Whether you are a first-time or repeat international visitor to the United States, here are 3 tips and reminders that will help your American vacation go smoothly and be a memorable adventure.
Your trip to the United States for your holiday break will take a passport. You may also need to bring your driver's license. If you plan to stay for an extended period and a purpose, you will need a visa.
If you're just traveling to the United States for a vacation, your passport and driving ID will be enough to get you into the country and through customs. It's important to review the difference between a passport and visa. Passports verify who you are and whether or not you are allowed to travel internationally. Visas grant access for a specific purpose and a particular stretch of time. When traveling internationally, you always need a passport. You may not need a visa.
Your travel goals will help you determine whether or not you need to arrange a car rental. For example, if you're traveling to a major metropolitan area for your vacation and don't plan to leave the city, then setting up a ridesharing app on your phone and summoning a car when you need one may be a better choice. According to Budget, a car rental will likely require that you show your passport or other documentation as well as your license. You will also need to have a familiarity with driving rules and regulations in the United States. Be aware that these can change from state to state, so if you're crossing state lines you will need to review law changes and carefully monitor the speed limit.
Consider a Road Trip
A great way to see the United States is to drive historic Route 66. This route includes many roadside attractions and passes close-by natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon. You can also enjoy time in St. Louis and take the elevator arch so you can see the city from up high. This road trip takes you from Chicago through St. Louis and down to Tulsa, Oklahoma. You'll travel through Texas, New Mexico and into California, stopping in Santa Monica. In every city along the route, you'll find museums, dining, and attractions to suit any interest. This two-week trip will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.
A visit to the United States can include natural wonders, thriving cities, and charming small towns. No matter your travel goals, you can find something wonderful to visit and enjoy in the states.
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(Family Features) Whether you're planning a cross-country vacation or just a weekend getaway, packing for a road trip doesn't have to be a daunting task. Creating a packing list of essentials can be the first step toward avoiding unnecessary stress and making your trip one to remember.
Of course, that list should start with the items you should never leave home without like your driver's license and proof of insurance, but it should also include pertinent information about your destination, like the trip's itinerary and reservation confirmations. Don't forget a map or printed directions in case your GPS dies or your phone loses service.
While even the most experienced travelers have reached their destinations only to find they left a necessity or two behind, this handy packing guide can set you on the road to success and help you avoid buying a new set of sunglasses or portable charger en route to your destination.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (women with map)SOURCE:
(Family Features) Despite your best intentions to take time off for a relaxing getaway, chances are high that you’ll find it difficult to fully unplug from your digital devices. While you probably realize that staying connected prevents you from recharging, you may not be aware that it can also expose you to potential security risks.
In a recent survey by Intel Security, more than half (55 percent) of participants who intended to unplug from their digital devices on vacation were unsuccessful in doing so. The respondents revealed that practical reasons like access to online banking apps and tools, such as maps and search engines, are what keep people tethered to their smartphones.
If you’re like the majority of travelers who take their smartphones with them on vacation, it’s important to remain alert and prepared as pickpockets and thieves can target travelers and take advantage of large crowds and distractions. In addition, cybercriminals count on human and device vulnerabilities to provide them with a point of access to personal data, and summer vacations are often full of distractions and opportunities.
If you’re planning a trip and will have your mobile device on hand, keep these tips, from the experts at Intel Security, in mind to help protect your personal information and better guard yourself from online risks:
Back-up data: Losing your mobile device or having it stolen can easily happen while on vacation and it’s best to be prepared. Back-up your data to ensure that your personal photos and messages are safe and use a PIN or password to protect your data should it fall into the wrong hands.
Create social walls: Passing time at the airport can lead to posting updates from your mobile device. Whether it's checking in with your location or posting a silly selfie, criminals can use your social information to monitor when you're away and at your weakest point to defend against an attack, whether online or at a physical address they know is unoccupied.
Limit Wi-Fi and Bluetooth use: Although it may be tempting to preserve your data plan, switching to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in lieu of your private data network can be a recipe for disaster. Connecting to unprotected Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices can expose your personal information to a cyber-criminal, especially if you're processing a payment over an unsecure network.
Give yourself a work “time-out”: Accessing work files on unprotected Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks can be risky. Work related files can contain private company information that can jeopardize the digital security of a business. These files should not be accessed on public Wi-Fi, yet 47 percent of survey participants reported doing so while on vacation. If you do tap into Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, make sure you are connecting to a reputable source with the name of the business of where you are located such as “starbuckswifi.”
Check and monitor your accounts: Keep an eye out for suspicious activity in your bank account history. This is the only way to react quickly to potential fraud and know if your bank or credit card accounts have been compromised. Be meticulous about keeping track of your account activity to ensure that a criminal can’t use your account without your knowledge.
For more tips and advice to protect the security of your digital devices while traveling, visit Intel Security’s Consumer Blog at blogs.mcafee.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman on computer)
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