With an area of over 9 million km² and with around 325 million inhabitants, the United States is the fourth largest country in the world and the third most populous after China and India, a Federal Republic composed of 50 States and a Federal District.
America is the country with the highest rate of multiculturalism, in which a multitude of different ethnic groups coexist, united by the desire to conquer wealth; always holding firmly the principles of the Constitution and of Independence.
The United States is the country where the principles of the right to happiness and freedom of speech were born; in which the airplane, the refrigerator, the electric light, the spaceships, the computers, the blues, the jazz and the rock and roll were invented.
In America there are profound differences from one area to another, differences due to the different peoples and cultures that inhabit them, to the great distances that separate the different regions; differences that are also manifested from the geographical and climatic point of view.
The American reality, however, can be on the one hand fascinating and on the other contradictory if you live outside the shimmering New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago.
Among the most popular destinations in the world, when you set foot in the United States you will feel like you're in an American movie, with taxis, police, steaming manholes, people hastily walking with their cappuccino on the street, the famous Hot Dogs at every corner, ... these are just some of the most classic American stereotypes.
America is truly incredible: who wrote to you during a trip of pleasure to the United States in August 2012, was so lucky to meet part of the cast of the movie THE WOLF OF WALL STREET with Leo Di Caprio; an unforgettable emotion ...
Thinking of visiting the United States in a single holiday, even having a month available is pure utopia, considering that from one bank to the other of America could also take 6 flight hours; Kanoa's advice is to divide the visit into east coast and west coast. The opportunities to move as we will see later, are many, but to provide a mixed air-car route can be the right compromise; it may be difficult to organize a trip to the States, but with a little 'organization and following our valuable advice you will see that you will not regret!
Kanoa recommends, if you have the opportunity and desire, to visit not only the America we all know ... but also the less known and, probably, more authentic. For example the towns along the famous 66 Route; the wonderful Parks, the cities of Nashville (Tennesse), Savannah (Georgia), Phoenix (Arizona), Anchorage (Alaska), Minneapolis (Minnesota). Less "pimples" of the most famous cities, but, of course, the most amazing and those that will leave a special place in your hearts!
HOW TO GET
All major cities such as New York, Washington, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Denver are well connected with Italy and the rest of Europe through numerous flights.
In our itineraries and within our guides on American cities, you will find the various companies that make direct connections with Italy.
Moreover, many tourists arrive in the USA through international flights, as the competition and the great offer almost always allow you to find very cheap tickets.
DOCUMENTS AND CUSTOMS
From 12 January 2009, for travel in the United States without a visa, it is mandatory to register online through the form ESTA. You can fill it out through the official website www.esta.gov, by paying (by credit card) 14 dollars as a practice management fee.
At the end of the procedure, the system will tell you if you are allowed to board a flight to the United States. In any case, acceptance is postponed on-site at the American airport offices, by security officers.
Remember to print the answer and that ESTA, from the moment of registration, is worth 2 years; therefore, it is not necessary to redo the procedure if you return to the States during this time frame.
In addition, to travel to the United States without the need for a visa, using the Visa Waiver Program, the following passports are valid:
Electronic passport, the only type of passport that is issued starting from 26 October 2006.
Passport with optical reading issued or renewed before 26 October 2005.
Passport with digital photo issued between 26 October 2005 and 26 October 2006.
Kanoa points out that the passport must be valid: the expiry date must be later than the date scheduled for return to Italy.
Important: once you have landed and reclaimed your baggage at the tape, all the tourists have a short interview in which the officers try to determine the real reason for the visit. Be ready to show proof; a letter if you are on a business trip or a hotel booking and a return ticket if you are on holiday. Once permission is obtained, fingerprints and digital photography will also be taken.
All CUSTOMS a form is delivered, usually one for each family that must be completed; after being admitted and having recovered the baggage, you will pass into a control area where you can eventually declare something, before, FINALLY, the exit is indicated.
Il Airplane transport in the United States it is the most used way to move, given the large size of the country. For those who want to go in America, it is quite easy to find air tickets at advantageous prices by booking with a conspicuous advance; on the contrary, it might be expensive to buy tickets for less crowded and known destinations, especially in Central America.
Le American Railways they cover the whole country in a capillary way, even if the train can be particularly uncomfortable and impractical; ticket prices are not fixed, but in general before you book, the less you spend.
For any information, please visit the railways website: www.amtrak.com.
The network of Bus it is extended and it is possible to reach all the cities of the United States; besides being economic, it is also a way to enjoy the beauties of the landscapes during the journey.
There are several Bus companies, but Kanoa recommends the Greyhound; if you wish more info, you can consult the official website: www.greyhound.com.
The car is certainly a very popular means; travel on the road, are an icon of this country. There are many car rental agencies, and often you can get a rather advantageous price. For a quote, you can refer to to our special section CAR RENTAL.
In large cities, on the other hand, people often travel by public transport; take the subway to New York, Chicago or i cable car in San Francisco, it's a truly unmissable experience of American life.
Guides and exhaustive practical information by Kanoa.it. Click on the city of your interest:
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The climate is mostly temperate with some crazy exceptions, like Alaska which is an Arctic state, while Hawaii, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and Florida are tropical. The western half of the country is covered by plains and mountains. The Great Plains are arid, flat and grassy and become an arid desert moving further west with even deep canyons (Arizona / Nevada).
In winter, cities like New York, Chicago, or Boston have heavy snowfalls and harsh temperatures, while summers are hot with some very wet days, and sometimes temperatures above 38 °.
Always remember to bring appropriate clothing to the climate.
America is also the country where crazy phenomena happen, like hurricanes or tornadoes. The important thing is not to underestimate the warnings and get informed in advance, before embarking on a journey to some areas more subject to these phenomena.
In conclusion, generally all seasons are right to go on vacation to the States. Many prefer the months of July and August, but know that they are also the most crowded (especially in large parks); we at Kanoa feel like advising Spring and Autumn as best times.
The almost continental extension of the United States means that, compared to Italy, there are different time zones: East Coast 6 hours, West Coast 9 hours, Alaska 10 hours, the center 7 hours, 8 mountains, Hawaii 11 hours.
In all the country, the current is 110V - 60, and, unlike the European one (220V - 50hz.), The socket is flat blade, which is why you need a special adapter. You can also buy it through OUR OFFICIAL SHOPPING PAGE WITH ADVANTAGE PRICES, through the following link.
CURRENCY AND MONEY
The official currency is the US dollar. There are many cuts, including 1 $, 2 $, 5 $, 10 $, 20 $, 50 $, 100 $; the coins are called Penny and are from 1, 5, 10, 25, 1 Dollar.
The most convenient way to pay in shops, bars, restaurants, and transport is the classic Credit Card or Debit Card; the important thing is that they are linked to a bank and have Iban. For example, Sao Paulo, Deutsche Bank, Unicredit and so on.
You can use it anywhere even for small amounts; the classic ones Visa and Mastercard and American Express they are accepted almost on all sides.
In America it is mandatory to provide the credit card as a guarantee for any extra costs for sleeping in a Hotel, Motel, B & B; even if you rent a car you will need to guarantee with your credit card.
To date, the Euro / Dollar exchange rate is not very favorable compared to a few years ago; if you want to know the current exchange rate Kanoa recommends clicking here.
In America, the staff has very low salaries and the most important part of the monthly income comes from the tips (tips or Gratuities). The customers leave them according to the degree of satisfaction of the service received.
Tipping is extremely common practice in the United States. In general, tips are given as follows:
Taxi drivers, barbers and other service personnel: 10-15%
Shuttle bus drivers: $ 1-2 (optional), Bellboy: $ 1-2 to baggage
Hotel goalkeepers: $ 1 per baggage (if they help), $ 1 to call a taxi
Hotel cleaning staff: $ 1-2 per day (optional), Restaurants: 15-20%, Bartenders: $ 1 per drink or 15% of the total.
In some restaurants, an 15% surcharge is applied directly to the bill as a "tip": check before paying.
In case you pay by credit card, you can request that the tip be added directly to the total amount (usually 15%)
SMOKE AND ALCOHOL
The smoking ban is practically spread over the whole territory and each state has its own legislation with rather severe laws in this regard; the cost of cigarettes is quite high, so you should buy them at duty-free.
Generally in the US smoking is forbidden in all public places (bars, restaurants, buses, airport hotels, etc.) but not in the gaming rooms in Las Vegas !!!
As for alcohol, the laws are very strict. Local, bar, supermarket: wherever you enter, even at the request of a single beer, you will always be asked to show a document. Please note that the minimum age is 21 years; you can be sure that no one will sell you an alcohol unless you can prove that you have the personal requirements: on this, they are very intransigent.
IMPORTANT: it is forbidden to drive with open or semi-open cans or bottles; in case you are subjected to a police check, the troubles are really serious, because in America the driving in a state of jealousy is punished with arrest !!
+ 39 + complete phone number eg: + 39 02 1213456
00 + 1 + city code (area code) + phone number eg 001 212 123456
Essentially there are 2 ways that we think will save you so much money to call in Italy, of course if you stay for at least 7 / 10 days.
1) Call with Smartphone Applications like. Apps such as Skype or WhatsApp using available Wi-Fi connections (in hotels, restaurants ...) and call or send messages for free.
Skype can also be used to call landlines and mobile phones in Italy at very advantageous rates (by reloading the credit).
2) Buy an American Sim; the most important managers are: AT & T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.
These companies offer the possibility to buy American sims, with telephone traffic and internet, in case you request them at the time of purchase.
From personal experience, in the 2015 with a T-Mobile sim, at the cost of 60 Dollars, it was possible to make unlimited calls in Italy on fixed and mobile and use 1Giga of the internet in 4G over a whole month; therefore, we would like to recommend similar solutions. Above all, in consideration of the fact that today the smartphone, abroad, has become almost indispensable thanks to the numerous useful applications.
To get a picture of the costs and rates, before leaving, we suggest you visit the official websites of the operators listed above. In this way you will be ready once you have landed in America.
The United States is the only industrialized country not to have a national health system; which is why Americans generally prefer to rely on private health insurance.
It is precisely for this reason that, to all those who go to the United States, it is better to take out insurance! Supporting any visits or even being hospitalized could be very expensive. Kanoa recommends the OFFICIAL GUIDE ON TRAVEL INSURANCE available directly from this link.
SECURITY / POLICE
Simple common sense is enough to avoid problems. As they say: the whole world is a country! Try to avoid bringing too much cash; not ostentatious jewels or other, and do not go out isolating you in places not often visited, especially late at night. These simple precautions are sufficient.
The American police are usually kind, professional and honest. If you happen to be stopped, just a little 'collaboration is enough; if you should take your documents out of your jacket, try to inform them of what you are about to do, in order to make them suspicious!
Unwanted to say that in the event that you are challenged an infringement, you are only required to pay the fine at the offices in charge: never give cash, because, of course, it would be bribery!
Very important: if you have rented a car and should stop the police, DO NOT CLOSE FOR ANY REASON FROM THE VEHICLE; keep your hands on the steering wheel and wait for what the police tell you: sudden movements, they could make the agents suspicious!