Pack for success: your checklist for visiting the United States


You’ve looked at the brochures, booked your flights, and you’re headed to the US of A. Whilst you may be excited for the trip of a lifetime, it’s important to make sure that you’ve prepared before you go away, thus ensuring that you are able to relax and enjoy your trip without any problems. Here are three must-have items when visiting the USA.

Travel and medical insurance

Unlike the UK, the USA does not have a national health service. Any illness or accident that involves treatment from a healthcare professional will need to be paid for, and can end up very costly without the correct policies. There are a number of online comparison sites where you can check insurance costs for the best deal.

US dollars

Not only is it a requirement of entry to prove that you can afford to stay for the duration of your trip, but also it’s a good idea to have cash when you arrive in case you need to get a cab, refreshments or give a tip. US dollars are the currency of choice, but it’s worth taking a pre-paid cash card or credit card so you’re not carrying all your money on you at once.

Relevant documentation

When entering the USA you will need to provide a valid passport for the duration of your journey, so make sure you check it’s valid before you fly. If not, then the UK Passport office offers some fast-track passport services to ensure you don’t miss out on your holiday.

You will also need to fill out an ESTA application. This is an automated system that allows the US to collate information for their Visa Waiver Programme and ensure safety at their borders. It’s very simple to apply, and will last for two years for any additional trips to the USA in that timeframe.

Once you have all these arranged, it’s simply a case of deciding whether to pack a swimsuit or a snowsuit, hiking boots or a cowboy boots, or a Hawaiian shirt or a dress shirt. The USA is an extremely diverse country, just waiting to be explored!