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Traveling To America in 2018
Holiday in America for International Visitors
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America is a great place to bring your family for holiday and Americans are known for their hospitality. America offers one of the largest selections of holiday itineraries including everything from mountain climbing, snow skiing, big cities like New York, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and of course, Disney World and Disneyland. Having lived overseas, my family is familiar with the questions and concerns of folks holiday from Canada, Europe, Japan and other countries. America is a huge country with over 3000 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans. It's best to have your holiday plans ready before making the journey. We have provided holiday tips and the Top 10 Most Visited Destinations for international travelers.
Holiday in America - Welcome!
America Holidaying Tips
Being Safe in America When on Holiday
Doesn't everyone have a gun in America? Believe it or not, I hear that question all the time. Despite what you hear on TV, America is actually a very safe country. Yes, some Americans treasure their 2nd amendment right to bear arms, but it's not like Sarah Palin is going to meet you at the border with her deer rifle. In all seriousness, there are isolated instances of violence in America just as there are in most other large countries. It's always wise to be cautious in any country and here are a few tips when on holiday in America:

1. Don't Leave Valuables in Your Car. This just tempts folks to steal from your vehicle.
2. Don't Sleep in Your Car. It's best to make hotel arrangements and not sleep in your car at a rest area.
3. Stay in Public Areas and on Major Roads. Don't venture into unknown parts of cities. If needed, rent a GPS system with your car and preplan your trip. Make sure you have enough gas for the trip.
4. Blend In. It's always best to try not to look like a tourist.
5. Be Careful If Out At Night. Plan most of your activies during the day and just be aware when you're out late at night.
6. Make Sure You Have A Working Mobile Phone. If your's does not work, rent one with your car. Remember the emergency number in the USA is 911 from any phone.
7. Do Not Carry Large Sums of Money. Don't give criminals a reason to seek you out. Try using credit cards or travelers cheques.
8. Have Fun! Don't let any fear of safety affect your travels. We have traveled all over America with no problems.

Exchanging Money
Unlike many other countries, there aren't currency exchange centers located all over the United States. You can find them at most airports and some hotels, but otherwise they don't exist. There are an abundance of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) throughout the country that will accept most overseas debit cards. Just remember that most ATM's in the states are not free. Service fees can range from a couple of dollars to more if you include your bank's interchange fees. You will also find that almost every establishment accepts Visa or Mastercard credit cards. Again, your bank may have some stiff fees they charge for overseas charges. Its best to check with your bank before you leave. Here is a link to Travelex where you can buy currency over the internet.

Getting Around America When on Holiday
You will find that Americans love their cars... big cars, too. Because of this, public transportation is poor at best in most locations. The national rail system, Amtrak, does not have nearly the same coverage as most European systems. You also need to remember it's 3000 miles from New York to California. This makes air travel the only convenient way to see many parts of America. The major US airlines are American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, US Airways and Southwest Airlines. Car hires are also quite popular when visiting smaller single state areas. Driving in the US is not hard. Most roads are easy to navigate. Foreign drivers licenses are valid in most states for up to a year. The major car hire companies are Alamo, Avis, Hertz, National and Enterprise.

Below are the Top 10 US Destinations Visited by International Travelers per the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. We have provided links with more information to help you plan your holiday in America.

1. New York City, New York
There is no place like New York City and it seems international travelers on holiday agree. NYC received 7.7 million international travelers, considerably more than any other destination in the United States. With shopping, museums, Times Square, Broadway shows, the Empire State Building, and of course, the Statue of Liberty, there is more to do in New York than almost any other city in America. Here is a link to NYC.com an excellent site listing attractions, hotels, restaurants and show tickets.

2. Miami, Florida
If you like beautiful beaches, nice restaurants and an active night life, then Miami is for you. Miami received 2.6 million international holiday travelers. Known as The Gateway to the Americas, Miami is truly a culturally diverse city. The Port of Miami is the world's largest cruise ship port and home to Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines. If you are looking to cruise to the Caribbean, then chances are you will be departing from Miami. Here is a link to the Miami Visitors Bureau.

3. Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles received 2.5 million international holiday travelers, most of which were there to visit places like Hollywood, Disneyland and of course Universal Studios. If you're looking to catch a glimpse of a movie or TV celebrity then there is no better place to go than Los Angeles. If you would like to be an audience member for your favorite show, try TVTickets.com for free tickets. Here is a link to Disneyland and also a link to Universal Studios Hollywood.

4. Orlando, Florida
Orlando received 2.4 million international holiday travelers and is home to the Walt Disney World Resort which is a fantastic holiday for all family members. With 5 theme parks, 2 water parks, Downtown Disney and much more, there is something for everyone at Disney World. Here is a link to Disney World. If you plan a trip to Orlando don't forget to visit Universal Studios Orlando with its new Harry Potter World, and if you drive 60 miles east, you can visit NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

5. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in America, receiving 2.2 million international holiday visitors. With sites like the Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, Alcatraz Island and the wine country, San Francisco has lots to offer families and couples on holiday. Here is a link to an honest travel site at sfTravel.com.

6. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas received 1.8 million holiday international travelers and is a place for adults to play and have fun. The Las Vegas Strip is a 3.8 mile stretch of Las Vegas Blvd. with 19 of the world's 25 largest hotels. The current economy has hurt tourism in Vegas, but that means you can find some excellent holiday package deals. Here is a link to the Visit Las Vegas site.

7. Washington, DC
Washington, DC received 1.5 million international holiday travelers and is an excellent family holiday destination. With all of the monuments, the US Capitol, the White House and of course the Smithsonian , there is lots to do here. Remember, all government buildings including all of the Smithsonian museums are completely FREE. TIP: If you want a tour of the White House or access to the Senate and US Congress galleries, you need to book these in advance with the office of a Senator or member of Congress. Here are links to help you - US Senate and US Congress.

8. Honolulu, Hawaii
Aloha!! Hawaii received 1.5 million international holiday travelers and is a wonderful chain of islands that is geared for tourists. Each island is different from the next, with the active Kilaeua Volcano on the Big Island, the beaches on Oahu and Maui, and lush scenery on Kauai. Some of our favorite sites included walking near the Kilaeua Volcano, snorkeling at Molokini Crater off of Maui, and driving around the the beautiful Kauai. Here is a link to the Hawaiian Islands.

9. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston received 1.1 million international holiday travelers. If your family likes US history then you must head to Boston for holiday. Boston has some excellent museums like the Museum of Science which has 500 hands-on exhibits and the Boston's Children's Museum. You can also take the Freedom Trail or visit Faneuil Hall which both offer a view of US and Boston's history. Oh, and don't forget to eat some clam chowder... it's to die for.

10. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago also received 1.1 million international holiday travelers. Believe it or not, Chicago is a great place to bring your family for a holiday. Chicago sites include the Willis Tower (a.k.a. Sears Tower), Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo and of course the Art Institute of Chicago. Here is a link to the Official Visitors Site for Chicago.
Top 10 Most Visited US Destinations