With coastlines, forests, deserts and mountains, the United States is an explorer’s paradise. Whether you’re hiking, biking or touring, the beauty of this country will leave you in awe.

From the beautiful winding roads and glacial wonders of Alaska to the wine regions of California and all the cultural heritage in between, there are magical moments waiting around every corner in the USA—and that’s before you even discover the wide array of spectacular national parks dotted across the country. Whether you want to explore the otherworldly landscapes of Yellowstone and Yosemite, toe tap your way through the musical streets of New Orleans or get a taste of the South on the Kentucky Food Trail, join us to explore the USA—the Intrepid way.

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United States tour reviews

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Articles on United States

United States travel highlights

Transport in United States

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.  Depending on which trip you're on while in the US, you may find yourself travelling by:

Passenger boat ferries people along the scenic waters Alaska

Ferry

Be amazed by enormous glaciers and stunning, icy landscapes while travelling on a ferry in Alaska.

Tour group cycle through Yosemite National Park

Bicycle

Use pedal power to see the best of Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Cycling is a great way to see the sights and be active at the same time.

Street cars on the tracks in San Francisco

Streetcar

Take in the sights while enjoying a ride on one of San Francisco’s icons – the streetcar.

Accommodation in United States

Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible. When travelling with us in the US you may find yourself staying in a:

Traditional Navajo structure in USA

Hogan

Spend a night sleeping in a hogan – a traditional Navajo structure made of logs, mud and stone and built with an open roof to view the sparkling night sky.

Western USA Highlights

Utah Parks Circuit

Group of travellers sit on balcony in Cabin in Yosemite

Cabin

Reconnect with nature and enjoy staying in quaint log cabins throughout the country's beautiful national parks. Fall asleep to the rustling of trees and wake up to the sounds of birds.

Best of Alaska

United States holiday information

At a glance
Best time to visit United States
Culture and customs
Eating and drinking
Geography and environment
History and government
Top 10 Must-See Cities in the US
Shopping
Festivals and Events
Health and Safety
Further reading

United States travel FAQs

Trips on or before 31 December 2022

If your Intrepid trip starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.

Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy

The answer is maybe – depending on where you’re from. Many countries now operate under the United States Visa Waiver Program, meaning a visa isn't required for stays of up to 90 days for travel purposes. There are 40 participating countries including the United KingdomAustralia, New Zealand, Germany and Spain.

If you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, you will need to obtain an authorisation letter that confirms you have been approved to travel. Authorisation letters can be obtained by submitting an application through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, also known as ESTA. It takes roughly 20 minutes to apply, and you'll need to complete the application before you travel to the States.

Learn more about visa requirements for the United States

Tipping is very much a part of the culture in the US. Tips are expected at restaurants, cafes and diners, as well as by taxi drivers, valet attendants, porters and hotel maids. People working the service industry generally receive the minimum wage, which is quite low and therefore rely upon tips as a major source of their income. In general, leave 15% of the bill at places serving food, $1 to bar tenders and a few dollars for hotel staff who provide a personal service like carrying bags or cleaning your room.

Learn more about tipping in America

Internet access is excellent in the US, and internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots are easily found in most cities and major towns.

Mobile phone coverage is excellent in most parts of the US although coverage may be patchy in remote, mountainous areas like national parks and canyons. Ensure global roaming is activated before you arrive.

Western-style flushable toilets are the norm in the US.

Cup of coffee = US$1.50-2
Hotdog from street cart = US$2-3
Newspaper = US$0.50-$2
Cinema admission = US$10-12

Drinking water from taps in the US is considered safe unless otherwise marked. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water.

Major credit cards are widely accepted by stores in the US. Smaller cafes and shops may not accept credit cards, so ensure you carry enough cash to cover small purchases.

ATMs are common in the US, so finding one won't be a problem in most towns and cities.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 2 Jan New Year's Day Holiday
  • 16 Jan Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
  • 29 May Memorial Day
  • 4 Jul Independence Day
  • 4 Sep Labor Day
  • 10 Nov Veterans' Day Holiday
  • 11 Nov Veterans' Day
  • 23 Nov Thanksgiving Day
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day

For a current list of public holidays in the US go to the World Travel Guide's website.

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Travellers walk through plantation in Charleston, USA

How we're giving back

In United States, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.

Similar Destinations

We have a variety of similar destinations, trips, and routes that you could consider! Tie another trip into your holiday, or, see how we can help you get from A to B. We have tours departing from all major cities in the United States. The options below may be of interest:

Tours from Los Angeles to San Francisco 

Tours from New York to New Orleans

Tours from Los Angeles

Tours from Las Vegas

South Dakota Tours

New Mexico Tours