Preparing for a trip to the States

Foebane72

Well-known Member
My sister is willing to pay for me to go on a coach and group tour to NYC, Washington DC AND Niagara Falls, which apparently works out cheaper than a sole city break to NYC, AND I get to have company.

The tricky bit is, I'm going to have to arrange my own travel insurance and credit card (for emergencies).

The credit card I think I can manage, as I imagine all I have to do is apply for it, but what about the travel insurance? How do I get the best deal? And do I have to mention any medication I'm taking?

Any advice here surely would be appreciated, thanks!
 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
Sounds like a great opportunity.

Does your bank account come with travel insurance? Many do, though it may only be for Europe - but you could "upgrade" to worldwide, which is what you'll need.

Failing that, try any of the comparison sites, such as comparethemarket.com - some companies will ask you to declare any pre-existing conditions and may not cover those, others may not.

Any Visa or MasterCard will do you OK in the US - but you'll have to remember how to sign the receipt as they hadn't cottoned-on to chip & pin last year!!
 

wbabbington

Well-known Member
Yes declare everything on your medical insurance quote, better safe then sorry. I declare everything when I go to the states and despite it costing me around £200 (although got a few links in my thread in the travel section where it might be cheaper) I feel it's worth it. Private medical care in the states can be very expensive if the worst should happen so it's not worth being told your policy is invalid because you didn't declare some medication that might have made no difference to the price anyway!
 

MIghtyG

Well-known Member
make sure you apply for your ESTA well in advance so you dont get turned away at the check in desk!
 

krish

Distinguished Member
I would recommend a good half day walk in the DC square - getting in the Whitehouse, Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and National Mall and the reflective pools

... then take the metro to Arlington Cemetery - where you'll find JFK's grave and the eternal flame and be at a vantage point to view the straight line to the Capitol along which are the Washington Monument and National Mall

... could then also take the Metro to the Pentagon and the Pentagon City shopping mall


Extended a work trip there in 2003, to do a bit of sightseeing ...

 
Last edited:

DVD-Man

Well-known Member
Dunno if you get bored easily but you have a 7+ hour flight depending on where you fly from so get some books, mp3s etc to keep tpu entertained.

Some airlines have personal entertainment units in the seat back in front of you which could keep you happy but the small.screen, possible shn glare and **** headphones make it a crappy experience hence it's worth taking.your own gear.

Apart from that its no different from going to Europe.
 

MikeTV

Well-known Member
My sister is willing to pay for me to go on a coach and group tour to NYC, Washington DC AND Niagara Falls, which apparently works out cheaper than a sole city break to NYC, AND I get to have company.

The tricky bit is, I'm going to have to arrange my own travel insurance and credit card (for emergencies).

The credit card I think I can manage, as I imagine all I have to do is apply for it, but what about the travel insurance? How do I get the best deal? And do I have to mention any medication I'm taking?

Any advice here surely would be appreciated, thanks!
Insurance - shop around for the best deals. It's a bit of scam really in my opinion, as you are so unlikely to use it. But you still need it because of the high cost of health care. You can buy it online (by credit/debit card) the night before with some websites. They send you the details via email. It's all very easy. I wouldn't expect to pay more than £50 - but I haven't looked at prices for quite a while.

In the US, you can use a credit or debit card (assuming you have enough funds in your account) - it makes no difference. It's all visa or mastercard to them.

For me, you can't beat the Air and Space Museum in DC. And there is nothing like looking down the Mall at the Lincoln Memorial, and over the Reflecting Pool, at the Washington Monument with the Capital building in the distance. The Vietnam War Memorial is very moving too. Allow for lot's of time walking about the Mall - it's huge. To me, the Whitehouse is less impressive, but you've got to see it anyway.

NY and Niagara - you can't really go wrong!
 

MikeTV

Well-known Member
Dunno if you get bored easily but you have a 7+ hour flight depending on where you fly from so get some books, mp3s etc to keep tpu entertained.
Best flight I ever had to DC - I'd been up all night the night before, and so I slept the whole way. Bliss.

On arrival, start partying and don't stop until the small hours in the USA - and then have the sleep of the just. Jet-lag problem solved, there and then.

Jet-lag is worse on your return to blighty, in my experience.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
I'm slightly concerned that people even need advice on this sort of thing. Common sense and 2mins surfing the net would tell you everything you need to know
 

Sparky83

Active Member
You could say that about a lot/all of the questions asked on here, but if everybody said that it wouldn't be a very good forum now would it. :)
 

craig1912

Well-known Member
Insurance - shop around for the best deals. It's a bit of scam really in my opinion, as you are so unlikely to use it.
Silly comment - for the cost of less than £50 its a no brainer. My son had a knee problem in NY last year-5 hours in hospital, xray.......£850. As to which company- look for some reviews. Mine is currently through Lloyds Bank - avoid Insure & Go- thats who I was with last year and it took them 6 months to settle the claim.
 

hyperfish

Distinguished Member
I would recommend a good half day walk in the DC square - getting in the Whitehouse, Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and National Mall and the reflective pools

... then take the metro to Arlington Cemetery - where you'll find JFK's grave and the eternal flame and be at a vantage point to view the straight line to the Capitol along which are the Washington Monument and National Mall

... could then also take the Metro to the Pentagon and the Pentagon City shopping mall

My wife and I found the hop-on-hop-off trolley bus a convenient way to get between those places, some of the outskirts and the Iwo Jima memorial. An all day ticket with trolleys every half hour or so.

Washington DC Tours | Tour Washington DC | Washington DC

Don't forget the camera.
 

Foebane72

Well-known Member
Thank you all very much for your advice! :smashin:

This particular holiday is with a coach group, ie. it's a bunch of tourists mostly sticking together and seeing the same sights, according to an itinerary. I'll see if I can upload the PDF at some point.

I figured a credit card should be used for food shopping, and perhaps for paying the travel insurance, and I've also been told by my sister that food in the States is cheap and in HUGE portions. But she'd know, having been to the Nevada area of the States (Las Vegas in fact, but she wasn't there for any gambling).
 

hyperfish

Distinguished Member
Remember to inform your card provider you will be using it in the USA.

LloydsTSB once blocked mine on day two of a holiday.
 

Foebane72

Well-known Member
It seems I can't apply for a credit card under my current circumstances - I think it's down to my being on benefits, but I've got a good credit history.

Did someone say that Debit Visa cards are accepted? That's quite handy as I signed up for a Lloyds TSB bank account months ago which I haven't started using yet, so I could just dump money into that and use it that way.

But how do they authorise it, though - they don't use Chip+Pin in the States, do they? Or is it all down to the signature?
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Thank you all very much for your advice! :smashin:

This particular holiday is with a coach group, ie. it's a bunch of tourists mostly sticking together and seeing the same sights, according to an itinerary. I'll see if I can upload the PDF at some point.

I figured a credit card should be used for food shopping, and perhaps for paying the travel insurance, and I've also been told by my sister that food in the States is cheap and in HUGE portions. But she'd know, having been to the Nevada area of the States (Las Vegas in fact, but she wasn't there for any gambling).
I have had trouble in the past finding small enough portions, hate leaving a lot of food.
Check with your bank on card use.
 

dc8900

Distinguished Member
Did someone say that Debit Visa cards are accepted? That's quite handy as I signed up for a Lloyds TSB bank account months ago which I haven't started using yet, so I could just dump money into that and use it that way.

But how do they authorise it, though - they don't use Chip+Pin in the States, do they? Or is it all down to the signature?
Yep, Visa Debit cards are accepted and you simply swipe and sign in the U.S. when at the till or just swipe if using something like a MTA ticket machine
 

BT Bob

Distinguished Member
It seems I can't apply for a credit card under my current circumstances - I think it's down to my being on benefits, but I've got a good credit history.

Did someone say that Debit Visa cards are accepted? That's quite handy as I signed up for a Lloyds TSB bank account months ago which I haven't started using yet, so I could just dump money into that and use it that way.

But how do they authorise it, though - they don't use Chip+Pin in the States, do they? Or is it all down to the signature?
Another option would be to look for a pre-paid money card. Like a debit card, but it's seperate from your current account and you pre-load it in the currency you want - US$ & Euro ones are readily available. This has the added benefit that you won't pay a transaction fee every time you use it, which you could with a "normal" debit or credit card.

Please don't be tempted to cut back on travel insurance. A relative of mine got hit by a car running a red-light in LA a few years ago. Broke his pelvis, left femur, right tib & fib and, worst of all, 3 vertebra in his neck. He was hospitalised for 4 months, including 6 weeks in ICU. He was insured with Tesco who were very keen to fly him home on an air ambulance at over £100,000 per hour as it was cheaper than the US medical bills. Thankfully, he's fine now (well, can't bend his neck as much as he used to), but the bills ran out somewhere near $2,500,000!!!!

Mind you, they're nothng compared to the legal bills for the (ongoing) compensation claims
 

dc8900

Distinguished Member
+1,

Please don't cheap out and avoid paying the £20-30 (or whatever it will be) odd quid for travel insurance, touchwood you will never have to rely on it during your trip but it's must have IMO
 

Foebane72

Well-known Member
The ESTA thing worries me, as I'm on Sulpiride for paranoia and anxiety, and I'm afraid if I mention this on the online form then they will reject my approval.

What are my options here?
 

KeithO

Novice Member
The ESTA thing worries me, as I'm on Sulpiride for paranoia and anxiety, and I'm afraid if I mention this on the online form then they will reject my approval.

What are my options here?
The question on mental health is quite specific and has extensive notes

Physical or Mental Disorders

With regard to physical or mental disorders, answer ”Yes” to this question if:

(a) You currently have a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder that may pose or has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others; or

(b) You had a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder that has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others and the behavior is likely to recur or lead to other harmful behavior.

Answer ”No” if:

(a) You currently have no physical or mental disorders; or

(b) You have or had a physical or mental disorder without associated behavior that may pose or has posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare of that of others; or

(c) You currently have a physical or mental disorder with associated behavior, but that behavior has not posed, does not currently pose nor will pose a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others; or

(d) You had a physical or mental disorder with associated behavior that posed a threat to your property, safety or welfare or that of others, but that behavior is unlikely to recur.
I guess your options are to answer truthfully, or lie and take your chances. Unless you have an anxiety attack at the CBP desk they are unlikely to find out I guess
 

Similar threads

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Samsung HW-Q950T Soundbar Review, Filmmaker Mode, Disney+ $30 for Mulan, AV news and more

Trending threads

Latest News

Sky unveils next tranche of HDR content
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Acoustic Energy launches AE520 flagship speakers
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Disney drops all 20th Century Fox branding
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Kitsound launches Funk 25 wireless earphones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
THX Spatial Audio app brings 360 degree sound to any headphone
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom