Best time to go: Depends largely on which part of USA you would be visiting, As a general rule, spring (March – May) and Autumn (September – October) are the better months. June – August are the summer months and temperatures can be very warm. Spring and Autumn are more comfortable. Summer is also a peak travel time.
Best for: Broadway, Las Vegas, Disney World and much, much more!
The USA is a vast country to explore, with 50 states to choose from, each unique in so many ways. It is flanked by two oceans and covers an incredibly varied terrain.
Expansive plains, snow-covered mountain ranges, forested rolling hills, deserts, strange rock formations, soaring skyscrapers, stunning coastlines, impressive national parks and a thriving cultural scene; the USA has it all, plus some.
Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of Manhattan`s unforgettable skyline, your first ride in a yellow cab, the ubiquitous hamburger joints, the vast expanses of prairie, the sweet strains of New Orleans jazz or the neon-lit excesses of Las Vegas.
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Capital: Washington, DC. (WAS)
Currency: US Dollar (USD)
Dialling code from SA: +1
Time Zones: UTC / GMT – 10 to UTC/ GMT – 5
Hawaii Time Zone: UTC/GMT -10 hours (NO DST) (12 hours behind South Africa)
Alaska Time Zone: UTC/GMT -9 hours (DST from Second Sunday March – 1st Sunday November, UTC/ GMT -8 hours) (11 hours behind South Africa / DST: 10 hours behind South Africa)
Pacific Time Zone: UTC/GMT -8 hours (DST from Second Sunday March – 1st Sunday November, UTC/ GMT -7 hours) (10 hours behind South Africa / DST: 9 hours behind South Africa)
Mountain Time Zone: UTC/GMT -7 hours (DST from Second Sunday March – 1st Sunday November, UTC/ GMT -6 hours) (9 hours behind South Africa / DST: 8 hours behind South Africa)
Central Time Zone: UTC/GMT -6 hours (DST from Second Sunday March – 1st Sunday November, UTC/ GMT -5 hours) (8 hours behind South Africa / DST: 7 hours behind South Africa)
Eastern Time Zone: UTC/GMT -5 hours (DST from Second Sunday March – 1st Sunday November, UTC/ GMT -4 hours) (7 hours behind South Africa / DST: 6 hours behind South Africa)
Side of the Road: Right
Plugs: 120 volts AC, 60Hz. Plugs have two flat pins with or without a third round grounding pin.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If on prescription medication, it is advised to bring sufficient medication for the entire trip with accompanying doctors certificate.
Customs: Normal social courtesies
Local Offences / Laws: Smoking is illegal in most public places. Alcohol drinking age is 21.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported by visitors over 21 years of age into the USA without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars.
• 1L of alcoholic beverage.
• Goods up to a value of US$800 (returning residents who have been out of the country for at least 48 hours; this limit is applicable once in a 30-day period and is reduced to US$200 for travellers who have already used the allowance or have been out of the USA for less than 48 hours).
Travellers arriving from certain Caribbean and Latin American countries may import up to 2L of alcoholic beverages, as long as at least 1L was produced in one of the applicable countries. US residents returning from a US insular possession (American Samoa, Guam or US Virgin Islands) have a duty-free allowance of US$1,600, including up to 1,000 cigarettes (at least 800 of which must have been bought in the insular possession) and 5L of alcoholic beverages, one of which must be a product of the insular possession. Further information on US customs regulations is available online (www.cbp.gov).
Prohibited Imports: The following are either banned or may only be imported under licence: • Narcotics and dangerous drugs, unless for medical purposes (doctor`s certificate required).
• Biological materials, some seeds, fruits and plants (including endangered species of plants and vegetables and their products).
• Firearms and ammunition (with some exceptions – consult the customs website).
• Meat and poultry products – fresh, dried or canned.
• Certain fish (unless certified as disease free).
• Dairy products and eggs.
• Wildlife and endangered species, including crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, game and hunting trophies and crafted articles of any part thereof.
• Dog and cat fur.
• Some art and artefacts.
• Haitian animal hide drums.
• Some automobiles.
• More than one article (limited to once every 30 days) displaying a counterfeit or confusingly similar logo to trademarked and copyrighted articles.
• Merchandise from embargoed countries: Cuba, Iran, Myanmar and most of Sudan; information materials (pamphlets, books, tapes, films and recordings) are permitted. Items of archaeological, historical religious or scientific importance that are illegally removed from specific locations in Iraq.
Prohibited Exports: Weapons and drugs.