Discover the United States travel guide

Image of the Golden Gate Bridge

The United States of America is an iconic Western country that is well known through popular culture and shared history with Canada.

There’s simply no way to sum up a typical American holiday due to the diversity of people, landscapes, food, music and culture that can be found there.

The US covers the majority of the Northern American continent. It is located between Mexico to the South and Canada to the North. The United States spans a number of time zones. The time zone in the East is UTC-5, in the West UTC-8 and in the state of Hawaii UTC-10.

Swipe to view more

Emergency Numbers Dial 911  
Main Ethnic Groups 63% Caucasian
13% African American
17% Hispanic & Latino
 
Main Religion 70% Christian  
Geographic Facts Capital City: Washington DC
Largest City: New York (18.8 million people)
 

Americans don’t believe in a ‘class’ society. Individualism, success and equal opportunity are widely celebrated. They value independence, equality, informality and directness.

  • Americans are friendly and informal, often not waiting to be introduced and will strike up conversations with strangers.
  • It is considered rude to talk loudly on a mobile phone in public places such as trains, restaurants and museums.
  • Hugging or kissing in greeting is usually only reserved for relatives and lovers, if you are meeting someone for the first time then a firm handshake will do.
  • What’s up (slang) = Hello
  • Boondocks (or boonies) = Very rural area or rough neighbourhood
  • Benjamin = US $100 bill - It has a portrait of Benjamin Franklin
  • Shoot the breeze = Engaging in idle conversation
  • Downtown = CBD or the centre of the town
Image of the Lincoln Memorial building in Washington DC

Best time to visit
While the US can be visited all year round, the variety of regions and landscapes lead many people to argue that the Fall (Autumn) season is the best time to visit. The weather in Fall is warm enough not to need large jumpers or layers but cool enough to walk around without overheating. It is also known as the ‘shoulder season so prices will be lower and sites will be less crowded. It is also a beautiful time of year due to the colours of the falling leaves from Maples and other native trees.

Seasons
The US is a large country and the temperatures can vary greatly. Overall the southern parts of the country tend to be warmer than the north — Alaska is artic and Hawaii is tropical. The below temperatures form an average for the country.

Icon of a sun
Summer
Jun to Sep
17° / 28°
Icon of leaves
Fall
Sep to Dec
15° / 25°
Icon of a snow flake
Winter
Dec to Mar
- 1° / - 7°
Icon of a flower
Spring
Mar to Jun
2° / 11°
Transport
Public transport is comprehensive, especially around big cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The subway, buses and taxis are easily accessible, while parking for private vehicles can be non-existent. There are also buses and trains available for travel between cities but if you are heading to a more suburban or remote area then hiring a car may be your best option. Interstate and cross-country destinations are well-serviced by domestic airlines.
Image of a phone handset
Dialing code +1

 
Icon of a passport
Visas - In most circumstances, Canadian citizens do not require visitor, business, transit or other visas to enter the United States.
Icon of languages chat bubbles
Language is English.
 
Icon of money
Currency US Dollar (CAD$1 = USD$0.77) *average rate, 2013-2018.
Icon of a glass of beer
The drinking age in the US is 21 or over.
Icon of a hand tipping
Tipping - Is widely used and expected. Around 15% - 20% is customary. Some restaurants automatically add a tip.
Icon of a steering wheel
Drive on the right side of the road.
 
Icon of an electrical socket
Electrical / Device:  220V - ‘Type A’ plug.

World records

  • Most expensive healthcare in the world.
  • The largest pizza commercially sold is 1.57m wide. From Big Lou’s in San Antonio, Texas the monstrosity must be ordered one day ahead.
  • The tallest man ever recorded, Robert Wadlow, was 2.72m (8ft 11in) and born in 1918 in Alton, Illinois.

National icons

National icons are the Stars and Stripes, the Statue of Liberty and the Bald Eagle.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd. Photography Credits: Philip Bird LRPS CPAGB, Shutterstock.com.
Get a travel
insurance quote
I am a...
Canadian Resident Visitors to Canada
Or call us at 1-844-310-1578 
to speak with one of our agents.
Image of TripWise App
Main features

check.png Flight status

check.png Hospital search

check.png Rx and First Aid Terms

check.png Country information and more

Download on the App Store logo
Get it on Google Play logo