Visitors to the USA should be advised that the legal gambling and drinking age is 21 years of age. Visitors may need to provide proof of age if requested to do so by establishment staff in the form of a driver's license and/or passport. Despite what the laws may be in your home country, this age restriction should be respected. Tipping is customary in the USA, particularly for all service providers such as taxi drivers, wait staff, bartenders and bellhops, etc. Tips are usually provided at a minimum of 10% to 15% of the total bill, however patrons may choose to tip more for excellent service.
The United States dollar (USD) is divided into 100 cents. Coin denominations include the penny which is worth one cent, the nickel which is worth five cents, the dime which is worth ten cents and the quarter which is worth twenty five cents. Banknote denominations include the $1 featuring George Washington, the $2 featuring Thomas Jefferson, the $5 featuring Abraham Lincoln, the $10 featuring Alexander Hamilton, the $20 featuring Andrew Jackson, the $50 featuring Ulysses S. Grant and the $100 featuring Benjamin Franklin. Currency exchange can easily be found at the airport and within the hotels and casinos of the strip.
Most hotels and cafes offer WiFi internet access for a fee or complimentary in some selected areas, well as dedicated internet cafes. When it comes to plugging in your devices, the USA uses the American two-pin rectangular socket (120V/60Hz).
For international dialing use 0011 + country code + area code + local number. The United States of America uses the US telephone country code which is +1. Area codes vary depending on where you're visiting, for example the Las Vegas area code is +702, New York is generally +212 and Los Angeles is usually +213. Many local numbers often list the area code at the beginning of their telephone number. When trying to contact home, particularly by phone remember the time difference. The USA time zone is between UTC-5 to UTC-10.
Due to the vast size of the USA, travelling between long-distance cities and states by plane is the quickest and most convenient way. Most cities are serviced by airports and it only takes approximately 5 to 6 hours to travel from coast to coast rather than the three or four days required to cross the country by land. The Amtrak national rail system is also a great way to travel between states and cities and although it is around the same price as flying, it offers fantastic sightseeing opportunities without the responsibility of hiring a car. However, if you plan on visiting a number of states and cities near to each other, driving is obviously an excellent option. Road conditions are good, car hire is reasonable and it is a great way to explore the local towns and landscapes along the way at your own pace.
Visas are not required for Australian travellers to gain entry to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) however a current Australian passport is needed. Australian visitors to the US can stay for a maximum of 90 days, however anytime spent in Mexico, Canada and Hawaii will also count towards to the 90 days. To gain entry into the US, visitors must obtain approval from the online Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) a minimum of 72 hours prior to departure.