The country with the big adventures, the big cities, the big plates, the big cars, the big distances and the big national parks. We have been traveling for almost 6 months in North America and spent much of the time in the western US, Hawaii and the eastern US.
In the US, tipping will be a large part of your expenses. Expect to add between 15-25% extra to all restaurant bills. You also need to tip the taxi driver, hotel staff and guide and... Pay attention to the bill at the restaurant - some places automatically add 20%. Then you don't need to drink.
Always have some smaller denomination bills available if you need to tip.
The USA is a large country and flying is the most common form of transport between East and West. Sure, there are trains and buses. But then you have to count on several days of travel time.
When you go on a road trip in the USA, you should expect that the distances are large. Make sure that you always have a well-filled car and that you have plenty of drinking water with you. Don't try to see everything in one vacation!
As the US has different taxes depending on where you live, the price tags are not shown including tax. Sales tax is added at checkout of between 0-13%.
Always read the fine print before booking a hotel. Many hotels add a hefty "resort fee", which is not included in your booked price. A resort fee can be between 10-100 dollars per person/night.
Never travel without travel insurance
The USA is the country where all healthcare costs at least a month's salary and you can be sued for the smallest traffic incident. Make sure you're properly insured, otherwise the slightest sore throat can cost more than the entire trip.
Don't forget to apply for ESTA
To enter the USA, Swedish citizens on short-term vacations need to apply for ESTA in advance. There are many scam sites that try to both deceive you and take your money. Make sure you are on the official website before you start filling in personal information.
1. Walk in Central Park in New York 2. Admire waterfalls in Yosemite in California 3. Sweat in the white plaster desert of New Mexico 4. Look for manatees and alligators in Florida 5. Watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon 6. Drive along Highway 1 in California 7. Learn to ride western style on a ranch in Arizona 8. Wait for a geyser eruption in Yellowstone 9. Hug the world's largest tree in California 10. Hike among hoodoos in Bryce, Utah 11. Visit the ghost town of Bodie in California 12. Go on a killer whale safari outside of Seattle 13. Hike a snow-capped volcano in Washington state
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