Home What you need for an extended family trip to America

What you need for an extended family trip to America

americaThere are few places in the world quite like the United States of America. Each of the 50 states has their own history, climate and culture; every state offers something entirely unique to the people who pass through it.

If you’re planning an extended family trip to the USA, there are a couple of things that you’re going to need – some of these will remain constant no matter where you go, others will vary slightly based on the state you’re visiting. America is a huge country after all, and the weather in Texas is a little different to the weather in New York!


1. The right paperwork

First things first, you need to know how the USA visa system works. Not everyone needs one, and if you’re lucky enough to be on the Visa Waiver list, that includes you. Countries on this list simply have to apply for an ESTA if they’re looking to travel to the US for tourism. Just be aware that everyone needs their own ESTA – you can’t put kids on your ESTA like you could with a visa. Also, it’s worth noting that if you don’t hail from one of the Waiver countries, you’ll have to apply for a normal visa as you would have before the ESTA was introduced.


2. The right clothes

As we all know, America is a fairly large country. As a result, it’s little surprise that it sees very different weather patterns on each end of the country, and a summer in Texas is going to require very different clothing to a summer in on the Canadian border. Make sure you check the weather forecast before you travel, along with the historical reports for the last few years. The last thing you want to do is show up in shorts only to find that the state you’re visiting has a rainy season.


3. The right guide books

There is a guide book out there for just about everything you could ever want to do. There are guide books for each state, each city and each hobby you could possibly come up with. If you and your family are avid rock climbers, for example, you may want a different guide book to someone looking for the most gourmet food the US has to offer. Check a couple of guides and see if you can find things to do that will excite each of the people heading off on holiday with you. This will leave you will the best kind of family holiday – one where there was something for everyone.


4. The right things to do while travelling

America is one of those countries where flying from one side to the other is fairly normal. Unlike the UK where flying from Manchester to London seems a little peculiar, if you’re going from Florida to California, you definitely want to fly – that is a very long drive. Either way, there’s a good chance that you’re going to spend a lot of time travelling up and down the country; depending on you travel this time can be spent reading, playing games, watching movies or anything in-between. Just be aware that if you’re travelling with kids who like handheld consoles, some of the consoles come with region locks. This means, for example, that you can’t play games you buy in America on a British Nintendo DS. Remember to check this before you travel to give your kids fair warning!


5. The right travel hacks

Travel hacks are the intrepid traveller’s solution to pretty much everything. Are you travelling to the beach and need to hide your phone? Put it inside a clean, empty suntan lotion bottle. Are you looking to hide emergency cash? Put it in an empty lip balm container. Want to plug four British plugs into a single American wall socket? Pack a British extension block with your travel adaptor and reap the benefits. There are loads of travel hacks out there that will make your trip significantly easier, so do a little research and see if you can find a couple that you and your family can use!



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