The United States of America is one of the largest countries in the world, and offers a wide and diverse range of destinations, from the skyscrapers of New York to the sunny beaches of Miami. United States serviced apartments are a great way to experience the American way of life just like a local.
The climate of the United States can vary drastically due to the size and diversity of the country; serviced apartments in Miami will generally offer air conditioning to combat the hot, humid summers, while apartments in New York will have heating to fight the cold winters. In general, the climate tends to be temperate, but it’s best to check the forecast for your specific destination before packing.
Many holidays are celebrated in the United States, including Martin Luther King Day in January, Presidents Day in February, Memorial Day in May, Independence Day in July, Labor Day in September, Columbus Day in October, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December. Many government offices, banks and businesses close for these days.
Due to the size of the country, air travel is a popular way of getting around the country, not just in or out of it; even so, coast to coast travel takes between 5 and 6 hours. Most American cities have one or two airports. Be aware of security regulations before you fly.
The national rail system Amtrak provides services to many cities, with great sightseeing opportunities on the way. Some routes are exceptionally scenic, and should be booked well in advance.
Driving is on the right. Seatbelt regulation varies by state, so it’s advisable to always use them. Speed limits similarly vary, so check before you drive. Freeways often have a minimum speed limit as well as a maximum.
Intercity bus travel is widely available, with numerous operators including the famous Greyhound buses.
American English is spoken throughout the United States, with a variety of distinctive regional accents and dialects. As a multi-cultural society with a long history of immigration, there are many other languages spoken in certain areas; there are many Spanish speakers, French speakers may be found in some areas of Louisiana and near the border with Quebec, and the Amish people speak a dialect of German.
The currency in the United States is the dollar, which divides into 100 cents.
Domestic electricity voltage is usually 120V with a standard North American two pin plug; adaptors are readily available but visitors from countries with a higher voltage may need a voltage converter for heated appliances such as hair straighteners.
The telephone country code for the United States is +1, with a large number of area codes. To call a different area from within the United States you will usually need to dial 1 before the area code. To call another country from the States, dial 011 before the code for the country you are calling.
In an emergency, dial 911 from any phone and ask for the service you need – police, fire, ambulance etc. From a GSM mobile phone you can also call 112.
Many states have sales taxes which are generally not included in the shelf price of goods – so expect the price you pay at the till to be higher than shown.
Visa requirements for visiting the United States can be complex; make sure you check the rules before you travel to ensure your arrival is trouble free.