U.S. Travel Information

Visa and customs

When applying for a tourist visa to the United States, three points must be taken into account: travel history (the presence of other visas in the passport), the presence of a certificate from the place of work indicating a salary of at least 45-50,000 RUB, marital status (married, married, civil marriage). In this case, you can be 90% sure of receiving it. And the last point is not as important as the first and second. The prices on the page are for August 2021.

On board the aircraft, you will need to fill out an I-94 form (if you do not know English, you can ask the flight attendant for help), and then present it, along with your passport and other necessary documents, at the customs control point for foreigners at the airport.

Import and export of national and foreign currency is not limited. Amounts over 10,000 USD must be declared, this also applies to traveler’s checks. Items for personal use are not subject to duty. The import of perishable products, weapons and drugs, matches, lighters and goods produced in Iran is prohibited. The export of most species of plants and fauna is prohibited from the Hawaiian Islands.

No more than 1 liter of alcohol can be imported into the country duty-free (including beer, wine and liqueurs, absinthe is prohibited); no more than 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 2 kg of smoking tobacco. In addition, you can import another 100 cigars – as the so-called “allowed gift”. Pets must have an international veterinary passport with notes on all necessary vaccinations.

We recommend a suitable online service for choosing travel insurance in the USA: you can set any parameters you need, including special covid insurance, a sports package, etc. – and see which of the insurers has the best prices.

Tax free

According to toppharmacyschools, there is no Tax free system in the States: there is no VAT here, but Sales Tax has been introduced. It is almost never included in the cost of goods, therefore, a tourist should be prepared to pay 8-18% more than indicated on the invoice or on the price tag (each state has its own rate).

Communication and Wi-Fi

For calls within the United States and access to the Internet, it is advantageous to connect an American SIM card. Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T are vying for the title of top mobile operator. The quality of the connection depends on the zone: if there are definitely no problems on the Californian coast, then in remote mountainous areas you can be left without communication.

Payphones are gradually disappearing from American streets, but you can still find them. They accept $0.25 coins and phone cards sold in supermarkets, pharmacies, newsstands, and gas stations. Local calls cost 0.10-0.50 USD per minute, international calls cost a little more.

The Internet in the United States is widespread: in libraries, hotels, restaurants, shops and just on the streets, paid and free Wi-Fi points are equipped. In places with free access, there are often restrictions on the speed or volume of traffic. Internet cafes are becoming a thing of the past as unnecessary: ​​Americans do not part with their smartphones, day and night connected to the World Wide Web.

USA Hotels

American hotels have their own classification, which can be equated with the “star” system only conditionally. So, Superior Deluxe and Deluxe (D) class hotels are approximately equivalent to “fives” and “fours plus”, Superior First Class (S) is 4-3 * plus, First Class (F): 3 * plus-3 *, Moderate First Class (M) is an analogue of the “three rubles”, and Tourist Class (T) is an institution of the level of one or two “stars”.

Check-in at the hotel is carried out after 15:00, and check-out, as a rule, before 12:00, less often before 11:00. Late check-out or early check-in is usually charged as an additional full day. In some hotels, a security deposit is issued at the time of check-in – either by blocking a certain amount on the guest’s credit card, or in cash. At the time of check-out from the hotel, the deposit is returned by transfer to the card (may take up to three weeks), cash or check.

According to the American standard, breakfasts (and indeed any meals) are not included in the price. Breakfasts can be of two types – continental or full American, as well as in two versions – a buffet or a choice from the menu.

Almost all hotels have fairly spacious rooms with large beds. All hotels in Florida and most in Los Angeles and Las Vegas have pools. To use the safe and telephone (calls outside the hotel) you must pay a deposit at the reception, usually 30-50 USD. At checkout, this amount will be refunded minus costs. Many American hotels do not have hair dryers: they, irons and ironing boards can be ordered to the room by phone (usually it’s free).

The mains voltage is 110 V, 60 Hz. To use personal electrical appliances, tourists still need to purchase a special adapter in Russia: you won’t find it in American hotels.


The monetary unit of the country is the US dollar (USD), in 1 dollar 100 cents. Current exchange rate: 1 USD = 57.62 RUB.

You can pay in the USA only in dollars, you should immediately take them with you or, in extreme cases, change them at the airport. It is very convenient to use credit cards, preferably in foreign currency (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.): they are accepted in hotels, restaurants, shops and generally everywhere. ATMs are located everywhere, the transaction fee is 1-2% of the withdrawn amount. Credit card fraud is not uncommon here, so we recommend using ATMs of well-known systems and having your bank’s phone number with you in order to block the card in a timely manner in case of trouble.

In restaurants and drinking establishments, 10-15% of the bill is left for tea. Tipping porter – 0.25-0.5 USD per piece of luggage, the bellhop in the hotel receives 0.5-1 USD per piece. The list also includes head waiters, porters and maids. Euro in America, of course, is disliked.

Banks are usually open from 9:00 to 15:00 from Monday to Friday. On one of the days of the week, most often on Friday, they are open until 18:00. The impressive size of the commission and the queue suggest that it is better not to miss the exchange office at the airport.

  • Do ATMs in the US accept cards issued in Russia?

U.S. Travel Information