Helpful Travel Tips for Foreigners Visiting America

Miami Beach

If the 2018 ISAPS Congress will be your first time visiting the United States, you are in for a treat!

The United States as a country offers some of the greatest variety in the world, and Miami Beach is one of the best examples of what the country has to offer. In Miami, you will find unparalleled shopping, cuisine and entertainment opportunities. However, like with every country, there are certainly culture differences that you should be aware of. Here are some suggestions to ensure that your visit to the US goes smoothly.

Tipping

In many parts of the world, tipping is either included as a part of the bill or is viewed as unnecessary. Not so in the United States. Often, tips make up a large percentage of the income of people in the service industry, and many tipped employees are paid a lower wage because of this. Therefore, tipping is the rule rather than the exception. Depending on the quality of service, you should tip between 10% to 20% of the bill. This could either be in cash, or be added directly on your bill when it is brought to you. Be sure to always check over your bill, as there are businesses that may automatically add a gratuity to your total, and you don’t want to accidently tip twice. 

Smoking

Attitudes about smoking vary the world over, and the US is no exception. Although you will have no trouble buying cigarettes, there are strict regulations about smoking in Miami. There are smoking bans in most restaurants, bars and clubs, and lighting up in these establishments is illegal. If you do need to smoke, there are often smoking areas outside where you can have a cigarette without upsetting other patrons.

Punctuality

Americans greatly value their time, so being on time for meetings and events will be a necessity, as lateness is considered to be rude. If you can, you may even arrive a few minutes early to meetings. To make sure that you will always be on time, make smart use of alarms on your mobile devices, and always be aware of how far away you are from your destination.

Measurements

The United States is one of the few countries in the world that hasn’t adopted the metric system as the standard of measurement. This means that, instead of seeing meters, grams and liters, you are going to be seeing feet, pounds and gallons. When you check the weather, you are going to be seeing Fahrenheit instead of Celsius. It can take a bit of getting used to.

Thankfully, there are a number of free apps that you can download on your mobile devices that will provide instant metric conversions. Just be aware that, when you hear that it’s 84 degrees in Miami Beach, it is 29°C! Miami is going to be hot, but not quite THAT hot!

Credit Cards

Although cash is certainly used in the US, credit cards tend to be the standard method of payment in bars, restaurants and stores. Before you leave your home country, make sure that your credit cards will be accepted in the US, and double check to see whether there will be a foreign transaction fee. Also, be sure to inform your credit card company that you will be traveling internationally, to avoid automatic fraud protection kicking in at an inopportune time.

Travel Insurance

Medical costs in the United States can be incredibly expensive, and foreign visitors do not receive free medical care just because they are from another country. It is absolutely essential that you have travel insurance in place in the event of an emergency during your trip. That insurance could save you from financially crippling medical fees.

Politics

Politics can be a touchy subject the world over, and the United States is no exception. People can be very passionate about their politics, which can occasionally lead to very heated discussions. With ever-increasing levels of political polarization, it might be a good idea to avoid the subject entirely during your trip.

Travel Adaptors

If you are planning to bring personal electronics with you, such as chargers, electric razors or power cords, you’re going to need an electrical travel adaptor. The United States uses types A and B plugs, so you may not be able to plug in your devices without an adaptor. Thankfully, they are sold very cheaply just about everywhere.

Another thing to check is whether your devices have a universal power supply. Electrical sockets in America operate on a 120V supply voltage and 6 Hz. If your country’s electricity supply operates on a different voltage or frequency, your devices may not work properly, even with a plug adaptor. You may need to buy an electrical converter. On the other hand, if your device is equipped with a universal power supply, it should operate just fine when using the correct type of plug.

There are just five more months before the ISAPS Congress, and ISAPS Plastic Surgeons around the world are registering at an incredible rate. Remember, the early bird rate for registration ends on May 31st, so be sure to book your spot at the Congress as soon as possible, as well as reserve your room at the Lowes Miami Beach Hotel. THE premiere global aesthetic meeting in the world is coming up fast, and you do not want to miss it! We can’t wait to see you there!