USA Travel Tips & Advice

* Air Travel Tips
* Miscellaneous Tips
* International Tips
* Packing Tips
* Money Saving Tips
* Safety Tips
* Medical/Healthcare

* Preparation Checklist



Air Travel Tips
If your flight gets cancelled, instead of running with the crowd to the airport counter, try calling your travel agent or the airline to get a new reservation.If you have carry-on bags, think about getting a seat assignment toward the back of the plane. You board first and have easier time stowing your bags.To avoid being delayed at the airport, call the airline before leaving to be sure the flight is scheduled to leave on time. If your flight is delayed you may be entitled to a refund, even on a nonrefundable ticket!If you'd like a better seat on your flight be sure to ask at check-in. Bulk-head and exit-row seats are usually last to be assigned and may be available. Extra time in-between flights? Often you can use the executive lounge of an airline for a one time use fee, usually around $25. Need to alleviate ear pressure when flying? Place a hot cloth in cup and hold it over your ear. Try it, it works!Using your laptop in-flight? Since different airlines need different adapters, you'll need to bring a PowerXtender, a PowerCharger, and an Auto/Air Adapter to be "plugged in" no matter who you fly.


International Tips
When traveling to a foreign country, familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. Remember while in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. Need a passport? There is usually an additional fee involved if you need it within 14 days. So request it as early as possible to avoid those additional charges. If you lose your passport while traveling, immediately contact the Embassy or Consulate for assistance.


Miscellaneous Tips
Make photocopies of your prescriptions for medicines and eye-glasses, as well as credit cards. This will speed the process of obtaining new ones while on the road. Traveling out of the country alone with your child? Be sure to have a letter of consent from the other parent, you may need it prior to crossing the border. Always be sure to keep a copy of your ID / passport in your luggage and at home. This is an huge asset in case of theft or loss.


Money Saving Tips
Flying close to a holiday and want the cheapest fare? Try flying on the holiday itself! Using your laptop on the road? Connection fees may be higher than you normally pay. Be sure to check before you connect!Did you know…making a local or international call through hotels' in-room telephone service is really expensive. For cheaper rates, use a long distance calling card! Are you continually traveling to the same destination? For cheaper rates, check out corporate housing on extended stays of more then a week. You can go home for the weekends and still keep the lower rates! How to avoid those expensive refueling charges when renting a car…before you drive away from the airport, note the location of a gas station. When returning the car you will know where to refuel! Save money…before purchasing the insurance when renting a car check out if your company, credit card, or personal insurance covers you.


Packing Tips
Oh no, not wrinkles! Keep clothing wrinkle free by "rolling" articles in dry-cleaning bags when packing. Get your tape measures…carry-on bags should be no more then approximately 22x9x14in. Place any breakable items, like perfume or cologne, in plastic baggies prior to packing. This way, if they break your clothes are spared the mess!


Safety Tips
When using a pay phone, avoid isolated phones or ones with limited lighting. Face outward while calling to stay alert to possible intruders and hang onto your belongings. Being prepared could save your life! When boarding your fight or checking into your hotel room, always note the emergency exits in relation to your seat or room. When staying in a hotel, try to stay between the second and seventh floor. This can help to avoid break-ins while remaining in reach of emergency ladders. Always be sure to request automatic locks when renting a car. This is a valuable safety measure when driving and parking in unfamiliar areas.


PREPARATION CHECKLIST:

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Find a job with an H1B visa sponsoring company.
Start collecting documents you will need for the immigration process for you and all members of your family;
Valid Passport - Check with your country for necessary steps.
Birth Certificate(s)
Financial Documents
Medical Records
Education Records - Have them translated.
Professional Records - Have them translated
Insurance Policies
Extra Passport Photos
Marriage License (where applicable).


Tip... learn from other H1'ers about their experiences - good and bad. Ask questions, get recommendations about desirable neighborhoods, good schools, available child care and your other priorities.

3 MONTHS BEFORE YOU LEAVE:
Research the USA and check Salary Comparisons.
Begin to look for travel bargains and make travel arrangements.
Book your Flight
Book temporary hotel rooms / appartment rental
Reserve rental car.
Visit your doctor and dentist; learn all about Medical/Healthcare in the USA, and get all the immunizations you need.


1 MONTH BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Check about US Tax Tips and what benefits you are entitled to.
Check with U.S. Customs to see what you can and cannot bring.
Find an international shipper to send over things you cannot pack.
Get an International Driver's License.


3 WEEKS BEFORE YOU LEAVE:
Call to confirm final information for your travel plans.
Read books about the USA for valuable information.


1 WEEK BEFORE YOU LEAVE:
Call friends and family in the USA to let them know when you are arriving.
Double check to make sure you have all documents and items you will need.


YOUR ARRIVAL IN THE USA
Touch down in the USA...your adventure begins.
Go through customs.
Have your I-94 Card stamped.
Get acclimated.
Rent a car if necessary.
Exchange your money.
Get your Social Security Number(SSN)
Get a US credit card
Open a bank account
Go shopping and get the essentials
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