The USA is a great country to visit with kids and there is huge diversity all across it. We love visiting the Eastern cities like Philadelphia and New York and also hanging out in southern California. If you’re planning a trip to the USA from the UK we have put together our guide, which we’re going to be adding to constantly so please bookmark and return if you’re planning a trip, for everything you might need to know if you’re planning a trip to the USA with kids.
Planning a trip to The USA with kids: Visas
If you’re planning a trip to the USA for 90 days or under you won’t need to get a visa however you do need to apply online for Travel Authorisation which has to be done before you travel. You can fill out the online forms here – https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ – and it costs $14 per application including children.
If you want to avoid delays and really make sure you won’t have your visa application rejected, such as because of small mistakes such as misspelling your names, you are advised to take advantage of the services of specialised agencies. The approximate ESTA visa waiver cost is between $70 and $100 (Government fees and full application revision included).
Such specialized travel advisors guarantee an error free application and they submit your application directly to the US Government on behalf of the main applicant. Beware of agencies who offer similar services at a lower price than $70. This is the standard price, which means those who pretend to provide similar services at a lower price are not professional agencies. This implies improper revision and submission of applications.
Remember that it is of utmost importance to fill in all required ESTA form fields correctly and honestly. Answering all questions, part of the application, is also obligatory. Leaving out any requested information will lead to your application’s delay.
Planning a trip to The USA with kids: Health
There are no specific health issues with the USA but it is very important to take out a good travel insurance for travel to the USA (or to any country) as costs for medical issues can quickly add up.
Planning a trip to The USA with kids: Currency
The US dollar is divided into 100 cents. Coins: 1 (penny), 5 (nickel), 10 (dime), 25 (quarter), 50 (half-dollar) and $1.
Planning a trip to The USA with kids: Tipping
Tipping in the USA is probably the most defined than any other country and is expected everywhere from coffee shops to taxis. 20% seems more and more to be the norm and $1-2 per bag for porters, 15% to tour guides and $1 per drink to bar tenders.
Planning a trip to The USA with kids: UK Embassy
It’s always good to have a note of the UK embassy and in the USA that can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/world/usa
Planning a trip to The USA with kids: Further Reading (guide books)
Our go-to guide is always Lonely Planet and this is certainly true for the USA. The overall guide book is large and packed full of information on destinations right across the country.
We also love the Road trips book which is great inspiration for finding places a little off the beaten track but still on your route.
Planning a trip to The USA with kids: Further Reading (adults)
There are some great novels out there for travel inspiration on travelling to the USA. My all time favourite is Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ which I read as I crossed the USA by train when I was 19.
I also really love John Steinbeck’s ‘Travels with Charley’ for his cross country travelogue with his dog.
Planning a trip to The USA (with kids): Further Reading (kids)
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Bill Bryson’s ‘Notes from a Big Country’ is a great read and commentary on the USA.
Planning a trip to The USA with kids: Globalmouse posts
Read some of our features on The USA here
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