frequently asked questions

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions about travelling to the USA.

Yes, outside of any set departures that are shown for specific tours or cruises all of our packages are designed as suggested itineraries and can be changed around to suit your individual requirements. Talk to us and we can personalise any of our packages to suit.

Travel USA accepts direct debit, Eftpos and credit card. Credit card fees do apply, please check at the time of booking.

Yes, we strongly recommend that anyone travelling to the USA takes out Comprehensive Travel Insurance cover for any unforeseen events, including sufficient medical cover. Travel Insurance covers you from the moment you purchase your Policy until you arrive home safely. We will discuss this with you at the time booking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the adequate passport and visa requirements to enter the USA ie. outside of general information available through public channels we do not give specific advice on visas. New Zealand passport holders will not be able to enter the United States without a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) or Visa. New Zealand nationals travelling on a New Zealand Passport are generally eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP, which enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor visa purposes) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Please also check that your passport is undamaged, has blank pages and remains valid for at least six months after your planned return date or you could be denied boarding. Use our Quick Links located in the footer of the website for more information.

The US is well sign posted so driving outside of the major cities at least is generally fairly straight forward, especially with the various Map Apps now available. However, couple of things you should know if you didn’t already. The minimum age to hire a rental car or motorhome is generally 21 years of age. A ‘youthful surcharge’ can also be applied to drivers aged 21-24 who may also be restricted as to what type of vehicles they can hire. The other major thing to know is that they sit on the wrong side of the car in America – and they drive on the wrong side of the road!  Vehicles in the US are left-hand drive and vehicles travel on the right-hand side of the road ie. the opposite to New Zealand. The ‘boss’ has driven pretty extensively around the US - please feel free to reach out to Andrew directly for more advice.

It varies from state to state. Whilst a lot of states allow you to drive in the US on your NZ Driver’s License, visitors from overseas countries, including New Zealand, do require a current driver’s license and an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in certain states including but not necessarily limited to Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state. You can apply for an IDP online with the Automobile Association (AA). Talk to Travel USA about your requirements or follow our Quick Links for more details.

Absolutely - we would love to hear from some Aussies and any Kiwi ex-pats living over there. All of our packages and suggested itineraries are created as land only options so are easily converted into AUD. And we promise not to mention the Rugby ... as long as you don't mention the cricket! 

Yes, Disney generally requires you to pre-book the dates you plan to visit their respective parks. Travel USA is happy to assist you with prebooking your Disney theme park dates when purchasing your Disney tickets through us.

Booking earlier does not necessarily guarantee cheaper prices as airline and ground content costs are generally set based on supply and demand. However, given availability in peak travel periods and the dynamic nature of hotel prices in particular Travel USA does recommend for peace of mind that you book your travel plans as far out as possible ie. as soon as you are ready to commit. Prices that we use to design your holiday plans are dynamic meaning that they can change and invariably increase as properties start to fill up.  

Tipping is a way of life in America and not to tip for services is often taken as an insult. Waitstaff in particular are generally lowly paid and rely on their tips, ‘reward for service’, to get by. Our advice when dining is to check your bill to see whether a tip has already been added in which case you’re not expected to pay any extra. Outside of that the general rule of thumb on tipping is 20-25% in restaurants, $1-$2 per drink in bars (same for coffee shops), 20-30% for taxi drivers, $1 per bag for airport and hotel baggage services. You are not generally expected to tip for fast food outside of your friendly hotdog vendors where 10% is the norm. When travelling by organised coach or cruise the policy for tipping varies by operator – but, but don’t worry they generally let you know along the way what is expected, or you can always check with us before you go.

There is no particular right or wrong time to travel to the US – it all comes down to what you are planning to when you are there. However, America is a massive country and as a result the weather can vary a lot from state to state and especially from coast-to-coast ie. the West Coast is generally warmer than the East Coast and the Southern states are generally warmer than their northern counterparts. Travel USA is happy to provide you with a guideline of average temperatures for any part of the US you are thinking of travelling to. Simply check with us when enquiring. Failing that, as a Northern Hemisphere country, the seasons in the USA are the opposite to ours ie. Summer (June-August), Autumn or Fall as the Americans prefer to call it (September-November), Winter (December-February) and Spring (March- May).

Yes, you sure can, but New Zealand plugs are not compatible with American electrical sockets therefore you will need to take a plug adaptor or converter. These are easily accessed from most electronics or electrical stores before you go or at the Airport.

Credit cards are widely accepted in the US and ATMs for cash withdrawals are generally available - although they do carry a surcharge. Travel USA suggests you also consider getting a prepaid travel card that you can exchange NZD for USD before you leave the country and store a pre-selected amount of funds on your card. They work just like a debit card and are a great way to keep an eye on your spending ie. you can easily check your remaining balance online and if necessary, top them up along the way. Check with Travel USA for more details.

Navigating the local train and bus systems of major cities can be fun and relatively simple, once you get your bearings eg. New York Subway. Outside of that taxis are generally readily available in all of the major cities as are Uber and Lyft - two recommended Apps to download before you go.

 

Whilst a lot of the National Park Service sites do not charge any entrance fees, if you are travelling by yourself and not part of an organised tour group, the majority of the large, more popular National Parks do e.g. Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion, Arches, Rocky Mountain, Acadia etc. Prices generally range from US$35 per vehicle and US$20 per person. Travel USA will provide up-to-date details of this when planning your National Parks adventure with them.

Yes, providing you are on a mobile plan which includes international roaming. Please check the details of your plan with your local provider before you leave New Zealand to see whether you have access to an international roaming plan, otherwise data roaming charges can be very expensive. If you do not have an international roaming plan then wi-fi is generally available in the US, especially in hotels, or you can look to pick up a SIM card and local prepaid plan when you arrive.

arrow-left