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Local Tips

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The United States has one of the world's most diverse climates. Summers range from warm in the northern states to very hot in the southern states, with high humidity in the central states and on the east coast. Winters can be cold and snowy in the north and at the same time warm and pleasant in the south. Dress to match your destination's seasonal climate.

Casual wear is acceptable most of the time. Some establishments (nightclubs and bars) have a "no jeans, no running shoes" policy. Certain dining rooms require men to wear jackets to dinner. 

Credit Cards
Credit cards are widely accepted throughout the United States. Bank machines can be found everywhere and debit cards are also widely used. If you are using a foreign card at a bank machine, your money will be disbursed in U.S. funds.

Financial institutions will provide a credible rate of exchange when switching your currency for U.S. dollars.

Electrical Current
110 Volts, 60 cycles AC (same as Canada and Mexico)

Health Insurance
The United States has a very high quality of medical care. However, it is a private system and, as such, is very expensive by any standard. You should consider the purchase of your own health insurance a necessity. Even if you are covered by your home country's national health insurance system, your country will probably not pay all costs associated with health care in the U.S., so additional coverage is necessary.

Visitors taking medicine prescribed by a doctor should bring a copy of the prescription in case it needs to be renewed by a doctor in the U.S.

Liquor Laws
In the United States, all states require that you be 21 years of age or older to purchase and/or consume alcoholic beverages.

Public Holidays

New Year's DayJanuary 1
Martin Luther King DayJanuary (Third Monday)
President's DayFebruary (Third Monday)
EasterMarch or April
Memorial DayMay (Last Monday)
Independence DayJuly 4
Labor DaySeptember (First Monday)
Columbus DayOctober (Second Monday)
Veterans DayNovember 11
ThanksgivingNovember (Last Thursday)
Christmas DayDecember 25

Time Zones
The continental United States has four time zones: Eastern, Central (1 hour behind Eastern), Mountain (2 hours behind Eastern), and Pacific (3 hours behind Eastern). 

Tips or service charges are not usually added to a bill in the U.S. The exception to this is when a large group of approximately eight or more are dining together in a restaurant, in which case the establishment may state in advance that a gratuity of 15% will automatically be added to the bill.

In general, a tip of 15% of the sub-total (before taxes) is given. This applies to waiters, waitresses, barbers and hairdressers, taxi drivers, etc. At hotels, airports and railway stations, bellhops, doormen, redcaps (porters), etc. are generally paid $1-2 per item of luggage. 

* if applicable
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