1. Make sure you have local cash on hand
Having U.S. currency on hand will be very beneficial, in case there are unforeseen fees and your child does not have access to a credit card. It will also be useful for food and souvenirs–a majority of, it not all, U.S. establishments take cash as a form of payment. Have your child carry local cash in small amounts (no big bills) in case they lose it. Look up money conversions from your country’s currency to the U.S. dollar so there are no surprises.
2. Check your travel documents and make sure they are in order.
Make sure your child has the necessary travel documents, such as a passport and copies of said passport, possible student visa, ESTA, etc. to make sure their entry and exit to and from the United States runs smoothly.
3. Be up-to-date on vaccinations/fill all prescriptions
Your child should be up-to-date on all required vaccinations when entering the United States. Additionally, if they are currently taking prescription medication, make sure their prescriptions are filled before their departure, and make sure the bottles are labeled and they have the necessary medical documents with them.
4. Call credit/debit card company
If your child is going to make purchases in the United States with a credit or debit card, contact the credit/debit card company beforehand to let them know. If the credit/debit card company does not know, there is a chance they may freeze your credit or debit card for “suspicious behavior.” Let them know where and how long your child will be traveling, and save yourself the future hassle.
5. Bring a voltage converter/outlet adapter
Countries all over the world have different outlet plugs and voltage levels. The United States operates with 110-120V. If you come from a country that operates on a 220-240V, please ensure all electronics are capable of being charged at a LOWER voltage. Make sure your child has an outlet adapter and voltage converter to ensure their electronics are usable and are not fried by higher voltages in the U.S. For a full list of things to pack for your trip, click here!
6. Check your cell phone’s frequency and carrier
Does your child’s cell phone work in the United States? Cell phones from Europe and Asia may not work in the United States. Frequencies throughout the world differ–most countries operate on GSM 900/GSM 1800 MHz, however, the United States uses GSM 850/GSM 1900 MHz. This means the frequency on your current cellular device might not operate in the U.S. Does your carrier allow international roaming? Please make sure both your carrier and cell phone frequency operate in the United States. At the end of the day, a cell phone is optional. USA Youth Tours faculty can provide phones for communication. In these cases, ensure that your child has your phone number (including country code) either written down or memorized.