North America

Living in United States

MONEY

Currency

1 US dollar = 100 cents. Currency abbreviation: US $, USD (ISO code). Banknotes are available in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 US $. Coins are available in denominations of US $ 1 as well as 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cent.

The $ 2 banknote is so rare that it cannot be issued by ATMs. It is a popular collector’s item that many Americans have never held in their hands because of its rarity.
Banknotes are increasingly being replaced by colored notes. However, the old banknotes remain valid.

Credit cards

All major credit cards are accepted. The use of credit cards is recommended. You should at least have a credit card, as many hotels and car rental companies require prepayment if you do not pay by credit card. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.

ATMs

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard
At ATMs that have the blue Cirrus symbol, money can be withdrawn with the ec / Maestro card. In the USA, however, ec / Maestro cards can only be used for payment in very rare cases.

Attention: Travelers who pay abroad with their bank customer card and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

In general: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat partly also 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

No restrictions. The import and export of amounts with an equivalent value of US $ 10,000 or more (including bearer shares, travelers checks, money orders) must be declared. Attention: In foreign exchange matters, related persons are legally considered one person.

Currency Exchange

Hotels generally do not exchange foreign currencies and only a few banks do exchange foreign currencies. It is therefore advisable to change enough US dollars or use a credit card before departure.

NIGHTLIFE

Introduction

Clubs in cities are usually open until the early hours of the morning. All kinds of theater and music events are offered. Tickets for New York Broadway can be booked for groups of more than 20 people at the Group Sales Box Office (3rd Floor, 226 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036. Tel: (212) 398 83 83. Fax: (212) 398 83 89). Tickets must be paid for in advance and can be picked up at the box office on the evening of the performance. Gambling is only allowed in licensed casinos. Players must be at least 21 years old.

CULINARY

ACCOMMODATION

Hotels

There are many good traditional hotels, but the majority of the hotels are modern, often have uniform prices and belong to national or international hotel chains. The quality is usually high, with TVs and telephones in every room.

For more information, contact the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Suite 600, 1201 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005-3931. (Tel: (202) 289 31 00. Internet: http://www.ahla.com/).

Categories: There are five different price groups: Super, DeLuxe, Standard, Moderate and Inexpensive.

Camping

Camping is especially popular in the Rocky Mountains and New England. The New England states comprise the six states in the northeastern United States that were first colonized by England – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The season in the north runs from mid-May to mid-September. It is forbidden to camp on motorways and in places that are not designated as tent sites.

For information on campsites, contact KOA (Kampgrounds of America), (Tel: (406) 248 74 44. Internet: http://www.koakampgrounds.com/).

Other accommodation options

According to ehistorylib, 74 YMCA centers are located in 68 cities across the United States. You do not need a membership card, but you should reserve two days in advance at the main office. The YMCA offers mostly centrally located, relatively inexpensive accommodations throughout the United States. Most centers have single and double rooms for men and women and often sports facilities. About 130 youth hostels offer their members simple, inexpensive accommodation, usually in areas of cultural, historical or scenic interest.

For more information, please contact YMCA of the USA, 101 North Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606. (Internet: http://www.ymca.net/).

Membership in the Youth Hostel Association is not age dependent, and individual, family or group passes are available.

For more information, contact Hostelling International USA, 8401 Colesville Road, Suite 600, Silver Spring, MD 20910. (Tel: (301) 495 12 40. Internet: http://www.hiusa.org/).

Living in United States

CULTURE

Religion

Protestant (51.3%), Roman Catholic (23.9%); Jewish, Muslim and many other faiths. In large cities, members of certain ethnic or religious groups often live in the same neighborhood.

Social rules of conduct

Etiquette: The relatively short history of colonization of the country by a large number of different nations brought with it a variety of different customs, cultures and traditions. People of the same race often live in the same neighborhoods in large cities. The atmosphere is usually relaxed and casual. You shake hands in greeting. Americans are known for their openness and hospitality. Here, too, the host is happy to receive a small gift.

Clothing is usually casual. Good hotels, restaurants and clubs expect evening wear.

Smoking: The extent of smoking bans differs from state to state. Smoking is prohibited in public buildings and means of transport. In New York City, as in 50% of the American states, there is a smoking ban in all restaurants and pubs. In NYC there is also a smoking ban in many public places such as Times Square, on beaches and in parks. Most California beaches, parks and other public places in California are also smoking banned. The least strict, if any, are smoking bans in the southern states.

Tips are expected and are usually not included in the bill. You only don’t tip if the service is very bad. Entrance fees for clubs etc. also do not include tips. Waiters get 15-20% (if the tip is not already included in the bill). In buffet restaurants it is also good manners to give the waiters US $ 1-2 and up to 10% for good service. Taxi drivers and hairdressers receive 10-15%, valet service staff and porters receive US $ 2 per piece of luggage and housekeeping US $ 2-4 per night.