum,
shopping, theater, historic buildings, etc.
National parks: these are usually very big parks. The best
ones include Yellow Stone in Wyoming and Montana, Arches and Canyonlands
in Utah, Grand Canyon in Arizona, Rocky Mountain in Colorado, and
Yosemite and Kings Canyon in California. Each park can take one
to five days just for you to see what it has. You can drive your
car into these parks. But you may have to walk to reach some of
the highlights. Lodging or camping in the park is often available,
but extremely hard to book. Your best bet is a hotel within one-hour
drive from the park.
Beaches: There are many beaches along the east and west
coasts. New Jersey beaches seem to be the most crowded. Some beaches
in the New England area have much fewer people. You can also go
to a National Seashore (such as the one just south of Ocean City,
Maryland), where you pay a few bucks and only see a few people around
the beautiful beach.
Mountains: The are essentially two mountains in the US:
the Rocky mountains in the west, and the Appalachians in the east.
The Appalachians, which start from New England and go all the way
to North Carolina and Tennessee, are not very tall, making it good
for hiking, camping, etc.
Lakes: First, there are the famous great lakes between the
US and Canada. These lakes are so big that they look like oceans.
Then there are many smaller (but still big) lakes, such as the Salt
Lake in Utah, Lake Tahoe in California, the Finger Lakes in New
Casinos: Las Vegas is the biggest gambling city. Then there
is Atlantic City, mostly for people around New York City, and Reno,
for people around San Francisco.
Travel by Car: You can drive your own car (if it's reliable
enough), or rent a car. If you rent:
- Check to see how much rental insurance is already covered by
your own car insurance, so that you don't pay insurance twice.
- Always bring your insurance card when you rent a car.
- Having multiple drivers will increase the rental cost.
- When you see a rental rate, check to see if mileage is included.
- Before you return a car, fill up the gas tank to where it was,
to avoid the outrageous charge from the rental company.
- Larger rental companies are more likely to have better selections
Travel by Air: Sometimes airlines have very cheap air fares.
For example, you may get a round-trip ticket between New York City
and Los Angeles for less than $200. But be aware that with cheap
tickets you may need to transfer at least once, making your trip
You may be lucky enough to have a friend who can host you. Otherwise,
you had better reserve a spot on the campground (if camping is your
plan), or reserve a hotel room. Almost all hotel rooms have telephone,
bath, and television. What you need to bring are your slippers,
tooth brush and tooth paste. You may want to bring shampoo (stores
have small-size shampoos for traveler) just in case the hotel doesn't
You usually need a credit card to reserve a room. Then if it's
not needed any more, you have up to a certain time to call and cancel
to avoid charges. Most hotels give you up to 4pm on the day you
are supposed to arrive to cancel. Hotel check-in is usually after
noon (sometimes after 2pm or even later). Check-out is usually before
noon. If you check out after the specified time, you will be charged
for another day.
Using the telephone in the hotel room is usually expensive. Check
out the note in the room or ask the front desk. The best way is
to use your phone card. There is no charge on 1-800 calls.
Many hotels have free breakfast. Some hotels may have drinks in
the fridge, which are not free and can be expensive.
Hotel tax rate is often much higher than the sales tax rate. It's
quite normal to see a 10% hotel tax.
Passport, Visa, etc.
If you are traveling across the US border, make sure to check out
the regulations on the website
of the US Department of State.