Things to Know Before You Go to the USA

Things to Know Before You Go to the USA
on Aug 22, 2018

Be prepared for the USA with these handy tips

The United States is a vast, varied place with no end of incredible things to see and do, best discovered with your own set of wheels - ideally one with accommodation included!

There’s no one way to go about exploring motorhome-friendly USA, with so much diversity of culture and landscape. However, we can give you a few handy tips to keep in your back pocket when preparing for an epic motorhome road trip.

Driving basics

If you are picking up a vehicle, you’ll need to know a few road rules. Below are the most essential pointers for driving in the USA.

● Stick to the right side of the road. If you are accustomed to driving on the left, take some time on quiet roads to get used to it.

● All distances are measured and posted in miles, and speeds in miles per hour.

● Most traffic laws are set at the state level. It’s a good idea to do a little research on the rules in the specific states you are visiting.

● The legal blood alcohol limit for drivers in the USA is 0.08%. The number of drinks it takes to reach this limit varies for different people, so it’s always best to abstain from drinking completely before driving.

An RV stopped next to a mountain on an Alaskan highway

What to pack

This is very season-dependent. Summers in most parts of the USA are warm to hot, requiring shorts, sandals and sun protection. If you are in the north during winter, you’ll need a warm hat, gloves and snow jackets.

Clothes aside, there are a few essential items to pack for your adventures in the USA:

● Passport, rental vouchers and all other important travel documents.

● A GPS! If you don’t have one that works on US roads, you can rent one with your motorhome for a small extra charge.

● A power adaptor. In the USA, plugs have two flat parallel blades, sometimes with a round grounding pin between and below them.

● Travel insurance. While it’s not necessarily an item to pack, it is extremely important, particularly for medical emergencies.

Dining and drinking

If you need to stock up your motorhome, pull in to one of the many supermarkets and grocery stores around the States - an app like “Around Me” can help you to locate one. Should you require something quick, signs on many of the interstate and large highways will let you know which fast food outlets and gas stations are at the next exit.

Eating out and want to try local specialties? In the south, look for BBQ-style meats. In the southwest, delicious Mexican-inspired cuisine. Give deep-dish pizza a go in Chicago, and if you are in New York, there’s an entire world of flavours available - but start with a bagel.

A fully loaded hotdog sitting on a napkin with an American flag design

Money matters

US dollars are the local currency. It’s a good idea to have some cash on hand, particularly for toll roads and tips. However, ATMs are plentiful, and many places allow you to pay with a credit card.

Tipping is common practice for any service worker, generally around 15% of your bill. Sales tax varies by state and is left off price tags, meaning it will be added at the counter - don’t be caught out!

Armed with a little knowledge, you are ready for the journey of a lifetime. Pick up your RV rental and get moving!