USA Tours & Holidays
With coastlines, forests, deserts and mountains, the United States is an explorer's paradise.
Magical moments are waiting around every corner in The States. From the rugged wilderness and glacial fjords in Alaska to the winding coastal highways in California, the wide array of national parks to the musical streets of New Orleans, this country is simply sprawling. So whether you're hiking, biking, toe-tapping or road-tripping, you can't go wrong exploring the USA the Intrepid way.
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USA at a glance
Washington DC (population, 712,816)
English, Spanish (although the US has no official languages)
(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)
Learn more about USA
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
Festivals and events
Top USA travel highlights
USA travel FAQs
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.
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 Kingdom, Australia, 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.
Tipping is very much a part of the culture in the United States. Tips are expected at restaurants, cafes and diners, as well as by taxi drivers, valet attendants, porters and hotel maids. People working in the service industry generally receive low wages and therefore rely upon tips as a major source of their income. In general, leave 15-20% of the bill at places serving food and a few dollars to bartenders and hotel staff who provide a personal service like carrying bags or cleaning your room.
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.
Prices can vary between states, but on average, here's what you can expect to pay for a:
- Cup of coffee = USD $2-5.00 for a regular cup, up to $8.00 for a specialty coffee
- Hotdog from street cart = USD $4.00
- Dinner at a mid-range restaurant = USD $20-40 per person
- NYC one-way subway ticket = USD $3.00
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.
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:
Be amazed by enormous glaciers and stunning, icy landscapes while travelling on a ferry in Alaska.
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.
Take in the sights while enjoying a ride on one of San Francisco’s icons – the streetcar.
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:
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.
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.
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
Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveller. Trips to the United States directly support our foundation partners, Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance (CHEA) and the Grand Canyon Conservancy.
Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance (CHEA) create inclusive, equitable opportunities for small Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) tourism businesses in the USA. Donations from our trips help CHEA provide access to industry-specific technical assistance, capacity building, and industry networks for small BIPOC travel and tourism businesses through their Diversity Tourism Academy (DTA).
The Grand Canyon Conservancy is on a mission to protect the Grand Canyon National Park for future generations. With almost 6 million visitors to the park annually, the Grand Canyon Conservancy runs educational programs and immersive experiences that teach people about the park's cultural and environmental significance. Donations from our trips support trail restoration and maintenance, conservation and preservation of native vegetation and wildlife, and educational programs.
- 1 Jan: New Year's Day
- 16 Jan: Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
- Last Monday in May: Memorial Day
- 4 Jul: Independence Day
- First Monday in Sep: Labour Day
- 2nd Monday in Oct: Indigenous Peoples' Day
- 11 Nov: Veterans Day
- Fourth Thursday in Nov: Thanksgiving Day
- 25 Dec Christmas Day
Please note: United States public holidays may vary.
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
Go to: https://travel.gc.ca/
From the UK?
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
From New Zealand?
From the US?
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information. Go to: http://www.who.int/en/