Pay phones can be used almost everywhere: in a store, on the street, in a restaurant, at a gas station, etc. Prices for using them vary depending on the operator providing communication and the location of the machine, but on average they are about 0.05-0.5 dollars per minute.
Almost all stores sell telephone cards, as well as pharmacies and kiosks. Some phones work on a coin system (you need a change of 25 cents). For a call from a hotel, you are supposed to charge a fee for the connection itself, plus taxes and fees.
Almost all residents of the country have access to the Internet, at home or in their offices. For this reason, Internet cafes are rare, but Wi-Fi hotspots, paid and free, are ubiquitous. In addition, the Internet is convenient and fast via GPRS.
Cellular communication in America is provided by frequencies that are not available in Russia (mainly GSM 850/1900). Roaming, although available to Russian operators, is expensive ($3-8 per minute). Therefore, it is easier to purchase a local prepaid SIM card in one of the supermarkets.
Phones to call in an emergency:
911 – police, fire department, ambulance;
411 – help desk.
You can buy almost anything in the US. As souvenirs, most often they choose gizmos with images of American symbols – the Statue of Liberty, the national flag, etc. Indian-themed items such as dream catchers, various amulets with feathers, etc. are also popular. See liuxers for United States customs and traditions.
Tourists often buy all kinds of electronics in America, primarily those manufactured by Apple. Prices for equipment here are sometimes much lower than in Russia. Clothing is also popular. A variety of brands, great stores, frequent sales with big discounts (up to 90%) – all this attracts shoppers to the country.
A tourist should remember that the prices for things are indicated excluding taxes, which will increase the purchase price by 5-12%. Due to the widespread use of non-cash payment for goods, a large amount of cash can cause sellers to be wary. It is better to have a credit card of any leading payment system.
Tips in the United States are relied upon almost everywhere, although they are not included in the bill. Restaurants and similar establishments require a tip of 15-20% of the bill. Porters for one piece of luggage pay extra 1-2 dollars, a maid and a bellboy – about 1 dollar, a doorman calling a taxi – 1 dollar.
In addition, you can give a tip to the bar staff for quality service. Tips are left on the table or added to a credit card bill. The euro is not well respected in America.
Money and valuables
Valuables are highly recommended to put in the hotel safe, and lock the door to your room from the inside and do not let strangers into the room without making sure that this is a full-time hotel employee. You also need to closely monitor the safety of documents, especially passports.
There is no single classification of hotels corresponding to European “stars” in the USA. Superior Deluxe and Deluxe class hotels are of the highest quality, Superior First Class (S), First Class and Moderate First Class are more modest for tourists, and Tourist Class (T) hotels are offered to the least demanding guests of the country.
The hotel is checked in after 15:00, and checked out before 11:00, somewhere before 12:00. Upon check-in, you will need a photo ID and a deposit for the use of a safe and phone (about $30-50), which is returned upon check-out.
Both single and double occupancy usually cost the same. But the price of the room increases by 20-30% due to taxes and tourist fees. Breakfast is not included in the price.
The only currency in the country is the dollar, which is divided into 100 cents. Foreign currency is not accepted (except for Canadian dollars, and even then rarely). In circulation there are denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars and coins of 1 and 2 dollars, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents. At the same time, the denomination in figures is not indicated on the coins, instead of it you can find the inscriptions “one cent”, “one dime”, “five cents”, etc.
You can exchange currency in banks that are open from 9:00 to 15:00 from Monday to Friday (on Friday they are usually open until 18:00). However, it is better to make an exchange at the airport or seaport. Cash totaling $5,000 or more will be checked separately.
ATMs are located everywhere and most of them accept foreign credit cards without any problems. You can cash travel checks in national currency at a hotel, shop or restaurant.
Shops are most often open on Monday-Saturday from 9:30 to 18:00, and large shopping centers – from 9:30 to 21:30 on weekdays and from 12:00 to 17:00 on Sundays. Alcoholic beverages are strictly not sold to persons under 21 years of age.
The US transportation system is highly developed. Flights are the most efficient and widespread means of transportation among the population within the country. Almost every city, even a very small one, has its own airport.
Among ground public transport, buses are popular; Greyhound is the largest American bus carrier. Much less use of rail links, mainly for freight transport.
Many travel by taxi, which is called by phone or hailed from the street. Renting a car is not relevant in big cities, but for trips around the country, you can take a car right at the airport. To rent, you must be over 21 years old and have a driver’s license. Drunk driving, speeding, of course, are prohibited.
Street robberies are quite frequent, in this case it does not hurt to prepare an amount of 20-50 dollars, which can be given to the robbers without unnecessary conflicts. Firearms are legal in the United States, so you should not make sudden movements when attacking.
The mains voltage in America is 110 V, 60 Hz. Russian tourists should get a special adapter while still at home, since it may not be available in US hotels.
Due to the large territory of the country, there are several time zones at once:
- New York, Washington, Miami: GMT-5 (-8 hours from Moscow);
- Alabama, Texas, Tennessee: GMT-6 (-9 hours with Moscow);
- New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Montana: GMT-7 (-10 hours with Moscow);
- California, Nevada: GMT-7 (-9 hours from Moscow);
- Alaska: GMT-9 (-12 hours with Moscow);
- Hawaiian Islands: GMT-10 (-13 hours from Moscow).