When Tina travelled to U.S. for the first time, she developed a severe ear pain after being onboard for more than seven hours. She was a bit flustered and did not know what to do. She called the flight attendant who told her that there was first aid available. When she looked at the medication she was not sure if she would react to the pills well. She suffered in pain for several hours before popping a painkiller. Luckily, her ordeal ended there. The moral of the story is that anything can happen during travel. It is always better to be prepared to ensure a comfortable journey. in Tina's case had she kept some medication with her she would have avoided the pain altogether. Clearly she was not prepared for this situation.

This article elaborates on important travel tips for people who are travelling to the U.S. for the first time.

Travel Plan

Plan your travel in advance. You must know

  • The details of your flight
  • Maximum allowable baggage limit
  • Number of hubs (in case of a break journey) & connecting flights. Passengers making flight connections must collect their bags on arrival at transit destination and check in their bags again if the layover is more than 12 hours. This does not apply to passengers who -
    • --have a confirmed onward connection within 24 hours (the baggage is automatically checked in the connecting flight)
    • --are staying inside the transit/lounge area.
  • Other transit information (in case you need to change the terminal during your break of journey)
  • Information about free Wi-Fi and international phones on transit and terminal airports

In short you must know your itinerary well. Do consider giving a copy of your itinerary and your U.S. address to your family and friends. You can also email a copy of your itinerary to the person who would pick you at the airport.

Traveler's checks are safe

Traveler's checks are a safe and easy way to protect your travel money. Following are the advantages of using traveler's checks.

  • These checks are easily available. Merchants and financial institutions accept traveler's checks all over the world.
  • Traveler's checks are offered in different currencies and denominations.
  • If the checks are lost or stolen, they can be replaced with a phone call, usually within 24 hours.
  • Traveler's checks do not expire. You can use your unused traveler's checks for your next trip or onward journey and get a reimbursement.
  • Traveler's checks can be purchased at any bank, or financial institutions around the world.
The most commonly used traveler's checks are:
  • American Express Traveler's Checks
  • Thomas Cook
  • Visa Traveler's Checks
  • MasterCard Traveler's Checks

Medical Insurance

You must get medical insurance before you travel. The cost of medical assistance without insurance can be very high. If you get sick or injured during your journey or stay in the U.S. you will have to foot a huge medical bill. Make sure that you get a medical insurance from any local health insurance company, bank, or State Insurance Association before leaving India. This can be bought online from a reputable insurance firm based in the US as well. Check out Visitors Insurance Reviews. to read reviews compare plans and connect with the plan most suited to your travel needs.
Travel and medical insurance will cover:

  • All your medical expenses
  • Loss of luggage

You must discuss the terms and conditions of insurance before purchasing it.

Medical Tips

  • Ask your doctor about travelling precautions. Make a list of all the medicines and their salt compositions (you won't find the same brand name in U.S.) needed for your recent or recurring ailments, allergies etc.
  • Carry enough pills, dosages, and emergency medicines. You will need a prescription to buy medicines in the USA. Without recognized prescription you can't get medicine except basic over-the-counter drugs for cough, cold, fever, head ache etc.
  • If you wear glasses, note the specifications of your lenses. It is advisable to carry an extra pair of glasses with you. Even if you wear contact lenses, you must carry a pair of glasses. Keep all the eye drops and ointments that you use regularly.
  • If you need to take medications that contain narcotic drugs, get a doctor's certificate for it. To ensure that you are in no way violating the laws of the country you are visiting, consult the embassy or consulate of those countries beforehand.
  • It is also advisable to get a physical check up done before travelling.
  • People with restrictive food diets such as diabetics or gastric patients must carry some food items like fruits etc. Food and perishable items are not always allowed during flight travel. You can consume these before boarding the flight.
  • During take-off and landing, the cabin pressure changes which may cause ear blocking or ear pain. This may be relieved by chewing a gum or by opening your mouth widely as if you were yawning. You may carry candies to chew and cotton balls to stuff your ears.
  • If you have a cold it is likely that you will need some medication during the travel. Carry nasal drops, nasal decongestants or medicines for cold. Consult a doctor if your cold worsens before the travel.
  • If you have a history of travel sickness and experience symptoms like vomiting sensation, nausea, dizziness, pain in ears etc. take the necessary medication with you. Ask your doctor about the required medicines prior to traveling.

The last thing you want to do is have a medical problem during the travel. If you stop planning for your travel that means you give up on a hassle-free travel. Careful planning and preparation can ensure that there is no delay due to procedures or health problems. Finally, here's an upbeat recommendation for a comfortable travel to the U.S.: plan, plan & plan; you will have a fantastic journey!