America has it all. From gorgeous shorelines and mountains, to national parks, diverse geography, culture, music, and food, it’s easy to see why the US is a popular place to visit.
Today, traveling within the US is a comfort to people looking for a relaxing journey unburdened by language or food variances, yet with much of the diversity you could expect to find abroad.
Though a familiar and reassuring travel destination, there are other important things to remember when traveling to, or within the US.
If you are flying within the US:
- Always carry appropriate identification or your passport at all times.
- Don’t joke about “bombs,” or “terrorists,” at airport security checkpoints. The events of September 11, 2001 have caused the US Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) to consider these comments seriously.
- Do not bring prohibited items of any kind, including firearms or weapons—even a small knife. Go to www.tsa.gov or www.tsa.gov/mobile to check items that are prohibited in carry-on and checked luggage.
- Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Don’t accept packages from strangers and don’t leave your luggage unattended at any time.
- Monitor the news for travel safety, security, and weather alerts that may affect your plans.
- The US Department of Homeland Security issues alerts for terrorism threats within the US through its National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS).
Important Note: Check the section, “Your Travel Emergencies Resource List” in this eBook for more information on air travel within the US.
If you are traveling by road in the US:
Traveling by road offers an incomparable, close-up view to the vast beauty and spectacular diversity of America. Driving the open road allows freedom, flexibility, and spontaneity. If you take to the highway for your next road trip, consider these recommendations:
- You must have car insurance in order to legally drive within the US. If your car insurance does not cover rental cars, you may need to purchase it while renting a car. Ensure that you have liability, collision, and loss-of-life coverage.
- Know and observe the maximum speed and drinking limits at all times. US limits for speeding and consuming alcohol vary by state, and are lower than in many countries.
- Check the weather conditions before leaving on a long road trip.
- If you are involved in an accident while driving, dial 911 to reach the police immediately.
- Texting while driving is illegal. You must use a hands-free mobile device.
- Avoid leaving any items on display that could invite theft when you leave the car.
- Stay on main roads and in well-lit, well-populated areas.
- Seek local advice about areas with high crime and/or other important information.
- Do not rely on a Global Positioning Device (GPS), or an internal vehicle navigation system. Always a carry a map of the area in which you are driving.
- Learn to drive both an automatic and manual transmission car. Familiarize yourself with the controls of the car you are driving, especially if it’s new or a rental.
- Be sure to read and understand your car rental agreement, if applicable.
- Wearing headsets or earplugs in both ears is not permitted while driving or while riding a bicycle in some states.
- If possible, bring a small, portable, hand-crank style radio. Being able to listen to emergency broadcasts may mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.
Important Note: Check the “Travel Emergencies Resource List” in this eBook for more information on traveling by road within the US.