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USA Travel Information

Travelling abroad is an exciting experience, especially as you get to travel around unfamiliar locations and immerse yourself within the culture of that country. However, travelling overseas means that there are various practicalities that are completely different to your home country; public holidays, etiquette and business hours will be completely different, which is worth noting! We’ve put together a brief need-to-know guide to traveling to America.

Public Holidays

Below are America’s national public holidays, all of which affect transportation and other services, which will operate on a Sunday schedule. Banks, schools and government offices will be closed on public holidays.

  • New Year’s Day: January 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Third Monday in January
  • Presidents’ Day: Third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day: Last Monday in May
  • Independence Day: July 4
Labor Day: First Monday in September
  • Columbus Day: Second Monday in October
  • Veterans Day: November 11
  • Thanksgiving: Fourth Thursday in November
  • Christmas Day: December 25

Business Hours

  • Bars: 5pm-midnight Sun-Thu, to 2am Fri & Sat
  • Banks: 8:30am-4:30pm Mon-Thu, to 5:30pm Fri (and possibly 9am-noon Sat)
  • Nightclubs: 10pm-2am Thu-Sat
  • Post offices: 9am-5pm Mon-Fri
  • Shopping Malls: 9am-9pm
Stores: 10am-6pm Mon-Sat, noon-5pm Sun
  • Supermarkets: 8am-8pm, some open 24 hours

Please note that these business hours may vary.

Electricals

Remember to pack a couple of adaptors for your trip to America; US plug sockets are different from UK plug sockets.

Tipping

Tipping is not mandatory in the US, although it’s considered frowned upon if you don’t tip, as it is so common. Many restaurants may clearly display a “Service Charge” on the end of the bill; only withhold tips if you receive extremely bad service.

Driving

In America, you must drive on the right-hand side of the road as opposed to the left.

Visa Requirements

You must have a valid ESTA issued by the American Government prior to entry. Find out more about applying for an ESTA here.

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