If you are wanting to go to the United States, it is going to be very good to know the following advices that Carolina Romero tells us. Carolina has been travelling to the US for three years. Thanks to an academic scholarship she is studying abroad and every time he has a long vacation she usually takes the opportunity to return home. Normally she travels in Christmas and Summer breaks, so let’s say that making four trips a year, she has become an expert in flying to the US. Below, we present the 5 tips that you need to know to travel to the US counted by Carolina.
I am personally very loyal to the flight comparators. The ones I have used the most are Skyscanner and Kayak but now you will see that the key to find flights is patience. Never stay with the first flight you see, there are many flight pages and do not be afraid to use comparators. Buying the ticket directly from the airline’s website usually is more expensive.
Choose your airport well. I started flying from Madrid with a direct flight to Chicago. Then I took another flight to the city where I study, Toledo (Ohio). Once I discovered that everyone was flying through the Detroit airport and looking at flights, I saw that it was cheaper to fly from Barcelona. I mean with this, that you look for information about the area to choose the best airport. Also, in Detroit, being a smaller airport, I do not have so many problems with customs. Later I will explain the reasons why it is important to think about customs when traveling.
Whenever I have researched when it is recommended to buy the flight, many blogs and travel websites agree that you should buy it 6 weeks in advance. Another tip is to have clear the deadlines in which you are going to fly, for example when your classes start and end. From those dates, have a little flexibility always, since the price changes. In general, prices tend to be cheaper during the week, search engines always give you the option to search for flights either by specific date or in a specific month. Try different combinations of dates. In my case, looking at flights becomes a hobby, I dedicate about 15 minutes a day until I find the offer that I like the most.
Depending on the area where you are going to be, it is very likely that you will not find direct flights. Normally you will have to make a minimum of one stop before arriving at your final destination in the USA. The first time I flew with a stop, I had to stop in Chicago and then take another flight, there I discovered the world of customs and connections. My great recommendation: if you are going to make a stopover, do it in Europe.
Every time you travel to the United States you will have to go through passport control and let me tell you that it is not a short process. If you travel to large airports like those in Chicago, New York or Miami, which have a huge transit of people, you will find customs controls of 3 hours. The problem comes when your scale is an hour and a half and you run the risk of losing your connection.
If you travel through the European Union, control is much faster and, once you arrive in the US to your final destination, you can wait all the time in the customs. If the flight has more than one stopover, also try to be both in Europe since the same thing will happen to you. Conclusion: try to make your last stop in the USA.
When I started traveling alone and each time I went to a different airport, I was afraid of getting lost. Luckily, nowadays all airports are perfectly signposted. On the other hand, the staff will always be willing to help you and, trips where they travel, they will speak English. Do not be afraid to ask the stewardesses, the security people or the information desk of the airline. I have also learned that information screens are your best friends when traveling. A thousand things can happen: they delay a flight, they change the boarding gate or simply your boarding pass does not have the updated information. Always look at the screens to make sure nothing has changed.
I believe that this is one of the biggest fears when it comes to traveling. It has happened to me more than one once that the conveyor stops and my suitcase is not there. Do not worry, it happens more often than you think.
The first thing you have to ask if you are going to do more than one scale is where your suitcase goes. For reasons of controls and customs, if you make a stopover in the US the suitcase will go to the first American airport you pass through. For example, imagine you are flying from Madrid to New York and from New York to Chicago, your suitcase will be in New York, you will never go directly to Chicago. If you do the stopovers in Europe and your last flight arrives in the US, then it will go directly to your destination. Always ensure the destination of the suitcase when you invoice, so you will avoid not picking it up thinking that it went directly to your destination.
In case the suitcase does not appear, it is as easy as going to the luggage counter. There they will ask you to describe the suitcase and also show the billing receipt. This receipt is a sticker that will be given when you invoice the suitcase, where the journey of the same is registered. Normally I stick it on the back of my passport to make sure I do not lose it. Once they have that information, they locate your suitcase and you will only have to give them an address to be sent to them. In my case, they have always sent me home or to the university and usually do not take more than 3 days.
It is very important that, in order to save yourself unnecessary problems, take all the documentation. In case you go, like me, to study, you can not forget the following:
I recommend always having these documents in a folder by hand. They will always ask them and they may not let you travel if they are not in order. If you do not have a student visa, make sure you have filled in the ESTA, which is the document that will allow you to travel.