PREPARE YOUR TRIP TO THE USA
That’s it, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start planning the famous trip of your dreams: the trip to the United States.
But where do you start when planning your trip to the United States?
This page has been created to help you organize your stay in the USA yourself. It brings together the best advice in order to properly prepare your circuit avoiding blunders.
Organize your trips and of course the best option to discover the USA according to your tastes. You can go where you want, when you want and move when you want, which is not often the case with organized tours with a tailor-made trip.
Preparing your trip to the United States will take you a lot of time and energy, but what a pleasure and satisfaction once everything is organized! In addition, organizing your trip is already a bit of traveling.
With the web, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. You can learn about American good manners , hotels, restaurants offering typical American cuisine , the price of plane tickets and rental cars … But also all American cities, all the majestic parks with their wild nature and all the Must See to visit.
So, ready, ready? Travel!
PREPARE YOUR TRIP TO THE USA: THE STEPS
A trip to the United States is not prepared in the same way as a city trip to a European city. It takes time, but above all to do it in advance! Some people do it a year in advance, or even more, but you can very well start preparing your tour 4 to 6 months before the big departure.
Here are the main steps to follow in order to properly prepare your trip:
- request your biometric passport or renew it if the validity date does not cover your future trip;
- make your request for ESTA authorization , if your trip lasts less than 90 days;
- choose the period during which you are going to go to the USA and create an outline of your future circuit (arrival and return cities, duration, indicative route, etc.). This step must be done before buying your plane tickets, in order to have more freedom of movement;
- book your plane tickets;
- rent a car or camper;
- improve the layout of your circuit in order to have an idea from day to day and create a daily schedule;
- book campsites, hotels, Airbnb .. etc. ;
- Subscribe to health insurance (medical costs are very expensive in the USA)
- choose the activities, excursions, hikes and visits to do per day.
WHAT TIME OF THE YEAR TO GO TO THE USA?
As everywhere, the prices of accommodation, car rental and others, vary according to the seasons, with a high price peak during the summer. It is therefore recommended to leave in off-season or low-season to make your trip to the United States.
- High season: July and August
- Mid-season: mid-May to June and September
- Low season: April to mid-May, October and mid-December
- Low season: April to mid-May, October and mid-December
The weather obviously varies with the seasons, so this is a parameter to take seriously.
From July to August, this is the perfect time to visit Yellowstone Park in terms of time. However, it is overrun with tourists.
The weather is pleasant on the coasts of California, but very hot on the side of Nevada, Utah, Arizona or New Mexico. It is therefore not recommended to go hiking there, because the temperatures are too high.
It is also the hurricane season in Florida, which also has very high temperatures.
From April to June, it is a pleasant time to visit the national parks of the West of the country. Yellowstone begins to open.
From November to March, most large parks are open and snow may be present in some (Bryce, Grand Canyon or even Arches), but they are still accessible.
It’s a great time to visit the Death Valley National Park, go to Las Vegas or visit the parks of southern New Mexico and Arizona. Discovering Florida at that time is great because the temperatures are mild, even if the water stays cold.
Please note, some parks are closed or partially closed during this period. The national parks of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia or even Grand Canyon are in this case.
From September to October, it is a pleasant time to visit the parks of the American West, because the temperatures are not too high. However, the days are shorter.
It is imperative to avoid going to Florida during this period, because it is hurricane season.
CREATE YOUR CIRCUIT AND COURSE
Once you have chosen the period in which to go to the USA, you have to do most of the work: establish the line of your circuit. What to see? When? For how long ? It will depend on the length and period of your stay.
What are the places that tempt you? Which parks do you want to visit? Which major cities to travel? The USA is huge and full of thousands of activities and Must See. It will therefore be necessary to make choices and sort according to your preferences and the feasibility of the different activities.
Choose your places by regions and remember that the USA is 17 times larger than France and that driving for more than 5 hours a day becomes very difficult, so try to centralize your activities.
It is possible to find maps online to help you, or printed road maps where you can put your annotations directly on it.
You can also find out about the various existing standard routes on the web for inspiration.
You must now choose between 2 types of route: the loop or the linear. If you opt for the loop, you will need a return ticket to the same place, while if you choose the linear route (from point A to point B), you will need a multi-ticket destinations (no higher than a standard round trip).
You will then have to create your daily schedule, taking into account the visit time to devote to the different places to visit: a big day for certain large parks (more for Yellowstone or Yosemite, for example), 2-3 days for large cities (visit San Francisco and its Golden Gate Bridge, Las Vegas, etc.)
We recommend that you take at least 4 to 5 days to visit New York. The Big Apple has a lot to offer: visit the Statue of Liberty, Central Park… Observe the immensity of New York skyscrapers in Manhattan, climb to the top of the Empire State Building or even see Broadway shows are all things to do in New York City.
There is no point in overloading your schedule, it is better to make fewer visits and take your time than to rush and rush through your trip.
An important step to plan is the time spent on the roads. Take into account that one mile is equivalent to 1.6 km and that suddenly 300 miles is equivalent to practically 500 km.
You are ready to realize your American dream! We hope that your trip to the United States will be a real pleasure for you.