Travelling in the USA is like writing your own movie script. In this vast country, every experience will enchant, inspire, surprise and delight you. The USA is so large that each of its innumerable landscapes is unforgettable and quite extraordinary. On holiday here you’ll enjoy lively cities, epic road trips, innovative cuisine, renowned shopping, performing arts venues and world-class museums.
Many of the places to visit in the USA have been featured in movies and TV, so everything feels a little bit familiar, which makes it even more special. We’re talking about famous cities, like Las Vegas and Seattle. Or spectacular national parks such as Yellowstone, iconic landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon and magical theme parks like Disney World. Add picture-perfect beaches, glittering nightlife and fabulous shopping, and you’ll soon discover that a USA holiday is one big adventure full of fun and incredible experiences – just like in the movies!
Why travel to the USA
- There are 50 states to explore, each one entirely different from the next.
- From deserts to snowcapped mountains, the landscapes are as diverse as they are beautiful.
- The USA is home to several iconic attractions made famous on the silver screen, including the White House, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Times Square in New York among others.
- The country’s melting pot of cultures is fascinating.
- You will find magic everywhere – from the Magic Kingdom to Hollywood.
- Its history is fascinating.
Visiting the USA is the American dream come true. Holiday packages from South Africa are ideal for families discovering the magic of Disney in Florida, honeymooners in New York, or friends enjoying the crazy lifestyle of Las Vegas or sampling wine in California. Chat to Thompsons Holidays, and we’ll put together the ideal USA tour package for you – bigger and better than you can possibly imagine.
Things to do in the USA
Everything really is bigger and better in America, with so many things to do and places to visit. This immense country is over 4,800km wide and boasts 50 states, each quite unique, making the USA, a delightful, exciting place to enjoy a holiday.
If you want to experience what you’ve seen on film and on TV, you can do it here. From the Hollywood sign that watches over Los Angeles, the Statue of Liberty welcoming visitors to New York, the White House in Washington, the white sand beaches in Miami… make your dreams a reality and visit the USA to see these famous landmarks.
Things to do in the USA
- Visit the Grand Canyon and watch the sunrise.
- Go hiking in Yellowstone National Park.
- Explore some of the world’s best museums in Washington.
- Visit a Disney theme park in Miami or Los Angeles.
- Savour live jazz in New Orleans.
- Take a river cruise on the Mississippi.
- Try your luck at a casino in Las Vegas.
- Go skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.
- Sail along the spectacular Maine coast.
- Enjoy surfing in Hawaii.
- Discover the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
- Attend a Superbowl match in Houston, Texas.
- Take a road trip on Route 66.
- Climb to the top of the Empire State Building.
- Walk across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
Write your bucket list and then travel to the USA to experience everything you’ve ever wanted to do. Take the kids, your friends, a partner or go solo on a Thompsons Holiday package you will remember forever.
Know before you go...
- The USA is a vast country, and is popular as a holiday package destination year-round.
- Summer: June to September; Autumn: September to December; Winter: December to March; Spring: March to June.
- Certain states, like Florida and California have mild weather conditions year-round.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to New York: 16 hours. Johannesburg to Atlanta: 16 hours, 50 minutes.
- There are regular flights from South Africa to the USA. You can fly direct to many different cities.
- South African passport holders do require a visa to enter the USA.
- Passports must be valid for 6 months after return to South Africa.
- The USA is vast, with many different time zones.
- Daylight saving is practised in the USA.
- The official currency is the US Dollar (USD).
- Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are prevalent.
- Tipping is expected. At restaurants: 10% if not satisfactory; 15% if acceptable service: 20% for excellent service; 25% if it was outstanding.
- Taxis – 10–15% of the fare.
- The official language is English.
- Christianity is practised by the majority of the population.
- It is safe to drink tap water in the USA. Bottled water is readily available.
- Many public restrooms charge a small fee for use, so keep change on hand for this.
- Vaccinations are not currently required but check with your travel clinic before you go.
What must I pack?
- The weather in North America varies according to the season you’re travelling and where you’re going, so always check the weather forecast.
- Depending on when and where you visit, be sure to pack comfortable clothing for the times you will spend in transit, whether you are travelling by plane or by coach.
- Some handy items to include: a lightweight raincoat, flip flops and scarf (for the plane or cooler weather).
- Comfortable walking shoes are a must.
- For summer holidays in North America, don't leave home without sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.
- For flights and public transport, be sure to have hand sanitiser handy. Don't forget a mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Camera (or just use your phone) and charger. Some noise-cancelling earphones will come in handy too.
- Bring along a US travel adaptor. The USA has two plug types, types A and B. Plug type A is the plug which has two flat parallel pins and plug type B is the plug which has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin. The USA operates on a 120V supply voltage and 60Hz.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Instead of using plastic bags, take fabric shopping bags with you.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables.
What do I do in an emergency?
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Las Vegas, USA - Sightseeing [2.3 MB]
Los Angeles, USA - Sightseeing [2.5 MB]
Miami, USA - Sightseeing [2.3 MB]
New York, USA - Sightseeing [2.7 MB]
Orlando, USA - Sightseeing [2.4 MB]
San Francisco, USA - Sightseeing [1.9 MB]
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