United States of America Travel

The United States of America is a very big and diverse place with a wide range of incredible cities, landscapes, and attractions for visitors to see. If you are planning United States of America travel in the near future and would like some ideas on where to go, what to see, where to stay, how to get around, and how much time to plan for your trip, you have come to the right place!

United States of America Travel

Please feel free to use this page as you start to plan your next adventure. To help you navigate the information I have included on this page, I have provided a quick-navigation menu for you to use below. This will make it quick and easy for you to see which top destinations I recommend, which popular cities in the United States you should consider visiting, as well as links to all of the travel guides, itineraries, and packing articles that I have written to help you plan your adventure.

I have also included some key information that you will need when planning your United States of America travel. Information such as the languages spoken, the currency used, emergency contact numbers to be aware of, VISA and passport considerations, required vaccinations, and important driving information (if you plan on driving while on your visit).

Top Things to See

Before you start planning your United States of America travel, make sure you check out my gallery of the top things to see in the country below for some inspiration. There is so much to see and do in the country, so you won’t want to miss out on the top sights!

Grand Canyon

Las Vegas

Washington DC

Yellowstone National Park

Hollywood California

Statue of Liberty

Disney World


Denali National Park

If you are looking for some additional ideas, please see my Top 50 Things to See in the United States blog series linked below.

As you start to plan your United States of America travel, you will want to familiarize yourself with the largest and most popular cities (which are not always one and the same) in the country.

Not only to see if you would like to visit and tour these cities, but because these cities will typically be your ports of entry and transportation hubs as you visit on your trip. To help you with this, I have included a map of some of the key cities within the United States that you will want to become familiar with below.

United States of America Travel - Popular Cities in America

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Languages Spoken

Because the United States is such a large and diverse place, there are many languages that are spoken throughout the country. By far, the most common language spoken in the United States is English. This is the language that most all traffic signs, street signs, and most building signs will be written in. It is also the language that most Americans speak as their primary language. In fact, roughly 239 million Americans speak English as their first language.

However, depending on where you are within the country or various cities, you may also encounter other languages spoken as well. After English, Spanish is the most commonly spoken language in the United States. Believe it or not, with 41 million Spanish speakers across the country, the United States has the second-highest population of Spanish speakers in the world.

Some of the other languages you will hear spoken in the United States include Chinese (Madarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, and more), Tagalog (Filipino), Vietnamese, French and French Creole, Arabic, Korean, Russian, and German. In addition to English and Spanish, these other languages round out the Top 10 languages spoken in the United States.


United States of America Travel

The recognized currency in the United States of America is the US Dollar ($). Common denomination of the US currency include the $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bill. Most ATM machines (cash machines) will dispense currency in combinations of $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills.

In addition, you may also receive change in the form of coins when making purchases with US Dollars. The common denominations of US coins include the Penny ($0.01), Nickel ($0.05), Dime ($0.10), and Quarter ($0.25).

Emergency Contact

In case of an emergency when travelling in the United States, dial 9-1-1 from any telephone to reach the local emergency services.

Visa, Passport, and Immunization Info

United States of America Travel

Before booking your United States of America travel, you will want to be sure that you meet all of the necessary passport, VISA, and immunization requirements so that you can ensure you will be allowed into the country. In order to assist you, I have listed the requirements you will need to consider below for you to review.

Passport Validity

All visitors must have a passport that is valid at least 6 months passed the end of your stay in the United States.

VISA Requirements

Per the United States Department of Homeland Security, there are currently 40 countries that are participating in a VISA waiver program with the United States. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) permits citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa.

If you have a valid passport from one of the countries listed below, you will not need to obtain a VISA to enter the United States for your visit.

  • Andorra (1991)
  • Australia (1996)
  • Austria (1991)
  • Belgium (1991)
  • Brunei (1993)
  • Chile (2014)
  • Croatia (2021)
  • Czech Republic (2008)
  • Denmark (1991)
  • Estonia (2008)
  • Finland (1991)
  • France (1989)
  • Germany (1989)
  • Greece (2010)
  • Hungary (2008)
  • Iceland (1991)
  • Ireland (1995)
  • Italy (1989)
  • Japan (1988)
  • Korea, Republic of (2008)
  • Latvia (2008)
  • Liechtenstein (1991)
  • Lithuania (2008)
  • Luxembourg (1991)
  • Malta (2008)
  • Monaco (1991)
  • Netherlands (1989)
  • New Zealand (1991)
  • Norway (1991)
  • Poland (2019)
  • Portugal (1999)
  • San Marino (1991)
  • Singapore (1999)
  • Slovakia (2008)
  • Slovenia (1997)
  • Spain (1991)
  • Sweden (1989)
  • Switzerland (1989)
  • Taiwan (2012)
  • United Kingdom** (1988)

If you do not have a valid passport from one of the countries listed above, you will need to obtain a Tourism (B-2) VISA from the United States State Department.

Immunization Requirements

As of May 12, 2023, visitors to the United States are no longer required to show proof of COVID vaccination.

Key Phrases to Know

As a part of your United States of America travel preparation, you will need to prepare yourself for how they talk in America so that you can understand the dialog as you interact with Americans. This includes understanding key phrases and the different regional dialects within this very large and very diverse country.

Here are some common phrases that you may need to use while visiting the United States of America:

  • Good Morning – used to greet people early in the day.
  • Good Afternoon – used to greet people during the mid-day.
  • Good Evening – used to greet people late in the day.
  • Thank You (or Thanks for short) – use to express appreciation.
  • Hello (or Hi for short) – used to greet people.
  • Please – Used to express appreciation when asking for something. For instance, “can you please help me?”.
  • Excuse Me – Used to get someone’s attention or to apologize for interruption. For instance, “Excuse me, can you help me?” or “Excuse me, sorry for interrupting”.
  • I Need Help – Used to get assistance.
  • Where Is… – Used to ask for the location of something. For instance, “Where is the bathroom”?
  • I Don’t Understand – Used to communicate confusion with an explanation. For instance, “I don’t understand what you are asking for”.
  • I’m Sorry – Used to express remorse. For instance, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you”.
  • You’re Welcome – Used to show gratitude for being given thanks. For instance, when someone tells you “Thank you” for something you have done, the proper reply is “You’re welcome”.
  • Yes – To express an affirmative response. For instance, “Yes, I would like that”.
  • No – To express a negative response. For instance, “No, I would not like to go there”.
  • I Am (your name\nationality) – To inform someone of who you are or what nationality you are.
  • Call An Ambulance – To request medical assistance. You can also dial 9-1-1 for medical assistance.
  • Call The Police – To request law enforcement assistance. You can also dial 9-1-1 for medical assistance.

In addition, here are some key slang terms that you may hear in the United States and what they mean:

  • Chill – Another word for relax.
  • Oops! – A term used to acknowledge you messed up.
  • Dope – A term used to describe something as great.
  • Awesome – Another term used to describe something as great.
  • Sure – Another word for yes or replying in the positive. For instance, “Sure, I will try one of those”.
  • Whatever – A term used to signal a lack of interest in discussing something. For instance, someone might say, “whatever, I am tired of talking about it”.
  • My bad – A slang term for “I’m sorry”.
  • Y’all – A phrase often used in the southern states. It is short for “you all”. For instance, “Are y’all in line”?
  • Bless Your Heart – This is another term that is often used in the southern states. This term can either be a reply to someone for doing something nice, or a polite way of telling you that you are acting foolish.

If you would like to familiarize yourself with other important phrases that you will want to know when visiting the United States, please refer to the United States: Important Phrases page on TripAdvisor. For your assistance, I have also linked to my guide on the “Top 10 Things to Know When Visiting the United States for the First Time” below as well.

Driving Info

An important part of your United States of America travel planning will be deciding on how you will get around while inside the United States. While it is possible to visit America without renting a car and driving, most visitors choose to rent a car at their destination to get around.

If you are planning on renting a car while visiting the United States, I have included some key information on driving in the United States that you will want to review below.

  • Vehicles in the United States have the steering wheel on the left side of the car and cars drive on the right side of the road.
  • In order to drive in the United States, you must have a valid driver’s license that is in English. If your driver’s license is not in English, you will want to obtain an international driver’s license before your trip to the United States.
  • Laws in the United States are split between laws at the federal level (govern all states) and the state level (apply to just the specific state). Most traffic laws are set at the state level (including speed limits), so you will want to familiarize yourself with the state driving regulations for the state(s) you will be visiting.
  • The legal age to drive in the United States varies by state and ranges from between 16 to 18 years of age. Please review the full list of legal driving ages in the United States before arriving in the United States.
  • The speed limit in the United States is posted in Miles Per Hours (MPH). As I mentioned above, you will want to be sure to obey all posted speed limits. Failure to do so could result in being fined by the police.
  • You will want to be sure to obey all traffic lights and traffic signs. Stop signs signal a need to stop, Yield Signs signal a need to yield to other vehicles, and traffic lights signal a need to stop on Red, prepare to stop on Yellow, and proceed on Green.
  • The United States has very strict laws against driving while intoxicated. While the limit on blood alcohol level varies by state, you should be extra cautious and avoid driving while drinking alcohol, taking prescription painkillers, or using any other legal recreational drugs.
  • If you are planning on renting\hiring a car in the United States, there are some things you should be aware of:
    • In the United States, car rental companies have no legal obligation to rent\hire a car to you. It is completely up to their discretion.
    • Car rental companies typically have a minimum age in which they will rent\hire a car to you and will often charge an extra fee if you are below a certain age. While these ages typically vary from state-to-state, car rental companies will typically charge you extra if you are under 25-years of age and will not rent a vehicle to anyone under 21-years of age.

Relative Travel Guides and Articles

In order to assist you as you start to put together your United States of America travel plans, I have provided a comprehensive list of all of my travel guides, travel itineraries, and travel inspiration articles for the United States for you to review below.

Packing and Planning Tips

Once you start putting together your United States of America travel plans, you may want to reference some of my handy travel packing and planning guides that I have put together. To make it easy to find and access these guides, I have included them for your reference below.

Wanderlust Travel and Photos Blog

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