Tourism in the States is a massive industry and millions of backpackers and tourists visit every year. Most tourists already have an idea what to expect due to the proliferation of American culture abroad. The US is a truly huge place with plenty of things to do in every state. In general the US is very welcoming of tourists although if you can’t speak English or Spanish you won’t find many Americans who can speak your language. However with even the most basic tourist English you will be able to enjoy life the American way and that means BIG!!!

  • Currency: $ US dollar, 100 cents to the dollar
  • Time Zone: Spans 6 time zones ranging from GMT -5 to GMT -10
  • Language: English
  • Telephone Services: Country code +1, International Dialling Code 011
  • Emergency Numbers: 911


The climate varies considerably from region to region, in general you can expect it to get warmer further south and colder further north.

Things to see and do

There are countless possibilities of things to do whilst in the US. Normal tourist site of particular fame are the statue of liberty, the great lakes and the Rockies. However there are many, many things to do in all regions. See our local pages for more information.


Travel is easy with buses, trains and internal flights all readily available and budget deals are normally easy to find. Of particular value are the Greyhound bus and Amtrak rail services. Car Rental is also widely available at all major airports and many other locations.

Visit World Airports Codes site to find out transfer options at USA’s leading airports and transport hubs such as Philadelphia International AirportJohn F Kennedy International Airport and Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. The site also covers all other airports across the United States.


Budget accommodation is also readily available in the US, even the cheapest motels will provide quite a good standard of living with almost all rooms having their own en-suite bathroom and most boasting a TV. For more advice on accommodation see our local state pages for more information.

The Hostel Handbook for the USA and Canada is a great resourse for backpakcers in North America. The list includes HI locations and all independent hostels. It’s updated every year so the information is current. It includes a great section on travel tips and budget travel resouces. A new print version comes out every February but you can order the book or browse the information on their website.


The US has an excellent private healthcare system, while you will need to make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance the standard of medical care is amongst the highest in the world. There are no shots or injections required when visiting the US from abroad.

Useful Links

Homepage for the US Embassy in the UK, contains information regarding application for Visas.

Amtrak is the USA’s national rail service and a great way to travel around.

Greyhound is an excellent point-to-point coach service in the US. They offer flexible travel passes and you can book online.

The office of travel and tourism can provide local tourist advice