USA Travel Guide

Legendary highways, bustling cities, national parks, surf-strewn coastal roads, iconic food and bags of rock and roll - with 50 states to choose from, travelling the USA is one supersized adventure. Whether you're looking for an exciting gap year in America or just an unbelievable holiday, this country delivers. Explore the sun-kissed West Coast or learn about America's political history on the East. Check out our Travel Guide for tips on when to go, what to do and how to get there.

USA fast facts

language in the USA

Languages spoken

82% of the population speak English.

The remaining speak Spanish, other Indo-European languages, Asian, Pacific Island languages and more.

USA currency


Name: Dollar
Code: USD
Symbol: $

time zone in usa

Time zones

Eastern Standard time (GMT - 5)
Central time (GMT - 6)
Mountain Time (GMT - 7)
Pacific Time (GMT - 8)
Hawaiian Time (GMT – 10)
Alaskan Time (GMT – 9)

Top cities in the USA

From the bright lights of Vegas to the buzzing streets of New York - you'll find some of the world's most famous cities in the USA. Spot scenes from your favourite movie in LA, New York, Vegas and more.

New York


Los Angeles


San Francisco



USA travel costs

beer usa cost


In a New York City bar, you'll spend between $5-$8 on a bottle of beer whilst in other cities it could be around $3.50.

*Remember that you need to be 21 to drink in the USA.

food usa cost


Lunch from a cheap café or food truck can be between $5 and $9, whilst dinner in a restaurant would be nearer $25 to $60 per person.

taxi usa cost

Taxi ride

Taxis are expensive in the U.S. with most city cabs running on meters. Budget travellers should use cheaper buses or subway transport.



Travel on buses and subways will cost between $2 to $3. Car hire is available from $30 a day and we have campervans from $40!



Dorm beds in hostels cost between $25 and $40 per night. Budget motels would be around $60 to $80 for a double.



A double room in a 3 star hotel can be between $100 and $250 per night.

USA highlights





Jazz it up in

New Orleans

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travel guide






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USA city breaks from £369

Find out more

The Rhythm of the Streets: our USA video series

Last year we sent UK band Skinny Living to Oahu, New Orleans and Austin in search of surf, sounds and soul. Watch our groundbreaking interactive video series, The Rhythm of the Streets to see what they got up to. Then retrace their rhythm with one of our tours or city breaks in the USA.
new york
Up to 20% off

USA Adventure Tours

southern USA tour
Southern Adventure | 13 days
Take a venture to the South where a distinctly different American culture will lure you in. Deserts and canyons will pleasure your eyes while cowboys and jazz bars will liven your nights. Kicking off in New Orleans and ending in Los Angeles, with highlights like Memphis, the Grand Canyon & Texas in between.
From £1,719
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new orleans
New Orleans to San Francisco Road Trip | 15 days
Bats in Texas, aliens in Roswell, pretty much everything else in San Francisco—get off the well-worn tourist trail and really discover the South and West of the United States. After leaving fabulous New Orleans, you'll explore some of the most incredible natural wonders anywhere—the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Yosemite—then trade wildlife for nightlife in Las Vegas. It's the ultimate roadtrip. Now, let's get rolling.
From £1,549
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western USA tour
Western Highlights | 9 days
You could easily spend 9-days in LA, losing track of time and doing little more than eat, sleep, shop, party, repeat. If you want to make the most of your time in this region and actually see a thing or two, the Western Highlights is calling out your name. San Diego, Sonoran Desert, Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, Route 66, & Vegas will soon be clogging up your Instagram account.
From £1,199
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What to do in two weeks in the USA

usa tour
Adventure tours under 2 weeks
Short on time but eager to see the best of the USA? Experience the highlights including Yosemite National Park, Death Valley and San Francisco.
Up to 20% off selected tours!
Explore more
USA City Breaks
USA city breaks
From NYC to LA, the USA has some epic cities to visit. Shop till you drop, live like the rich an famous, dine in famous restaurants and chill out in style - Best of all, our affordable USA city break pacakges include flights and hotels. Sweet!



From just £369 for flights + accommodation!
Find out more
USA mini adventures
The USA is so jam-packed with famous sights, it could literally take years to see it all. See the best of the USA on a mini adventure lasting anything from one to three days.

What to do in a month in the USA

Adventure tours under a month
Make your time in America a memorable one with an adventure tour like no other! Experience the highlights and make new travel buddies along the way.
Up to 20% off selected tours!
View Tours
Campervan hire
Take off on an epic USA roadtrip with your very own campervan. Hire a campervan to suit your group's needs and experience the USA at your own pace.
Campervan and flight package from £609pp
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usa road trips
Self-drive roadtrips
Hire a car or campervan and hit the long open roads, Jack Kerouac style. The USA has some legendary drives, from the tumbleweed deserts of Route 66 to the rolling coastal views of the Pacific Coast Highway. Check out some of our self-drive itineraries for more inspiration.
Self Drive Road Trips from £759pp
Self-drive Itineraries
work in america
Work in America
Fancy working in the USA? Add an extra slice of excitement to your time in the states by working up to four months on seasonal jobs or at a summer camp, enabling you to further your travels with your earnings!
Summer programmes from £269
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USA accommodation
From trendy hostels to 4* hotels near NYC hotspots, check out our selection of top accommodation across the USA.

Welcome to the USA | Visit the USA x STA Travel

Last summer, STA Travel and Visit The USA sent three super talented filmmakers to three different regions of the USA. Check out Texas, New York State and the Pacific Northwest below and get inspired for your next American adventure!

How can I work in America?

Students and young people can apply for a work abroad program for over the summer months. Pick from Summer Camps USA or our Work America programme, and spend your summer working in the States. Through our programmes, you’ll get help obtaining your four-month work permit (the J-1 visa) for various seasonal jobs in the USA, or work with kids at a Summer Camp for 6-8 weeks. Visit our Work in the USA page for more info.

Do I need a visa for the USA?

Visas requirements for entry to the USA are subject to frequent change. Currently British citizens can enter the USA without a visa for stays of 90 days of fewer, so long as they apply for the Visa Waiver Program (from ESTA). All travellers should check current visa and passport regulations before coming to the USA, and allow plenty of time to acquire the correct documentation.

Looking for inspiration? Check out the STA Travel blog!

STA Travel Blog

Travel crush: Feel the energy of New Orleans

Read On

STA Travel x Visit the USA: Rhythm of the Streets

watch now
STA Travel Blog

Our guide to the Texas food & music scene

Read Blog

Win a trip to the USA: Competition terms & conditions

Win a trip to the USA Competition- Terms and Conditions



1 winner will win: - Two return flights with Virgin Atlantic to Los Angeles, United States, departing and returning to London, UK - 10-day campervan hire from Los Angeles to Los Angeles with Travellers Autobarn - 2 nights’ accommodation in Los Angeles at the start and finish of the trip Travel must be booked and completed by 15th December 2019 Winner will be chosen at random in a prize draw from all entrants.


The competition is subject to the terms and conditions below:

1. The promoter of this competition is STA Travel, Priory House, 6 Wrights Lane, London, W8 6TA.

2. Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these Conditions of Entry. Entry into this promotion is deemed acceptance of these Conditions of Entry.

3. Entry is free and open to UK residents only, who submit their details on the entry form found at In accepting the prize, the winner must confirm they comply with the following requirement:  All travel must be booked and completed by 15th December 2019  Travel must be between 1st February and 15th May 2019 or 1st October and 15th December 2019, subject to availability  To be eligible for the campervan hire, the prize winner or prize winner’s companion on the trip must be 21 years or older to drive and must have a valid driver’s license.

4. The prize includes the following only for 1 individual winner:  2 return economy class flights from London UK to Los Angeles, United States  10-day campervan hire from Los Angeles to Los Angeles for 2 people. Standard insurance protection is included in the campervan hire.  2 nights’ accommodation in Los Angeles at the start and finish of the trip Any additional or associated costs will be the responsibility of the individual winner.

5. The following entry mechanic applies to the competition: 1) Entrants will be required to enter their details on the competition entry form found at 2) One winner will be chosen at random from the entrants in a prize draw. The Promoter’s selection is final and the Promoter will not enter any correspondence regarding the decision.

6. The winner will be identified by 14th December. The winners will be notified by email following the selection (within 24 hours). Their name and entry may be published on and via our social networks. The winner must respond to the email accepting the prize within 24 hours of receipt of the prize notification email. In the event that the prize notification email is returned as undeliverable, such prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected from all remaining (non-winning) eligible entries. An alternate winner may be drawn up to 3 times. The Promoter will award the specific prize to the second drawn entry if the prize remains unclaimed within a 72 hours period after the prize notification email is sent.

7. Any Entrant may be disqualified from this competition at the discretion of the Promoter for any failure to comply with these Terms and Conditions or cheating in any way such as: • Using any cheats, hacks or other 3rd party "helper" applications or “bots” to simulate human interaction; • Exploiting the application in any way or using the application in any way that circumvents the purpose and conditions of the Competition. Only entries submitted following the specified entry mechanics will be deemed valid entries. Any entries which are deemed offensive and therefore not publishable will be disqualified at the discretion of the Promoter and no further correspondence will be entered into.

8. Employees and immediate families of the Promoter and suppliers, providers and agencies associated with this promotion are ineligible to enter.

9. Entrants can only enter in their own name and any content submitted must be created by the entrant themselves. The Promoter, STA Travel, reserves the right to request proof of residency at the stated address and identification for verification (to the Promoter's satisfaction in its discretion) before issuing the prize. Incomplete or incomprehensible entries will be deemed invalid. The Promoter's decision to disqualify an entry is final and no correspondence will be entered into. No responsibility will be taken for lost, late or misdirected entries.

10. The prize is non-transferable or refundable. If the winners are unable to travel in accordance with the restrictions above, the winner shall be deemed to have forfeited the prize and an alternative winner may be chosen. If for any reason a winner drops out of the prize due to health or personal reasons, the Promoter has the right to select another winner at their discretion. The prize is for the winner’s use only and in no way covers or includes support for any accompanying partner, family or friend.

11. Any costs incurred from changes post booking, such as a name change, are the winner’s responsibility to pay.

12. The winners are responsible for getting to any departure points (for flights etc), in time for security checks and the check-in procedures on the day of departure. Travel costs to airports are at the winners own expense. The winner is also responsible for obtaining relevant documents required, such as VISA’s or ESTA’s. Standard insurance protection is included in the campervan hire, liability can be reduced by purchasing additional protection.

13. Prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other STA Travel or third party discounts or special offers.

14. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any variation in the prize value. Prize, or any unused portion of the prize, is not transferable or exchangeable for other goods or services and cannot be taken as cash.

15. In the event of war, terrorism, state of emergency, disaster or any other circumstance beyond the control of the Promoter, the Promoter reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the promotion.

16. The Promoter will not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever which is suffered (including but not limited to indirect or consequential loss) or for any personal injury suffered or sustained in connection with the prize except for any liability, which cannot be excluded by law (in which case such liability is limited to the maximum extent allowable by law). The Promoter will not be responsible for any incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete information communicated in the course of or in connection with this promotion if the deficiency is occasioned by any cause outside the reasonable control of the Promoter including without limitation technical malfunctions or failures. Tax implications may arise from the receipt or use of a prize. Independent financial advice should be sought.

17. If for any reason this promotion is not capable of running as planned because of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorised intervention, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of the Promoter which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this promotion, the Promoter reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the promotion subject to any written directions under applicable legislation. The Promoter also reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who the Promoter has reason to believe has breached any of these conditions, or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise the fair and proper conduct of the promotion. The Promoter's legal rights to recover damages or other compensation from such an offender are reserved.

18. The Promoter is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participants or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participation in or down-loading any materials in this promotion.

19. All entries and further content produced but the winner and any copyright subsisting in the entries and further content become and remain the property of the Promoter and may be used in promotional activity indefinitely. The Promoter collects contact information about entrants in order to contact them about the promotion and where appropriate award prizes and may also use the information to assist the Promoter in improving goods and services and to contact entrants in the future with special offers via any medium including mail and commercial electronic messages. If you do not provide the information, you cannot participate.

20. The UK laws apply to this promotion to the exclusion of any other law.

21. STA Travel reserves the right to substitute a prize of at least equal value in the event of unavailability, for whatever reason, of the advertised prize. Should the value of any prize be less than the value stated, the difference will not be awarded in cash or in kind.