BasicsTime: The United States uses nine standard time zones.
Electricity: Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are mainly the type with two flat pins, though three-pin plugs (two flat parallel pins and a rounded pin) are also widely used. European appliances without dual-voltage capabilities will require an adapter.
Money: The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
Currency Exchange Rates
Language: English is the most common language spoken but Spanish is often heard in the south-western states.
Entry requirements for Americans: US citizens require passports.
Entry requirements for UK nationals: UK nationals require a passport valid for duration of stay. Most passport holders can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the Visa Waiver Programme, which allows travel to the US for up to 90 days. The VWP includes tourism, certain types of business visit and transit to another country.
Entry requirements for Canadians: The most important requirement on entering the U.S. is providing proof of Canadian citizenship. A valid Canadian passport is the best document to prove Canadian citizenship and the right to return to Canada. However, several other documents can serve, depending on the mode of transport. Generally, Canadian citizens do not require visitor, business, transit or other visas to enter the United States from Canada, though there are some exceptions.
Entry requirements for Australians: Passports must be valid for the period of intended stay. If visiting the US for fewer than 90 days, Australian nationals may be eligible to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), and enter under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
Entry requirements for South Africans: South Africans must hold a passport valid for duration of stay. A visa is required.
Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: Passports must be valid for duration of stay. New Zealand nationals can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) under the Visa Waiver Programme for entry into the United States.
Passport/Visa Note: It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Visa is required for short visits unless travelers qualify for entry under the Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the US for a stay of up to 90 days without a visa. Visitors under the VWP need to register online three days before travel and have an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This allows the US government to screen all visitors before travel. Visitors entering the country under the VWP must have a machine-readable passport (MRP) that has a barcode on the photo page. Travellers under the VWP must have passports that include biometrics if they wish to enter the country without a visa, which means that passports must contain unique personal data such as fingerprints or iris details. All passports must contain a digital photo image in order to travel visa-free. All visitors to the USA have a photograph and two fingerprints taken by an inkless scanner on arrival, including those travelling visa-free under the VWP. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If departing from the USA, a valid passport is required by immigration authorities. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
Travel Health: There are no specific health risks associated with travel within the USA. Medical facilities are excellent, but expensive. Only emergencies are treated without prior payment and treatment can be refused without evidence of insurance or proof of funds. Good medical insurance is essential.
Tipping: A 15 percent tip is expected by taxi drivers, bartenders, hairdressers and waiters, but don't tip in fast-food or self-service restaurants. In expensive restaurants or for large parties, tip 20 percent of the bill. It is normal to tip staff such as valets and porters in hotels; this is discretionary, although a minimum of $5 is expected. Most services are customarily tipped if the service is good.
New Haven enjoys something in between a humid continental and a humid subtropical climate, with four distinct seasons. New Haven's situation on Long Island Sound means that winters are milder, with less snow accumulation than inland, and summers are typically hot and humid.
The coldest month is January, with temperatures averaging between 22°F (-5°C) and 37°F (3°C), while summer temperatures frequently exceed 90°F (32°C), although they usually average more comfortably around 77°F (25°C). Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year.
The best times to visit New Haven are summer, when
the New Haven Green comes alive in the evenings with the Music on
the Green concert series, and autumn, when 'foliage season' in New
England, complete with fresh apple cider, pumpkins, and cranberries
at the farm stands, attracts many visitors to the region.