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Preparation For American Life

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Life is an adventure and going to college is one of the most exciting yet exhausting experiences for many people, especially international students. When I first came to America, I didn’t even know how to cross the street properly! After a year of studying and adjusting, here is my share that can help you become more easily involved in American life.Read more

Honeymoon In The United States, Yes But Where?

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The United States is one of the most fascinating honeymoon destinations. Planning a honeymoon in the United States is not that simple, fifty states, two oceans, a myriad of cities, parks, coasts, and an infinite number of kilometers.

Here are some practical tips for organizing a honeymoon in the United States:

1) Choose The Destination

The honeymoon, all adventure? Nature? Discovery? City or sea?

Here are the most popular destinations for the honeymoon in the United States:

The East Coast, for a quieter honeymoon between New York and Boston to then reach Niagara Falls.

The West Coast from Los Angeles to the great American parks such as the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, passing through Las Vegas and San Francisco, for a honeymoon full of emotions.

The legendary Route 66, the most famous road in America for an on the road from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Florida, from Miami to the Keys and Hawaii, by sea, surf, and breathtaking sunsets.

2) The Time Available

Choosing the perfect destination for your honeymoon in the United States depends a lot on the time you have available. At least 15 days of travel are required, the distances to be covered are truly impressive.

For a taste of New York, you need at least 5 nights, and if you also want to visit Philadelphia and Washington, then it’s good to have at least ten days.

3) Organize The Travel Itinerary

Once you have chosen the destination for your honeymoon in the United States, it is necessary to plan the best itinerary to optimize the times.

Here are some examples:

East Coast – New York

One of the most popular combinations for honeymoons is New York – the Caribbean for relaxing honeymoon and romantic moments. Here is a typical itinerary for an 8/10 day honeymoon from New York:

6 nights in New York, day trip by plane to Niagara Falls, return in the late evening. One night in Philadelphia and one night in Washington to better explore the city and its historical sites. For those who also want to visit Boston, it is necessary to dedicate at least two nights to this city.

West Coast 

The West Coast and the most beautiful parks in America is an itinerary that requires at least 15 days. It starts from Los Angeles in the direction of the Grand Canyon, continues towards Monument Valley, one of the most photographed and loved parks. Unmissable Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, perhaps less well known and known, but sensational. A stop along with Lake Powell, and off to Bryce Canyon to then arrive in Las Vegas. Do not miss the stop in Yosemite National Park and then reach the cosmopolitan San Francisco, an American city that contains colorful and varied souls.

Florida

A Florida honeymoon can be quite varied. From the stay in Miami, among its most beautiful beaches, to then reach the Keys. Do not miss a visit to Disneyworld in Orlando and Universal Studios, as well as the American base in Cape Canaveral.

On a honeymoon in the United States, whatever the destination, you can fully experience the American magic.

You may also like to read, The best classic Disney movies

The American way of life

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The United States is a vast country and is made up of a diverse group of people. Life can vary greatly from region to region. Still, a unique lifestyle in America has developed over time. Expats will likely find Americans in general to be a friendly, optimistic, and generous bunch. However, some Americans can sometimes appear ignorant about the world outside their borders.

Each person’s experience will vary, but here are some common aspects of the American lifestyle.

Family

The nuclear family unit is more common in the United States. Although there are families made up of any combination of relationships. Whereas before marriage prior to having children used to be the norm, unmarried couples and single parents are very common now. American families value individuality, and the stigmas of the past towards different types of families are fast becoming a thing of the past. Still, multiple generations of family members living together are not common.

As children grow older, they become more independent from their families. Americans are considered adults at the age of 18, which coincides with high school graduation. It is normal for young adults to live alone, even if you are in the same city as their parents. America’s focus on personal happiness means that it is common for families to live apart due to work or personal preference.

Work-life balance

Americans work hard, clocking in more hours than any other industrialized country. Part of this standard is the idea of ​​the American Dream and that you can achieve anything if you work hard enough. It is probably the most valuable part of life in the US to the point that a job is almost synonymous with a person’s identity. In fact, contrary to many cultures, asking a person what they do for a living is a common question and is not considered rude or intrusive. In American work life, earning money is the ultimate goal and it is not considered bad taste to say so.

An unfortunate result of this lifestyle is that many Americans don’t get a lot of paid vacations (that is, annual vacations), or even when they do, they don’t always use them. Paid time off is an added benefit in the US and companies are not required to grant annual leave to employees. Entry-level jobs generally come with 3-5 vacation days per year, with additional days added based on the number of years of service. Also, if the company opens on a holiday, such as Christmas or New Years’, they can require their employees to work on those days.

Values

American values ​​largely shape the way people live and relate to one another. Because individuality is considered sacred, many ex-pats will have no problem living their lives as they please.

Independence

In general, Americans value the right to do what they want over almost anything else. They prefer to do things their own way and see themselves in control of their own destinies. As stated in the Constitution of the United States, Americans believe that happiness is a right.

Informality

Americans are very informal in their speech, dress, and demeanor. Addressing by one’s own name, such as introducing people by their first name or addressing older people by their first name. And sitting down without being asked, are considered normal behaviors. This is not considered rude and is more a result of its equal value.

Frank and direct

Americans prefer to get straight to the point. They value eye contact, frankness, and prefer to address issues by arguing about them. Personal opinions are very important. Additionally, questioning of ideas and open discourse on any topic is encouraged, especially in an academic setting.

Equality

The American Constitution establishes the belief that everyone should be given the same opportunity. The United States has no monarchy or titles. Any naturally born citizen can run for public office. This belief has shaped Americans’ values ​​of informality and the expectation of upward mobility.

Consumption

While most would not be proud to acknowledge this, it must be said that Americans are the largest consumers in the world. The “bigger is better” mantra shapes the American way of life, and many ex-pats are surprised by restaurant portions, average household size, and American spending habits. Part of this is the result of the economic cost of the products in the country. Rather than fixing something that is broken, it is often cheaper to just buy a replacement.

You may also like to read, Fun plans you have to do in Soria with children

10 things to do before leaving for the United States

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Are you ready for a trip to the United States? Whatever your destination, here are ten things to do before you leave:

  1. Electronic Passport 

The valid passport to travel to the USA with the Visa Waiver Program is the electronic one. It has a 9-digit numbering, including 2 letters and 7 numbers, and contains fingerprints. An electronic passport without fingerprints is also fine, as long as it has not expired and is valid until you return.

  1. What To Pack 

A road map should not be missing in your suitcase if you are traveling on the road, a photocopy of your travel documents, a fan if you go to the South-West, a raincoat for the coastal areas, a hat and sunglasses, sweaters for the northern areas, a mini dictionary and a power bank to help the battery of smartphones and tablets.

  1. Health Insurance

Health care in the USA  is very expensive because there is no National Health System like in Italy. Do not forget to take out a USA travel health insurance such as  Travel Nonstop USA & Canada by Europ

  1. Assistance

Health assistance with no limits of maximum limits, bearing all necessary costs, medical expenses up to 1 million euros, interpreter available, and an operations center active 24 hours a day.

  1. Medicines

It is always better to start with an aid kit and the respective indications for use, bringing with you any medicines that you take routinely and prescribed by your doctor. Don’t forget an insect bite kit.

  1. ESTA Authorization

Those traveling to the USA without a visa must apply for the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which is valid for 2 years and costs $ 14. It is advisable to request it at least 72 hours before departure.

  1. Money And Credit Cards

The credit card is the most popular payment method in the USA. Prepaid and debit cards are also accepted, but the credit card is more reliable. In case of loss of the latter, you can collect a replacement on site. For convenience, also carry a small amount of cash.

  1. Electric Socket Adapter 

In the USA there are two types of electrical sockets similar to each other: type A and type B, the first with two flat contacts and the second with a third cylindrical. Before leaving, buy an adapter for 110V voltage and 60Hz frequency electrical sockets.

  1. The Guide

On the market, you will find a wide range of guides for the United States. More practical is certainly a specific guide dedicated to your destination or at least to the planned itinerary. We also suggest consulting the sites of local tourism bodies to keep you updated on seasonal offers.

10.Telephone Operator And Data Roaming

Before leaving, contact your telephone operator to understand the costs of telephone calls and data roaming, which in the United States can really be high. If you stay for a long time, consider buying an American sim with one of the main operators. To activate it, a copy of your passport and the address where you reside in the USA will be sufficient.

Tips

Tipping in the United States is not a matter of bon ton but is mandatory on any service provided. To avoid bad figures, calculate on average 15-20% of the total value to be paid.

The 7 Best Things About USA

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From the gigantic skyscrapers of New York to the hills of San Francisco, the United States will never cease to amaze us. But apart from all the famous cities and fabulous sites, what makes this country so special? From shopping malls open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, to “fancy” sweatpants, there are many peculiarities unique to the United States.

Do these facts surprise you? Yet they are among the strange, but wonderful things that only people who have lived in the United States can recognize and understand …

  1. Drive-Ins are popular

Ah, the drive-ins, a wonderful American invention. Imagine being able to order your morning “latte”, your lunch sandwich, and your dinner, all without even leaving the comfort of your car. To do this, all you need to do is roll down your window, speak into a small microphone and your order will be ready to take a few meters further. And all without lifting a finger (except to open your window, of course!). Isn’t there something to be a fan of in the United States of America?

  1. We live in sweatpants (all day, every day)

Have you ever been lazy to put on real pants? For example, when, comfortably seated in front of the television, you don’t feel like getting dressed to go to the supermarket. In the United States, it is possible. Right – it’s totally okay to shop in sweatpants or just not feel like putting on real pants (hello Sunday!).

Sportswear is also a must since no one looks more sporty and active than sneakers and yoga pants!

  1. Everything is disproportionate

From natural wonders, such as the Grand Canyon, to gigantic skyscrapers, such as the new World Trade Center, “big is beautiful” is indeed the motto of the United States. After all, this is the country where hummers, SUVs, and the Big Mac were born. Everything here exists in size XL, including roads and parking spaces (at least that limits complicated maneuvers to park!)

  1. Coffee is always drunk on the way

In the United States of America, it is not customary to sit and chat over a cup of coffee. Americans are on the move, and the United States has always been around with a cup in hand, long before Starbucks popularized this fact. In America, we run from one date to another, coffee in hand, so that we take in caffeine at all hours of the day.

  1. Barbecued pork ribs are part of the national heritage

Ok, it’s time to get down to business. Important Info: No country passes pork ribs like the United States. I’m talking about tender ribs seasoned with hot barbecue sauce, served with fries and a large coke to sauté it all. In fact, I am convinced that this must-have American barbecue should be listed as a national heritage.

  1. University life dominates

It’s pretty cool being a student in the United States: universities are located on campuses, where classrooms, cafeterias, and dormitories are only a few blocks from each other. So, you live in a real student town, where your teacher’s assistant can be one of your peers and the radio station DJ can be your STATS 101 comrade.

  1. Everything is open 24/7

The United States is a country that never sleeps: you can go shopping at the strangest hours of the night – by stopping en route at the drugstore. It is a true shopaholic’s paradise.

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