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All American Travel

Travel better, your extraordinary vacation begins here.

No matter where in the world you want to go, we can help get you there. Our experienced agents will take the time to answer your questions and listen to your ideas, before making expert recommendations that fit your budget. We believe extraordinary vacations begin with careful planning, that's why we are devoted to ensuring our clients always have the best possible experience—both before they leave and while they're away.

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6918 Corporate Dr

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What people love about USA Tours

The 7-day Southwest Highlights tour was amazing! Alex and Amber were terrific guides that helped to give us options to make the most of our time at each tour stop. They also took care of setting up camp most days and prepared great meals throughout the trip. The trip was well organized, and we stopped often during the drive. I recommend this tour to people who want an active vacation, checking a number of National Parks off their list, but don't want to do all of the research needed to make it happen.
Most Amazing Family Vacation Ever! The 7-day private tour of the Southwest National Parks (hotel version) Hard to put into words but this was the perfect way for our family to experience the dramatic sites and cultural experiences of the southwest National Parks! We had the most amazing tour guide (Thanks Marie!) and the agenda was the right balance of keeping us engaged while covering so much ground. Each National Park had its own unique and wonderful qualities and this 7-day tour gave us just enough time to soak up the natural beauty. Also, there are hikes and tours for all ages (we let the boys take on the more difficult hikes while Mom and Dad took the more accessible routes. The pick up and drop off in Las Vegas was very convenient and allowed us just enough time to enjoy a few nights in Las Vegas. Would HIGHLY recommend!
Everything was great organized, our CEO Megan was so kind and well prepared.

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Bindlestiff Tours

"Fabulous! I just returned from Bindlestiff's Grand Canyon & more 3 day tour. It was Fabulous! It provided a well-planned itinerary of fascinating places (Zion National Park, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon (optional & a must!), Monument Valley & the Grand Canyon. We were a perfect size group of twelve international travelers in a comfy van plus our delightful Tour Guide, Jade. We had enough time to immerse ourselves in each location and enjoy each experience. When on the road, Jade played upbeat themed music, weaved interested facts into a story and allowed quiet snooze time; plus the rest stops were well-spaced. On the first day we actually were in 3 states!!! Jade's yummy restaurant selections served the needs of each of the travelers' dietary requirements and the overnight accommodations were clean, comfortable & provided a nourishing breakfast. A special shout-out to Jade for her ability to ""herd cats"" while being attentive to each traveler's personal needs. She engaged with each of us in conversation and was delightful with a good sense of humor. A warm Thank You to Jade and Bindlestiff Tours!!!

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"the tour itself was amazing. The national parks do not disappoint. The travel accomodations were very cramped and uncomfortable. I am only 5 foot tall and I was cramped in this 14 passenger van. Food opportunities were limited.

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As the world’s only superpower and biggest economy by a huge margin, almost everyone on the planet knows something about the USA, even if they’ve never been. The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State, the Hollywood sign, Las Vegas neon, Golden Gate and the White House have long been global icons, and American brands and images are familiar everywhere, from Apple computers and Levi’s to Coca-Cola and hot dogs. Yet first-time visitors should expect some surprises .

Where to go in the USA

Outdoor activities in the usa, sports in the usa, usa: the musical melting pot.

Though its cities draw the most tourists – New York, New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco are all incredible destinations in their own right – America is above all a land of stunningly diverse and achingly beautiful landscapes . In one nation you have the mighty Rockies and spectacular Cascades, the vast, mythic desert landscapes of the Southwest, the endless, rolling plains of Texas and Kansas, the tropical beaches and Everglades of Florida, the giant redwoods of California and the sleepy, pristine villages of New England.

You can soak up the mesmerizing vistas in Crater Lake, Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks, stand in awe at the Grand Canyon, hike the Black Hills, cruise the Great Lakes, paddle in the Mississippi, surf the gnarly breaks of Oahu and get lost in the vast wilderness of Alaska. Or you could easily plan a trip that focuses on the out-of-the-way hamlets, remote prairies, eerie ghost towns and forgotten byways that are every bit as “American” as its showpiece icons and monuments.

The sheer size of the country prevents any sort of overarching statement about the typical American experience, just as the diversity of its people undercuts any notion of the typical American. Icons as diverse as Mohammed Ali, Louis Armstrong, Sitting Bull, Hillary Clinton, Michael Jordan, Madonna, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley, Mark Twain, John Wayne and Walt Disney continue to inspire and entertain the world, and everyone has heard of the blues, country and western, jazz, rock ’n’ roll and hip-hop – all American musical innovations.

There are Irish Americans, Italian Americans, African Americans, Chinese Americans and Latinos, Texan cowboys and Bronx hustlers, Seattle hipsters and Alabama pastors, New England fishermen, Las Vegas showgirls and Hawaiian surfers. Though it often sounds clichéd to foreigners, the only thing that holds this bizarre federation together is the oft-maligned “American Dream”. While the USA is one of the world’s oldest still-functioning democracies and the roots of its European presence go back to the 1500s, the palpable sense of newness here creates an odd sort of optimism, wherein anything seems possible and fortune can strike at any moment.

Indeed, aspects of American culture can be difficult for many visitors to understand, despite the apparent familiarity: its obsession with guns; the widely held belief that “government” is bad; the real, genuine pride in the American Revolution and the US Constitution, two hundred years on; the equally genuine belief that the USA is the “greatest country on earth”; the wild grandstanding of its politicians (especially at election time); and the bewildering contradiction of its great liberal and open-minded traditions with laissez-faire capitalism and extreme cultural and religious conservatism. That’s America: diverse, challenging, beguiling, maddening at times, but always entertaining and always changing. And while there is no such thing as a typical American person or landscape, there can be few places where strangers can feel so confident of a warm reception.

Every trip to the USA is unique and that's why it's essential to stay protected. With our go-to travel insurance provider, Heymondo , you get great value and 24/7 support wherever you are.

The most invigorating American expeditions are often those that take in more than one region. You do not, however, have to cross the entire continent from shore to shore in order to appreciate its amazing diversity; it would take a long time to see the whole country, and the more time you spend simply travelling, the less time you’ll have to savour the small-town pleasures and backroad oddities that may well provide your strongest memories. Unless you’re travelling to and within a centralized location such as New York City, you’ll need a car – that mandatory component of life in the USA.

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The obvious place to start for most people is New York City – international colossus of culture and finance, with a colourful history and numerous skyscrapers to prove its status as the essential American city. While you could easily spend weeks exploring the place, just a little more effort will take you into the deeper reaches of the Mid-Atlantic region to the north. Here, whether in upstate New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, major cities such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh border a landscape of unexpected charm and beauty, from the bucolic hamlets of Amish country and the wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains to iconic sights such as Niagara Falls and holiday favourites like the Catskills. Next door, New England has a similarly varied appeal; most visitors know it for the colonial and history-rich city of Boston, but there’s much to be said for its rural byways, leading to centuries-old villages in Vermont and New Hampshire, bayside Massachusetts and the rugged individualism of the lobster-catching harbours and mountains of Maine – which take up nearly half the region.

Seven hundred miles west lie the Great Lakes, on the whole the country’s most underappreciated region; vigorous cities including Chicago and Minneapolis, isolated and evocative lakeshores in Michigan and Minnesota, and rousing college towns such as Madison, Wisconsin, reward any visitor with more than a few days to explore. Bordering Ohio to the east, the nearby Capital Region is the home of Washington DC, capital of the nation and centrepiece for its grandest museums and monuments. Nearby Baltimore is one of the region’s few other big cities, and to the south the old tobacco country of Virginia holds a fair share of American history while coal-mining West Virginia has a scattering of curious natural treasures.

Although Virginia is technically part of the South, for the purest experience you’ll need to venture even further to get the feel of its charismatic churches, BBQ dinners, country music and lively cities such as Atlanta and Memphis. The “deepest” part of the South lies in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, and in these states – with their huge plantations and long history of slavery – you’ll get a very different view of American life than anywhere else in the country. Other Southern states have their own unique cultures: Florida is a mix of old-fashioned Southern manners and backwater swamps leavened with ultra-modern cities including Miami, Latino culture, miles of tempting beaches and the lustrous Keys islands; Louisiana offers more atmospheric swamps and “Cajun” culture, with New Orleans one of the few spots in the USA with a strongly Catholic, yet broadly indulgent culture of drinking, dancing and debauchery; and Texas is the country’s capital for oil-drilling, BBQ-eating and right-wing-politicking, with huge expanses of land, equally big cities and plenty of history.

The Great Plains, which sit in the geographical centre of the country, are often overlooked by visitors, but include many of America’s most well-known sights, from Mount Rushmore in South Dakota to the Gateway Arch in St Louis and the Wild West town of Dodge City in Kansas. To the west rise the great peaks of the Rockies, and with them a melange of exciting cities such as Denver, beautiful mountain scenery like Montana’s Glacier National Park, the geysers of Yellowstone and great opportunities for skiing throughout at places like Idaho’s Sun Valley. Bordering the southern side of the Rockies, the desert Southwest region is also rich with astounding natural beauty – whether in the colossal chasm of the Grand Canyon, striking national parks at Zion and Canyonlands or the Native American heart of the Four Corners region – along with a handful of charming towns and less interesting big cities.

The country’s most populous state is, of course, California, synonymous with the idea of “the West Coast” and its freewheeling culture of surfing, libertine lifestyles and self-worship. However, the further from the water you get, the less the stereotypes hold, especially in the lava beds and redwoods of the far north, the ghost towns and magnificent Yosemite in the Sierras and the intriguing deserts of Death Valley. To the state’s north, Oregon and Washington – the rain-soaked pair making up the Pacific Northwest – offer pleasantly progressive towns such as Seattle and Portland and some of the most striking scenery anywhere in the USA: the stunning landscape of the Columbia River Gorge, the pristine islands of the San Juans, the snowy peaks of the Cascades and more.

Beyond the lower 48 states, Alaska is a winter wonderland of great mountains and icy spires, with few roads and people, but much to offer anyone with a zest for the outdoors and the unexpected. Hawaii is the country’s holiday paradise, a handful of splendid islands in the central Pacific with remote jungle settings and roaring volcanoes.

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Coated by dense forests, cut by deep canyons and capped by great mountains, the USA is blessed with fabulous backcountry and wilderness areas. Even the heavily populated East Coast has its share of open space, notably along the Appalachian Trail, which winds from Mount Katahdin in Maine to the southern Appalachians in Georgia – some two thousand miles of untrammelled woodland. To experience the full breathtaking sweep of America’s wide-open stretches, however, head west: to the Rockies, the red-rock deserts of the Southwest or right across the continent to the amazing wild spaces of the West Coast. On the downside, be warned that in many coastal areas, the shoreline can be disappointingly hard to access, with a high proportion under private ownership.

National parks and monuments

The National Park Service administers both national parks and national monuments. Its rangers do a superb job of providing information and advice to visitors, maintaining trails and organizing such activities as free guided hikes and campfire talks.

In principle, a national park preserves an area of outstanding natural beauty, encompassing a wide range of terrain and prime examples of particular landforms and wildlife. Thus Yellowstone has boiling geysers and herds of elk and bison, while Yosemite offers towering granite walls and cascading waterfalls. A national monument is usually much smaller, focusing perhaps on just one archeological site or geological phenomenon, such as Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Altogether, the national park system comprises around four hundred units, including national seashores, lakeshores, battlefields and other historic sites.

While national parks tend to be perfect places to hike – almost all have extensive trail networks – all are far too large to tour entirely on foot (Yellowstone, for example, is bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined). Even in those rare cases where you can use public transport to reach a park, you’ll almost certainly need some sort of vehicle to explore it once you’re there. The Alaska parks are mostly howling wilderness, with virtually no roads or facilities for tourists – you’re on your own.

Most parks and monuments charge admission fees, ranging from $5 to $25, which cover a vehicle and all its occupants for up to a week. For anyone on a touring vacation, it may well make more sense to buy the Inter-agency Annual Pass, also known as the “America the Beautiful Pass”. Sold for $80 at all federal parks and monuments, or online at store.usgs.gov/pass, this grants unrestricted access for a year to the bearer, and any accompanying passengers in the same vehicle, to all national parks and monuments, as well as sites managed by such agencies as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service and the BLM. It does not, however, cover or reduce additional fees like charges for camping in official park campgrounds, or permits for backcountry hiking or rafting.

Two further passes, obtainable at any park but not online, grant free access for life to all national parks and monuments, again to the holder and any accompanying passengers, and also provide a fifty percent discount on camping fees. The Senior Pass is available to any US citizen or permanent resident aged 62 or older for a one-time fee of $10, while the Access Pass is issued free to blind or permanently disabled US citizens or permanent residents. While hotel-style lodges are found only in major parks, every park or monument tends to have at least one well-organized campground. Often, a cluster of motels can be found not far outside the park boundaries. With appropriate permits – subject to restrictions in popular parks – backpackers can also usually camp in the backcountry (a general term for areas inaccessible by road).

Other public lands

National parks and monuments are often surrounded by tracts of national forest – also federally administered but much less protected. These too usually hold appealing rural campgrounds but, in the words of the slogan, each is a “Land Of Many Uses”, and usually allows logging and other land-based industry (thankfully, more often ski resorts than strip mines).

Other government departments administer wildlife refuges, national scenic rivers, recreation areas and the like. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has the largest holdings of all, most of it open rangeland, such as in Nevada and Utah, but also including some enticingly out-of-the-way reaches. Environmentalist groups engage in endless running battles with developers, ranchers and the extracting industries over uses – or alleged misuses – of federal lands.

While state parks and state monuments, administered by individual states, preserve sites of more limited, local significance, many are explicitly intended for recreational use, and thus hold better campgrounds than their federal equivalents.

Camping and backpacking

The ideal way to see the great outdoors – especially if you’re on a low budget – is to tour by car and camp in state and federal campgrounds. Typical public campgrounds range in price from free (usually when there’s no water available, which may be seasonal) to around $30 per night. Fees at the generally less scenic commercial campgrounds – abundant near major towns, and often resembling open-air hotels, complete with shops and restaurants – are more like $20–35. If you’re camping in high season, either reserve in advance or avoid the most popular areas.

Backcountry camping in the national parks is usually free, by permit only. Before you set off on anything more than a half-day hike, and whenever you’re headed for anywhere at all isolated, be sure to inform a ranger of your plans, and ask about weather conditions and specific local tips. Carry sufficient food and drink to cover emergencies, as well as all the necessary equipment and maps. Check whether fires are permitted; even if they are, try to use a camp stove in preference to local materials. In wilderness areas, try to camp on previously used sites. Where there are no toilets, bury human waste at least six inches into the ground and 100ft from the nearest water supply and campground.

Health issues

Backpackers should never drink from rivers and streams; you never know what acts people – or animals – have performed further upstream. Giardia – a water-borne bacteria that causes an intestinal disease characterized by chronic diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, fatigue and weight loss – is a serious problem. Water that doesn’t come from a tap should be boiled for at least five minutes, or cleansed with an iodine-based purifier or a giardia-rated filter.

Hiking at lower elevations should present few problems, though near water mosquitoes can drive you crazy; Avon Skin-so-Soft or anything containing DEET are fairly reliable repellents. Ticks – tiny beetles that plunge their heads into your skin and swell up – are another hazard. They sometimes leave their heads inside, causing blood clots or infections, so get advice from a ranger if you’ve been bitten. One species of tick causes Lyme Disease, a serious condition that can even affect the brain. Nightly inspections of your skin are strongly recommended.

Beware, too, of poison oak, which grows throughout the west, usually among oak trees. Its leaves come in groups of three (the middle one on a short stem) and are distinguished by prominent veins and shiny surfaces. If you come into contact with it, wash your skin (with soap and cold water) and clothes as soon as possible – and don’t scratch. In serious cases, hospital emergency rooms can give antihistamine or adrenaline shots. A comparable curse is poison ivy, found throughout the country. For both plants, remember the sage advice, “Leaves of three, let it be”.

Mountain hikes

Take special care hiking at higher elevations, for instance in the 14,000ft peaks of the Rockies, or in California’s Sierra Nevada (and certainly in Alaska). Late snows are common, and in spring avalanches are a real danger, while meltwaters make otherwise simple stream crossings hazardous. Weather conditions can also change abruptly. Altitude sickness can affect even the fittest of athletes: take it easy for your first few days above 7000ft. Drink lots of water, avoid alcohol, eat plenty of carbohydrates and protect yourself from the sun.

Desert hikes

If you intend to hike in the desert, carry plentiful extra food and water, and never go anywhere without a map. Cover most of your ground in early morning: the midday heat is too debilitating. If you get lost, find some shade and wait. So long as you’ve registered, the rangers will eventually come looking for you.

At any time of year, you’ll stay cooler during the day if you wear full-length sleeves and trousers, while a wide-brimmed hat and good sunglasses will spare you the blinding headaches that can result from the desert light. You may also have to contend with flash floods, which can appear from nowhere. Never camp in a dry wash, and don’t attempt to cross flooded areas until the water has receded.

It’s essential to carry – and drink – large quantities of water in the desert. In particular, hiking in typical summer temperatures requires drinking a phenomenal amount. Loss of the desire to eat or drink is an early symptom of heat exhaustion, so it’s possible to become seriously dehydrated without feeling thirsty. Watch out for signs of dizziness or nausea; if you feel weak and stop sweating, it’s time to get to the doctor. Check whether water is available on your trail; ask a ranger, and carry plenty with you even if it is.

When driving in the desert, carry ample water in the car, take along an emergency pack with flares, a first-aid kit and snakebite kit, matches and a compass. A shovel, tyre pump and extra petrol are always a good idea. If the engine overheats, don’t turn it off; instead, try to cool it quickly by turning the front end of the car towards the wind. Carefully pour some water on the front of the radiator, and turn the air conditioning off and the heat up full blast. In an emergency, never panic and leave the car: you’ll be harder to find wandering around alone.

Adventure travel

The opportunities for adventure travel in the USA are all but endless, whether your tastes run towards whitewater rafting down the Colorado River, mountain biking in the volcanic Cascades, canoeing down the headwaters of the Mississippi River, horseback riding in Big Bend on the Rio Grande in Texas or Big Wall rock climbing on the sheer granite monoliths of Yosemite Valley.

While an exhaustive listing of the possibilities could fill a huge volume, certain places have an especially high concentration of adventure opportunities, such as Moab, Utah or New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Downhill ski resorts can be found all over the USA. The eastern resorts of Vermont and New York State, however, pale by comparison with those of the Rockies, such as Vail and Aspen in Colorado, and the Sierra Nevada in California. Expect to pay $45–100 per day (depending on the quality and popularity of the resort) for lift tickets, plus another $30 or more per day to rent equipment.

A cheaper alternative is cross-country skiing, or ski touring. Backcountry ski lodges dot mountainous areas along both coasts and in the Rockies. They offer a range of rustic accommodation, equipment rental and lessons, from as little as $20 a day for skis, boots and poles, up to about $200 for an all-inclusive weekend tour.

Watch out for bears, deer, moose, mountain lions and rattlesnakes in the backcountry, and consider the effect your presence can have on their environment.

Other than in a national park, you’re highly unlikely to encounter a bear. Even there, it’s rare to stumble across one in the wilderness. If you do, don’t run, just back away slowly. Most fundamentally, it will be after your food, which should be stored in airtight containers when camping. Ideally, hang both food and garbage from a high but slender branch some distance from your camp. Never attempt to feed bears, and never get between a mother and her young. Young animals are cute; their irate mothers are not.

Snakes and creepy-crawlies

Though the deserts in particular are home to a wide assortment of poisonous creatures, these are rarely aggressive towards humans. To avoid trouble, observe obvious precautions. Don’t attempt to handle wildlife; keep your eyes open as you walk, and watch where you put your hands when scrambling over obstacles; shake out shoes, clothing and bedding before use; and back off if you do spot a creature, giving it room to escape.

If you are bitten or stung, current medical thinking rejects the concept of cutting yourself open and attempting to suck out the venom. Whether snake, scorpion or spider is responsible, apply a cold compress to the wound, constrict the area with a tourniquet to prevent the spread of venom, drink lots of water and bring your temperature down by resting in a shady area. Stay as calm as possible and seek medical help immediately.

As well as being good fun, catching a baseball game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on a summer afternoon or joining the screaming throngs at a Steelers football game in Pittsburgh can give visitors an unforgettable insight into a town and its people. Professional teams almost always put on the most spectacular shows, but big games between college rivals, Minor League baseball games and even Friday night high-school football games provide an easy and enjoyable way to get on intimate terms with a place.

Specific details for the most important teams in all the sports are given in the various city accounts in this Guide. They can also be found through the Major League websites: mlb.com (baseball); nba.com (basketball); nfl.com (football); nhl.com (ice hockey); and mlssoccer.com (soccer).

Major spectator sports

Baseball, because the Major League teams play so many games (162 in the regular season, usually at least five a week from April to September, plus the October playoffs), is probably the easiest sport to catch when travelling. The ballparks – such as Boston’s historic Fenway Park, New York’s famed Yankee Stadium, LA’s glamorous Dodger Stadium or Baltimore’s evocative Camden Yards – are great places to spend time. It’s also among the cheapest sports to watch (from around $10–15 a seat for the bleachers), and tickets are usually easy to come by.

Pro football, the American variety, is quite the opposite. Tickets are exorbitantly expensive and almost impossible to obtain (if the team is any good), and most games are played in huge, fortress-like stadiums far out in the suburbs; you’ll do better stopping in a bar to watch it on TV.

College football is a whole lot better and more exciting, with chanting crowds, cheerleaders and cheaper tickets, which can be hard to obtain in football-crazed college towns in parts of the South and Midwest. Although New Year’s Day games such as the Rose Bowl or the Orange Bowl are all but impossible to see live, big games like USC vs UCLA, Michigan vs Ohio State or Notre Dame vs anybody are not to be missed if you’re anywhere nearby.

Basketball also brings out intense emotions. The protracted pro playoffs run well into June. The men’s month-long college playoff tournament, called “March Madness”, is acclaimed by many as the nation’s most exciting sports extravaganza, taking place at venues spread across the country in many small to mid-sized towns.

Ice hockey, usually referred to simply as hockey, was long the preserve of Canada and cities in the far north of the USA, but now penetrates the rest of the country, with a concentration around the East Coast and Great Lakes. Tickets, particularly for successful teams, are hard to get and not cheap.

Other sports

Soccer remains much more popular as a participant sport, especially for kids, than a spectator one, and those Americans that are interested in it usually follow foreign matches like England’s Premier League, rather than their home-grown talent. The good news for international travellers is that any decent-sized city will have one or two pubs where you can catch games from England, various European countries or Latin America; check out Live Sport TV for a list of such establishments and match schedules.

Golf, once the province of moneyed businessmen, has attracted a wider following in recent decades due to the rise of celebrity golfers such as Tiger Woods and the construction of numerous municipal and public courses. You’ll have your best access at these, where a round of golf may cost from $15 for a beaten-down set of links to around $50 for a chintzier course. Private golf courses have varying standards for allowing non-members to play (check their websites) and steeper fees – over $100 a person for the more elite courses.

The other sporting events that attract national interest involve four legs or four wheels. The Kentucky Derby, held in Louisville on the first Saturday in May, is the biggest date on the horse-racing calendar. Also in May, the NASCAR Indianapolis 500, the world’s largest motor-racing event, fills that city with visitors throughout the month, with practice sessions and carnival events building up to the big race.

Some of the world’s greatest musical genres took root in cities and small towns across America, products of the collisions of European, African and indigenous cultures.

The blues was forged from a combination of African and gospel sounds into a simple twelve-bar form during the late nineteenth century. You can still catch Mississippi blues in Delta juke joints, and electrified urban blues in the gritty clubs of Chicago.

Jazz took root in the Creole culture of New Orleans, blending African traditions with western techniques to create a distinctly American art form. Jazz is still dance music in New Orleans; cooler urban stylings can be enjoyed in clubs in New York.

Nashville remains synonymous with country and western ; outside the cities, rural Appalachia brims with backwoods fiddlers and Louisiana’s sleepy bayous are alive with Cajun and zydeco.

Rock ’n’ roll has come a long way since its blues-based infancy, when young trucker Elvis Presley shook up white country with raw R&B in 1950s Memphis. Spiky New York punk, quirky Ohio industrial, furious LA hardcore, slacker Seattle grunge, and spaced-out neo-psychedelia are but a few of the rock genres that continue to thrive in the USA.

In the 1960s, the heartfelt soul of masters like Otis Redding preceded the explosion of talent that came to define the Motown era, born in Detroit.

Loaded with attitude, street-style and political savvy, hip-hop was born on the streets of New York, and later LA. Today any city with a major black population has a distinctive rap scene, including in the so-called “Dirty South”, where rappers play on the raw call-and-response stylings of early blues.

Modern dance music had its genesis in Chicago house , New York garage and Detroit techno , though club culture is now a global phenomenon.

Top image: Monument Valley © corumov/Shutterstock

Travel advice for USA

From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to USA

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Andy Turner

written by Andy Turner

updated 26.04.2021

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United States Tours & Vacations

A traveller jumps for a photo in Monument Valley in Arizona

With coastlines, forests, deserts and mountains, the United States is an explorer's paradise.

Magical moments are waiting around every corner in The States. From the rugged wilderness and glacial fjords in Alaska to the winding coastal highways in California , the wide array of national parks to the musical streets of New Orleans , this country is simply sprawling. So whether you're hiking, biking, toe-tapping or road-tripping, you can't go wrong exploring the USA the Intrepid way.

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Hiking in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada

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United States departures by month

Browse usa trips by region, browse usa trips by state, browse usa national park tours, united states at a glance, capital city.

Washington DC (population, 712,816)

331.9 million

English, Spanish (although the US has no official languages)

(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

CALLING CODE

Electricity.

Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)

Learn more about United States

Best time to visit united states.

Being such a large country, the weather in the US is different depending on which area you are in. Summer (June to August) is the peak travel season due to school holidays, but it can be uncomfortably hot in the desert areas and the south.

The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn are generally considered to be the best times to visit, but the weather is still highly variable and these may be the wettest times in some parts of the country (such as the Pacific Northwest ). Winter can be cold in the northern states, but quiet in other areas, which can make it a pleasant time to visit.

Read more about the best time to visit the United States

Culture and customs

With immigration playing a major part in the development of America, today the country is made up of many different cultures. It’s no wonder modern America is rich with a variety of cultural traditions, cuisines, religions and festivals. Because of this, a large diversity of holidays are celebrated in America. Annual holidays like  Independence Day  and Thanksgiving are usually celebrated by all regardless of religion or political persuasion, and give people a chance to reconnect with family and friends around the dinner table or grill.

From sports to soul music, popular culture to philosophy, and fine art to folk art, the tastes and desires of Americans vary around the country. A love of sport unifies the nation - it doesn’t matter if you live in a city loft or out in the country, sports like ice hockey, basketball, baseball and football all attract a strong following.

Many Native Americans live on reservations and fight to retain their traditions and preserve their heritage, although when visiting reservations don’t be surprised to see Native Americans wearing modern clothing. With much of the language and many of the customs lost over the years, Native Americans strive to live a life of deep spirituality and in connection with the earth, as their ancestors did for centuries.

Check out our range of  experiences in the United States that amplify BIPOC cultures .

Eating and drinking

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring cheap eats or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world. 

With a variety of international influences, try Creole cuisine in New Orleans, traditional Jewish fare like bagels and pastrami sandwiches in New York, and barbecue in Texas. America’s got everything, from burger joints to taco shacks, organic cafes to refined Michelin-starred restaurants.

Learn more about food in the USA

Geography and environment

From the lush everglades of Florida, through the red-hot deserts of Nevada and on to the urban jungles of New York and Philadelphia, the United States has many different environments and ecosystems within its boundaries. Sharing borders with Canada in the north and Mexico in the south, the United States has deserts, glaciers, freshwater lakes, rapid-filled rivers, mountain ranges, sprawling plains, forested national parks , beaches and bays.

The major national parks of America – Yellowstone, Zion, Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Denali and Joshua Tree offer a glimpse into what much of America looked like before development. Lush vegetation, majestic mountains and sparkling lakes give deer, moose, bears, bison and many other species of wildlife a fertile home to live in. 

When traveling, you’re likely to see modern cities filled with traffic, skyscrapers and high-density housing, as well as sleepy towns, trailer parks and Native American reservations. A complex network of highways connect the major cities, making overland travel a popular choice with visitors and locals alike. The great American road trip is still alive and well.

History and government

As one of the world’s most influential nations, major moments and events in American history ripple throughout the rest of the world. The American people are known for their resilience and irrepressible nature, and it is this spirit that allows them to continue to contribute to the world economically, scientifically and creatively.

In recent history, America has enjoyed the historic highs of the moon landings and the devastating lows of Hurricane Katrina. The world has seen American companies like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Starbucks change the face of the world. And people like Steven Spielberg, Lance Armstrong, Maya Angelou and Sidney Poitier create masterpieces, break records and win countless awards.

Top 10 must-see cities in the US

1. new york.

You can be anyone you want to be in NYC. Indulge your artistic side at MoMA, mingle with the Gordon Geckos on Wall Street, cheer like a pro at a Yankees game or kick back at a bar with a Manhattan and a new pair of Jimmy Choos.

2. San Francisco

San Francisco is made of sunshine, seafood and a whole lot of hills. This is the place to embrace your inner (or outer) bohemian. But it's not all 'flowers in your hair' and free thinking, be sure to take a ferry to Alcatraz and scoff down a clam chowder at Fisherman's Wharf.

3. New Orleans

The Caribbean meets France and Africa in New Orleans. Music is everywhere, and so are the friendly faces. The city comes to life after dark so have an afternoon nap, get some comfortable shoes on and get ready to bar hop the night away.

4. Las Vegas

Hello Lady Luck! Days somehow disappear in the hedonistic blitz of color, light, showgirls, casinos and offers too good to refuse. Try to escape the endless buffets to catch a real Las Vegas show; there's everything from death-defying acrobats to Elvis on offer.

The financial and political powerhouse of Chicago has been the home of two of the most influential people in the world - President Obama and Oprah. Famed for its distinctive architecture, booming performing arts scene and sports-mad locals, the 'Windy City' shouldn't be missed.

The air is warmer, the clothes smaller and the colors are somehow brighter in Miami. Jewish, Latin and Caribbean cultures blend to make a heady mix of great food, even better music and a nightlife filled with the spirit of fiesta. Hang out on perfect beaches, spot classic cars and gaze at the beautiful people as they strut their stuff.

7. Los Angeles

Search beyond the stardust of Hollywood and the excessive price tags of Rodeo Drive, to find the true essence of Los Angeles. Home to a melting pot of cultures, uber-cool restaurants, a hip art scene and the eclectic vibe of Venice Beach, LA is so hot right now!

The birthplace of grunge music and iconic super-companies like Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks, Seattle offers so much more than great coffee. Markets packed with fresh produce, a harbor perfect for boating, vibrant public art and a thriving live music scene combine to make Seattle a must-see city.

History comes alive in the heritage-filled streets of Memphis. Whether it's at Elvis Presley's Graceland, the lively blues clubs and restaurants of Beale Street or the moving Civil Rights Movement Museum, it could be said that the soul of America lives in Memphis.

One of America's oldest cities, Boston is evolving. Working class neighborhoods are being gentrified, the industry is giving way to tech start-ups and modern architectural treasures sit alongside brown-stone buildings. Despite the change, get chatting to locals about the Red Sox and you'll soon find you're definitely in Boston.

It’s no wonder many people choose to do their clothes shopping in the United States. With iconic department stores offering a wide range of labels, and vintage/charity stores stocking American fashion classics like distressed denim jeans and leather cowboy boots, shopping in America is fun. Known for having great sales and even better customer service, it’s well worth leaving room in your backpack for a few extras. Please note that unlike in many other countries, tax isn’t included in the ticketed price.

It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Festivals and events

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, marks the end of the Carnival season in New Orleans. Witness a chaotic collision of lively music, colorful costumes, masquerade masks, soul food and joyful 'krewes' at the parades, parties and masquerade balls in late February every year.

Public holidays that may impact travel include:

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday

Presidents' Day

Memorial Day

Independence Day

Indigenous Peoples' Day

Veterans' Day

Thanksgiving Day

Please note dates of  United States public holidays  may vary.

Similar destinations

We have a variety of similar destinations, trips, and routes that you could consider! Tie another trip into your holiday, or, see how we can help you get from A to B. We have tours departing from all major cities in the United States. The options below may be of interest:

Tours from Los Angeles to San Francisco  

Tours from New York to New Orleans

New Orleans to Atlanta Tours

Tours from Los Angeles

Tours from Las Vegas

Thinking about traveling to California or Florida but need help deciding?

California or Florida?

Top USA travel highlights

1. venture to the wilds of alaska.

Alaska  may be part of the USA, but it feels like another world. With stunning mountain ranges, eclectic wildlife, immense glaciers and an interesting history, this off-track destination is well worth the journey north. Whether you want to go hiking in  Denali , snowshoe across Matanuska Glacier, kayak in  Kenai Fjords  or see the northern lights, adventure awaits.

Explore the Last Frontier on our  10 day Best of Alaska tour.

2. See San Francisco through local eyes

With vibrant, multi-cultural neighbourhoods and iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is a city you could spend weeks exploring. But to really get a feel for the place, you need to explore with a local. Sample the freshest seafood in Fisherman's Wharf, discover the North Beach and Little Italy districts, and dine at some of the locals' favourite spots for dinner.

Roam around Northern California and beyond on our  9 day San Francisco to Seattle trip.

3. Explore phenomenal national parks

From larger-than-life Yosemite to the great gaping chasms of the Grand Canyon , national parks in the States are big, bold and beautiful. Escape the hustle of everyday life and uncover the natural beauty, diverse wildlife and Native American history in the likes of Bryce Canyon, Zion and Yellowstone. Whether you want to hike or cycle, stay in comfy lodges or camp in the wilderness , US national parks offer something for all kinds of adventurers.

4. Track wolves in Yellowstone National Park

The world’s first national park positively brims with more hot springs, mud pots and geysers than you can possibly see in one trip. But one of the most memorable things you can do is rise before dawn to join a  wolf-tracking excursion  with a local guide. As well as learning about one of nature's most intriguing animals, if you're lucky, you may see multiple wolves playing together, eating, or looking after young cubs.

Try your hand at wolf tracking on our  6 day Yellowstone and Grand Teton Adventure  or our  Yellowstone and Grand Teton Family Holiday .

5. Visit the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis

Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins… what legend hasn’t recorded here? Sun Studio in Memphis is one of the pinnacles for music lovers traveling in the States. It’s where rock and roll was born, and where soul music hit the big time via Stax Records. After checking out the studio, head to Beale Street to grab a drink and have a boogie in traditional blues clubs.

Scoot your boots on our  6 day Tennessee Music Trail to New Orleans tour.

6. Take a Navajo jeep tour of Monument Valley

Learn about the cultural heritage and sacredness of Monument Valley from those who know it best. After a jeep adventure with a local Navajo guide, join the locals for an authentic Navajo dinner around a campfire and listen to traditional songs and stories passed down through the generations.

Discover the American West's most iconic landscapes on our  5 day Western USA National Parks Loop tour.

Further reading

United states travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Do I need a visa to travel to United States?

It depends on where you’re from. Many countries now operate under the United States Visa Waiver Program, meaning a visa isn’t required for stays of up to 90 days for travel purposes. There are 40 participating countries, including the United Kingdom , Australia , New Zealand, Germany and Spain.

If you're eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, you must obtain a letter of authorization before you travel to the States. This can be obtained by submitting an application through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation ( ESTA ).

If you’re a national from a non-participating country of the Visa Waiver Program, you must apply for a non-immigrant visa. Please see the Department of State website for more information.

If you have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on or after 1 March 2011, you are ineligible and must apply for a non-immigrant visa instead.

People from a participating country who are also citizens of Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan must also apply for a non-immigrant visa.

Last updated: 6 March 2024 

Is tipping customary in the US?

Tipping is very much a part of the culture in the United States. Tips are expected at restaurants, cafes and diners, as well as by taxi drivers, valet attendants, porters and hotel maids.

People working in the service industry generally receive low wages and therefore rely upon tips as a major source of income.

In general, leave 15 to 20% of the bill at places serving food and a few dollars to bartenders and hotel staff who provide a personal service like carrying bags or cleaning your room.

What is the internet access like in the US?

Internet access is excellent in the US, and internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots are easily found in most cities and major towns.

Can I use my cell phone while in the US?

Cell phone coverage is excellent in most parts of the US although coverage may be patchy in remote, mountainous areas like national parks and canyons. Ensure global roaming is activated before you arrive.

What are the toilets like in the US?

Western-style flushable toilets are the norm in the US.

Can I drink the water in the US?

Drinking water from taps in the US is considered safe unless otherwise marked. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water.

Are credit cards accepted widely in the US?

Major credit cards are widely accepted by stores in the US. Smaller cafes and shops may not accept credit cards, so ensure you carry enough cash to cover small purchases.

What is ATM access like in the US?

ATMs are common in the US, so finding one won't be a problem in most towns and cities.

What kind of transport will I use in the United States?

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun. 

Depending on which trip you're on while in the US, you may find yourself traveling by:

Be amazed by enormous glaciers and stunning, icy landscapes while traveling on a ferry in Alaska.

Use pedal power to see the best of Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Cycling is a great way to see the sights and be active at the same time.

Take in the sights while enjoying a ride on one of San Francisco’s icons – the streetcar.

What sort of accommodation will I stay in while traveling in the United States?

Traveling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavor to provide travelers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible. 

When traveling with us in the US you may find yourself staying in a:

Spend a night sleeping in a hogan – a traditional Navajo structure made of logs, mud and stone and built with an open roof to view the sparkling night sky.

Reconnect with nature and enjoy staying in quaint log cabins throughout the country's beautiful national parks. Fall asleep to the rustling of trees and wake up to the sounds of birds.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Does my trip to the United States support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveler. Trips to the United States directly support our foundation partners, Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance (CHEA) and the Grand Canyon Conservancy.

Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance (CHEA)

Cultural Heritage Economic Alliance (CHEA) create inclusive, equitable opportunities for small Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) tourism businesses in the USA. Donations help CHEA provide access to industry-specific technical assistance, capacity building, and industry networks for small BIPOC travel and tourism businesses through their Diversity Tourism Academy (DTA). Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Find out more or make a donation

The Grand Canyon Conservancy

The Grand Canyon Conservancy is on a mission to protect the Grand Canyon National Park for future generations. With almost 6 million visitors to the park annually, the Grand Canyon Conservancy runs educational programs and immersive experiences that teach people about the park's cultural and environmental significance. Donations support trail restoration and maintenance, conservation and preservation of native vegetation and wildlife, and educational programs. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

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The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for up to 90 days without a visa.

How to check the status of your visa application

Find out how to check the status of your visa application online. And to avoid delays, learn how to update your address if you move while waiting for your visa to be approved.

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If you visit the U.S. for tourism or business, you may need a visitor visa, also known as a tourist visa. Learn how to get and renew this type of nonimmigrant visa.

Form I-94 arrival-departure record for U.S. visitors

Visa Waiver Program forms I-94 and I-94W record the arrival and departure dates of U.S. visitors.

Foreign visitors: what to do if your visa or passport is lost or stolen

If you are in the U.S. and your visa or passport was lost or stolen, learn how to report it and apply for a new one.

COVID-19 international travel advisories

If you plan to visit the U.S., you do not need to be tested or vaccinated for COVID-19.

How to extend your stay in the U.S.

You may be able to extend your stay in the U.S. Learn if you qualify and how to file for an extension.

What happens if your visa application is rejected

Find out what to do if your visa is denied, and learn if you are eligible for a waiver of grounds of inadmissibility.

Entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda

See what travel documents you need to enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda.

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Russia Travel Advisory

Travel advisory september 5, 2023, russia - level 4: do not travel.

Updated to remove COVID-specific information and the kidnapping risk indicator as well as updates to security risks.

Do not travel to Russia due to the unpredictable consequences of the  unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces , the potential for  harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials , the  arbitrary enforcement of local law ,  limited flights into and out of Russia , the  Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia , and the possibility of  terrorism .  U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately.  Exercise increased caution due to  the risk of wrongful detentions.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is severely limited, particularly in areas far from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, due to Russian government limitations on travel for embassy personnel and staffing, and the ongoing suspension of operations, including consular services, at U.S. consulates.

There have been numerous reports of drone attacks, explosions, and fires in areas in Western and Southern Russia, particularly near the Russian border with Ukraine, as well as in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the event of an emergency, U.S. citizens should follow instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately.

In September 2022, the Russian government mobilized citizens to the armed forces in support of its invasion of Ukraine. Russia may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, deny their access to U.S. consular assistance, subject them to mobilization, prevent their departure from Russia, and/or conscript them. 

U.S. citizens should note that U.S. credit and debit cards no longer work in Russia, and options to electronically transfer funds from the United States are extremely limited due to sanctions imposed on Russian banks. There are reports of cash shortages within Russia.

Commercial flight options are extremely limited and are often unavailable on short notice. If you wish to depart Russia, you should make independent arrangements as soon as possible. The U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens to depart the country and transportation options may suddenly become even more limited. Click  here  for Information for U.S. Citizens Seeking to Depart Russia.

U.S. Embassy personnel are generally not permitted to travel on Russian air carriers due to safety concerns.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded the air safety rating for Russia from Category 1 to Category 2 on April 21, 2022, due to Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transport noncompliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. aviation operations into, out of, within, or over those areas of the Moscow Flight Information Region (FIR), the Samara FIR (UWWW) and the Rostov-na-Donu (URRV) FIR within 160NM of the boundaries of the Dnipro (UKDV) Flight Information Regions. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the  Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices .

The right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not consistently protected in Russia. U.S. citizens should avoid all political or social protests and not photograph security personnel at these events. Russian authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who have participated in demonstrations and there are numerous reports Russian nationals have been detained for social media activity. 

Country Summary:

U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel and private citizens engaged in business who are visiting or residing in Russia, have been interrogated without cause and threatened by Russian officials, and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion. 

Russian security services may fail to notify the U.S. Embassy of the detention of a U.S. citizen and unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance. Russian security services are increasing the arbitrary enforcement of local laws to target foreign and international organizations they consider “undesirable.”

Russian security services have arrested U.S. citizens on spurious charges, singled out U.S. citizens in Russia for detention and harassment, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and convicted them in secret trials or without presenting credible evidence. Furthermore, Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against U.S. citizen religious workers and have opened questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Russia to perform work for or volunteer with non-governmental organizations or religious organizations.

There have been multiple security incidents in southwestern Russia related to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. The Russian government declared martial law in Russia’s regions bordering Ukraine (Bryansk, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Rostov, Krasnodar) on October 20, 2022. The martial law regime allows the rapid introduction of restrictive measures such as curfew, seizure of private property, restriction of entry/exit and freedom of movement, internment of foreigners, forced relocation of local residents, and restrictions on public gatherings. U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to these areas.

Recent legislation has expanded the ability of Russian authorities to detain, question, and arrest individuals suspected of acting against Russia’s interests, including posts on personal social media accounts, engaging with foreign and international entities, discrediting the Russian state or military, as well as advocating for the rights of LGBTQI+ persons.

Terrorist groups, both transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs and systems, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. Travel to the North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mt. Elbrus) is prohibited for U.S. government employees and strongly discouraged for U.S. citizens.

The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea as well as four other Ukrainian oblasts – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya – that Russia has purported to annex more recently. There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in these areas. Russia staged its further invasion of Ukraine, in part, from occupied Crimea, and Russia is likely to take further military actions in Crimea, and the four other Ukrainian oblasts are the subject of intensive fighting. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in these regions, particularly against those who are seen as challenging Russia’s authority.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv continues to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Crimea as well as four other Ukrainian oblasts partially occupied by Russia – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya, although the ongoing conflict severely restricts the Embassy’s ability to provide services in these areas.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Russia.

If you decide to travel to Russia:

  • Familiarize yourself with the information on  what the U.S. government can and cannot do to assist you in a crisis overseas .
  • Have a contingency plan in place that does not rely on U.S. government assistance. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Monitor local and international media for breaking events and adjust your contingency plans based on the new information.
  • Ensure travel documents are valid and easily accessible.
  • Visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Russia.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.

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From vaccines to testing: What travelers need to know before the new US travel system on Nov. 8

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  • The U.S. is launching a new travel system on Nov. 8.
  • Vaccinated foreign air travelers will need to show proof of full vaccination and test for COVID-19.
  • The new travel system also adds more stringent testing requirements for unvaccinated U.S. travelers.

The United States is about to make it much easier for vaccinated international travelers to visit.  

The White House announced that a new air travel system will take effect Nov. 8, allowing entry for fully vaccinated foreign tourists .  The system is set to launch nearly two years after the U.S. began imposing travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 . 

The move by the White House will essentially have the U.S. drop its travel ban on dozens of countries while also making entry more challenging for the unvaccinated. The new system will allow entry for foreign nationals only with vaccinations approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization and would add testing requirements for unvaccinated Americans.

Here’s what we know about the new travel requirements:

What are the entry requirements for foreign nationals?

Starting Nov. 8, non-citizen, non-immigrant air travelers   will need to show proof of full vaccination as well as a pre-departure negative coronavirus test taken within three days of travel before they can board a plane to the U.S. 

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include:

  • Digital or paper verifiable record, such as a vaccination certificate or a digital pass with a QR code.  
  • Nonverifiable paper record, such as a printout of a COVID-19 vaccination record or COVID-19 vaccination certificate.
  • Nonverifiable digital record, such as a digital photo of a vaccination card or record, downloaded vaccine record, downloaded vaccination certificate or a mobile phone application without a QR code.  

The U.S. will accept nucleic acid amplification tests, including PCR tests, and antigen tests. The rules will go into effect for passengers on planes leaving for the U.S. at or after 12:01 a.m. ET on Nov. 8.  

Airlines will collect basic personal contact information   from all U.S.-bound travelers for contact tracing. Airlines are required to keep the information on hand so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   can reach out to travelers who may have been infected or exposed to COVID-19.

Masking will be required, but there will be no quarantine mandate for vaccinated travelers or unvaccinated children .

► US  travel bans: How COVID-19 travel restrictions have impacted families and couples

The change will make entering the U.S. possible for travelers from countries now listed on the U.S. travel ban, which prohibits entry for travelers who have been in any of the regions within the past 14 days. The travel ban  took effect in early 2020 and includes :

  • United Kingdom
  • Republic of Ireland
  • South Africa
  • The European Schengen area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City)

Currently, the U.S. asks international air passengers only to get tested within three days of their flight to the U.S. and show either the negative test result or proof of recovery  from COVID-19 before boarding. 

What about the land borders with Mexico and Canada?

New travel rules will also take effect for foreign nationals arriving by land or passenger ferry.

Starting Nov. 8, fully vaccinated foreign nationals can cross the land borders for nonessential reasons such as tourism or visiting friends and family . These travelers will need to verbally attest to their reason for travel and vaccination status and be prepared to show proof of vaccination  upon request. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will accept both digital and paper records showing proof of vaccination, including documents not in English.   Foreign nationals will also need appropriate travel documentation to enter the country.  

CBP will spot-check travelers' vaccination documents, and those without documented proof of vaccination can be denied entry. Travelers under 18 will be exempt from the vaccination requirement as long as they are traveling with a fully vaccinated adult, according to Matthew Davies, CBP's executive director of admissibility and passenger programs.  

The new travel rules will go into effect as soon as a port of entry opens on Nov. 8, or at midnight for ports that operate 24 hours a day changes will go into effect at midnight on Nov. 8 for ports that operation 24 hours a day.  

U.S. citizens reentering the country should also bring a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative document, such as a valid passport, trusted traveler program card, enhanced driver's license or enhanced tribal card. 

Entry rules along the border will change again in early January, with all travelers – including those traveling for essential purposes – required to show proof of full vaccination. 

► US land borders: Travelers in Mexico and Canada plan their next US visit after new land border policy announced

Which vaccines does the US accept for travel?

The CDC has announced that vaccines approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization will be accepted for air travel. White House officials expect the CDC to approve the same vaccines for travelers entering the U.S. by land or ferry.  

The FDA has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use during the pandemic: Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioNTech, the last of which has received the FDA's full stamp of approval.

Vaccines with WHO approval for emergency use include:

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield 

The CDC confirmed that it would accept a mix-and-match approach to vaccinations. Travelers who have any combination of FDA- or WHO-approved vaccines will be considered fully vaccinated.

The new travel policy does not accept foreign travelers who have had COVID and received just one shot in a two-dose series. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the administration will "continue to review" its entry requirements.  

► Covaxin gets WHO emergency approval: Travelers vaccinated with Covaxin can enter US   

► 'You feel lonely and left out': These fully vaccinated travelers want to visit the US. They may not be allowed in.

How do the new rules affect kids? 

Foreign nationals under 18 are exempt from the vaccination requirement. Children under two will not need to take a pre-departure COVID test.

Kids 2 and older traveling with a fully vaccinated adult can test three days prior to departure, while children traveling alone or with unvaccinated adults will need to get tested within one day of departure. 

Currently, all air passengers 2 or older, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents, need to show a negative coronavirus test to fly to the U.S.

What are the entry requirements for Americans?

The new travel system adds more stringent testing requirements for unvaccinated U.S. travelers.

Starting Nov. 8, unvaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will need to take a test one day before departure and test again upon arrival in the U.S. 

► New travel rules: What US travelers need to know about the new COVID rules for international flights

Entry requirements will not change for vaccinated Americans. They will still need to show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than three days before departure. 

Americans will not need to be fully vaccinated to board international flights to the U.S.

Are there any exemptions?

There is a limited set of travelers who are exempt from the vaccine requirement for entry.

Children under 18, certain COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants and travelers with adverse reactions to the vaccines – such as people who have had severe anaphylactic allergic reactions to a prior COVID-19 vaccine –  will be exempt.

People traveling on non-tourist visas from countries with less than 10% of its population vaccinated who need to enter the U.S. for emergency or humanitarian reasons are also exempt from the vaccine requirement. There are about 50 countries considered to have low vaccine availability at this time.

These exempt travelers will generally need to show that they will comply with public health mandates, including a requirement to be vaccinated in the U.S. if they plan to stay more than 60 days.  

Unless they have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days, unvaccinated travelers  must agree to be tested with a COVID-19 viral test three to five days after their arrival and quarantine for seven days, even if their post-arrival test comes back negative. 

Unvaccinated travelers who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents must also agree to self-isolate if their post-arrival test is positive or if they develop COVID-19 symptoms. 

Unvaccinated children under 18 will not need to quarantine but will still need to take a post-arrival test. 

► Who is exempt?: These select groups of unvaccinated foreign travelers can enter the US

The CDC will not give exemptions  to people who object to the vaccinations due to religious or moral convictions. 

There will also be testing accommodations for travelers who can prove they recently recovered from the coronavirus. These travelers will need to show a positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before their flight's departure and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official saying they are cleared for travel.  

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz . 

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How to Visit Russia as an American

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While U.S. citizens are welcomed with visas on arrival to 184 countries around the world, Russia isn’t one of them. American citizens need to obtain a Russian tourist visa before they’re allowed to depart for the country. 

There is one loophole, at least for now: cruise passengers are allowed to visit Russia without a tourist visa for up to 72 hours, presuming they follow a rigid set of rules. 

If you’re an American looking to plan a trip to Russia, here are your travel options.

How to Get a Russian Tourist Visa

Americans looking to visit Russia on tourist visas have two options, a single-entry visa for $113 or a multiple entry visa for $273 dollars. It’s recommended to apply for Russia travel visas 30 to 90 days before departure, but procrastinators can typically pay extra to have visa applications expedited.

The first step in getting a visa to visit Russia is securing a formal invitation. This is easier than it sounds. The Petr Hotel in St. Petersburg, Russia , for example, offers guests visa invitation letters instantly online for a $16 fee. Many hotels, tour operators and travel agents provide similar services.

Once you’ve got your invitation letter, you’ll need to fill out an online Russia tourist visa application , but prepare yourself. The application asks for a detailed log of your past decade of travel abroad as well as for information about your schooling, parents, occupation, and involvement with professional or other organizations. If you’re an avid traveler it might take you awhile.

After completing your application, you'll need to submit it through a visa processing company and pay the required fees. Travisa , CIBT Visas , and Allied Passport & Visa are among the companies you can use. For Travisa, processing fees start at $164, but that’s in addition to the visa fee itself. 

You will need to send in your physical passport and two passport size photos as part of the process. If approved, your passport will be returned to you with a full-page Russian tourist visa. 

Getting a visa to visit Russia can be a good way to avoid the crowds that often accompany large cruise ships and to have more time and freedom to explore on your terms. Lines at the Hermitage Museum and other sites are noticeably shorter once the cruise ships have pulled out of town, leaving a more authentic feeling in St. Petersburg. If you’re looking to visit Moscow and St. Petersburg , you’ll want more than 72 hours and will be best served by having a Russian tourist visa.

Take a Visa-Free Cruise to Russia

Passengers visiting Russia on cruise ships or via ferry services are allowed to stay in the country for up to 72 hours without a visa. This option limits both your time and independence in Russia.

If you’re on a major cruise line that’s making a stop in St. Petersburg, you’ll need to buy a shore excursion from the operator or book a city tour with a local company. You will need to remain with your tour group the entire time you’re on land, so kiss that casual wandering goodbye.

If you opt for the St. Peter Line ferry from Helsinki, you’ll have a little more freedom but not much. You’ll have to either sleep on the ferry or at one of a number of pre-approved hotels. You’ll also need to take the company’s sightseeing bus tour, something that’ll eat into the precious little time you’ll actually have on land.

And while you won’t need a tourist visa, you’ll still have to go through Russian customs, which can be an experience.

It’s worth keeping in mind the St. Peter Line ferry is no luxury cruise ship. Rooms are small and basic, with the most budget-friendly options coming in at around $230, not including extras like the required shore tour, an extra $30 per person. There are restaurants, bars, and a dance club on board, but ships sailing this route look like they’re straight out of the 1990s.

This option will save you visa fees and the hassle of applying for a Russia travel visa, but there is a cost. Ferry schedules typically have passengers arriving in St. Petersburg around 9 a.m. after an overnight journey from Helsinki and departing two days later around 7 p.m., giving visitors a scant 58 hours to explore a sprawling metropolitan area that was Russia's imperial capital for two centuries and remains its cultural capital.

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Allianz Trip Insurance

Travel insurance provided by Allianz Global Assistance

Protect your travel experience

Read about Allianz Trip Insurance’s COVID-19 insurance coverage limitations and accommodations.

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Top reasons to buy trip insurance

  • Financial reimbursement if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip due to a covered illness, injury, jury duty, and more
  • Emergency medical benefits in and outside the U.S. – where many personal health insurance policies (like Medicare) won’t cover you
  • 24-hour emergency assistance to help you solve medical and other travel-related problems on the go

Types of trip insurance plans

Allianz Trip Insurance comes in a variety of plans to fit your specific needs. Single-trip plans can protect one trip, annual plans can protect all your trips for an entire year, and rental car protection plans can keep your budget safe from accidental collision and damage to a rental vehicle.

All insurance is recommended / offered / sold by 3rd party, Allianz Global Assistance, not American Airlines. Underwriter: Jefferson Insurance Company or BCS Insurance Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans. AGA Service Company is a licensed producer in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

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Trip insurance benefits

Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses if you need to cancel your trip due to a covered illness, injury, and more.

Reimburses the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home early or to continue your trip due to a covered illness, injury, and more.

Reimburses expenses related to covered emergency medical or dental care incurred on your trip.

Provides benefits for medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate medical facility following a covered injury or illness.

Reimburses extra meals and accommodations you may need if your flight is delayed for 6 or more hours for a covered reason.

Reimburses you if your luggage is lost, damaged or stolen during your trip—keeping your travel plans on track.

Reimburses the purchase of essential items if your luggage is delayed for more than 24 hours.

Turn your trip into a VIP experience. Our travel experts can give you destination information, make restaurant reservations, find tickets to shows, and more.

Help is just a phone call away. Our team of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with medical and other travel-related emergencies.

Provides primary coverage with no deductible.

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If you’re not completely satisfied, you have 15 days (or more, depending on your state of residence) to request a refund, provided you haven’t started your trip or initiated a claim. Plans are non-refundable after this period.

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Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: 2 Mid America Plaza, Suite 200, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181), rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, depending on your state of residence and plan chosen. A+ (Superior) and A (Excellent) are the 2nd and 3rd highest, respectively, of A.M. Best’s 13 Financial Strength Ratings. Plans only available to U.S. residents and may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company dba Allianz Global Assistance or its affiliates. Allianz Travel Insurance products are distributed by Allianz Global Assistance, the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Plans include insurance benefits and assistance services. Any Non-Insurance Assistance services purchased are provided through AGA Service Company. Except as expressly provided under your plan, you are responsible for charges you incur from third parties. Contact AGA Service Company at 800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive,Richmond, VA 23233 or [email protected]

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PLEASE BE ADVISED: This plan contains insurance benefits (which may include disability and/or health insurance benefits) that only apply during the covered trip. This optional coverage may duplicate coverage already provided by your personal auto, home, renter’s, health, life, personal liability, or other insurance policy or source of coverage but may be subject to different restrictions. You should review the terms of this policy with your existing coverage. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer/health plan or insurance agent/broker. This insurance is not required to purchase any other products/services. Unless licensed, travel retailers and their employees may provide general information about the insurance, including a description of coverage and price, but are not qualified/authorized to answer technical questions about terms, benefits, exclusions, and conditions of the insurance or evaluate the adequacy of existing coverage. Plans are intended for U.S. residents only and may not be available in all jurisdictions. Rental Car Protector is not available to KS and TX residents, except when purchased as a separate policy and is not available in all countries or for all cars. This coverage does not provide liability insurance or comply with any financial responsibility law, or any other law mandating motor vehicle coverage and does not cover you for any injury to another party. Additionally:

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Maryland Residents: The purchase of travel insurance would make the travel insurance coverage primary to any other duplicate or similar coverage. The Commissioner may be contacted to file a complaint at: Maryland Insurance Administration, ATTN: Consumer Complaint Investigation Property/Casualty, 200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700, Baltimore, MD 21202.

Texas Residents: Before deciding whether to purchase this insurance plan, you may wish to determine whether your own automobile insurance or credit card agreement provides you coverage for rental vehicle damage or loss and determine the amount of deductible under your own insurance coverage. The purchase of this insurance plan is not mandatory. This coverage is not all inclusive, which means it does not cover such things as personal injury, personal liability, or personal property. It does not cover you for damages to other vehicles or property. It does not cover you for any injury to any other party.

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American Airlines Backtracks, Will Allow Travel Agency Customers to Keep Earning Miles

Dennis Schaal , Skift

May 29th, 2024 at 3:23 PM EDT

American Airlines tried to drag an entrenched industry toward the airline's vision of a more productive distribution future. But the financial hit stung.

Dennis Schaal

Online and offline travel agencies had faced a July 11 deadline: That’s when flyers buying American Airlines tickets on certain booking sites would have no longer been able to earn AAdvantage Miles.

But American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said Wednesday that the airline has dropped the idea. It was part of an overall retreat in American’s direct-booking strategy as it faces softness in close-in bookings and a weaker financial outlook.

“Next month, we were going to differentiate who earned AAdvantage Miles and who didn’t, based on where they booked. That’s off,” Isom told investors and analysts at a Bernstein conference. “We’re not doing that because it would create confusion and disruption for our end customer, and we’re going to make sure that we take care. We’re listening to feedback.”

The plan had been that the airline would designate “preferred agencies” — who were required to book at least 30% of their flights through American’s New Distribution Capability — and customers of these online and offline travel agencies would have been able to continue to earn AAdvantage miles when buying tickets on these third-party sites.

Travel agencies that didn’t get the airline’s stamp of approval faced the prospect of losing lots of customers who would have had to book American flights on AA.com or a preferred agency.

The airline initially said it would designate preferred agencies by May 1, and later moved that deadline to July 11.

Travel Agency Reaction

Many agencies had no clue if they were going to make the cut.

Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors, had fought the airline’s distribution policies, and applauded the airline’s reversal.

“I’m grateful for American Airlines’ renewed recognition of the essential role that travel advisors play in facilitating air travel for our shared customers,” Kerby said. “I want to extend my thanks to American Airlines CEO Robert Isom for acknowledging its previous approach was flawed. Reversing the decision to withhold AAdvantage points and miles for agency bookings is a testament to the firm position that travel agencies hold in the airline distribution channel.”

Kerby said he welcomed the opportunity to work with American Airlines on a “responsible implementation of its NDC program.”

When the news came, ASTA was coincidentally conducting it annual national conference in Dallas, in the airline’s Fort Worth headquarters back yard.

American hasn’t definitively given up on direct distribution, however.

“We’re learning and adapting,” Isom said. “We know that NDC, modern retailing provides a better experience for the end customer. And we know that we will get there over time, but we have to go about it differently. We’re going to make it easier, we’re going to execute better and we’re going to do a lot more to try to bring people along with us.”

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Tags: aadvantage , american airlines , asta , business travel , distribution , loyalty , ndc , new distribution capability , online travel newsletter , per diem

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USA TODAY

Biden said American weapons would not be used to strike Moscow and the Kremlin

W ASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said in an interview Thursday that U.S. weapons would not be used to strike Moscow and the Kremlin as he commemorated the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

During an interview with ABC News anchor David Muir, Biden was asked whether American weapons were being used inside Russia. Biden recently authorized Ukraine to use U.S.-supplied weapons to return fire against Russian forces attacking them near the Kharkiv region.

"They're authorized to be used in proximity to the border when they're being used on the other side of the border to attack specific targets in Ukraine," Biden told Muir. "We're not authorizing strikes 200 miles into Russia and we're not authorizing strikes on Moscow, on the Kremlin."

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Muir then asked Biden about a statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin made that "the supply of high-precision weapons to Ukraine for strikes on Russian territory is direct participation in this war."

“Does that concern you?” Muir asked.

“I've known him for over 40 years. He's concerned me for 40 years. He's not a decent man," Biden said. "He's a dictator, and he's struggling to make sure he holds his country together while still keeping this assault going.”

“We're not talking about giving them weapons to strike Moscow, to strike the Kremlin, to strike against - just across the border, where they're receiving significant fire from conventional weapons used by the Russians to go into Ukraine to kill…Ukrainians,” he added. 

Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden said American weapons would not be used to strike Moscow and the Kremlin

Russia has made significant gains in eastern Ukraine this month with a new front opened in the Kharkiv area.

Moscow Throws Putin Fanboy Scott Ritter Under the Bus

The former U.N. weapons inspector turned sex offender says he was pulled off a plane heading to Russia.

Allison Quinn

Allison Quinn

News Editor

  Scott Ritter, former chief weapons inspector for the UN Special Commission (UMSCOM)

David McNew/Getty Images

Former U.N. weapons inspector turned sex offender Scott Ritter has made a name for himself parroting Kremlin propaganda about the war against Ukraine.

But if he was hoping Moscow would back him up after he says he was barred from traveling to Russia because Washington is “afraid” of him appearing at a St. Petersburg economic forum, he was apparently sadly mistaken.

While Ritter and his supporters—including Russian media—have played up the notion that his passport was seized because he has the U.S. administration shaking in their boots, the Kremlin did not share in this hysteria.

Asked about the scandal Tuesday, Vladimir Putin ’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov played down Ritter’s claims. He told reporters the “details” about the situation were not clear and that there was nothing unusual about a former intelligence officer facing certain travel restrictions.

“This is practiced in almost all countries in relation to former intelligence officers,” he said.

He added, however, that if Ritter truly was thrown off the flight to stop him speaking in Russia then it was part of a “frenzied campaign to prevent U.S. citizens from establishing at least some contacts with Russia.”

Ritter famously visited Chechnya in January and delivered a pep talk in broken Russian to thousands of troops who’ve been waging war in Ukraine, so he’s already had plenty of “contacts” apparently even with Russian leaders sanctioned by the West.

The State Department has declined to comment on the “status” of Ritter’s passport. Ritter, who was convicted in an underage online sex sting in 2011, told Kremlin-controlled media on Monday that he was pulled off a flight on his way to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where he was slated to speak.

“They took my passport. When asked why, they said ‘orders of the State Department,’” he told RT, later claiming that the real “purpose” of the move was to deprive Russia of his presence.

“They stuck it to the Russians,” he claimed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday that there’s nothing Moscow can do to help Ritter.

“He’s not a Russian citizen,” he said.

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FACT SHEET: President   Biden Announces New Actions to Secure the   Border

New actions will bar migrants who cross our Southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum Biden taking action as Congressional Republicans put partisan politics ahead of national security, twice voting against toughest reforms in decades

Since his first day in office, President Biden has called on Congress to secure our border and address our broken immigration system. Over the past three years, while Congress has failed to act, the President has acted to secure our border. His Administration has deployed the most agents and officers ever to address the situation at the Southern border, seized record levels of illicit fentanyl at our ports of entry, and brought together world leaders on a framework to deal with changing migration patterns that are impacting the entire Western Hemisphere.  Earlier this year, the President and his team reached a historic bipartisan agreement with Senate Democrats and Republicans to deliver the most consequential reforms of America’s immigration laws in decades. This agreement would have added critical border and immigration personnel, invested in technology to catch illegal fentanyl, delivered sweeping reforms to the asylum system, and provided emergency authority for the President to shut down the border when the system is overwhelmed. But Republicans in Congress chose to put partisan politics ahead of our national security, twice voting against the toughest and fairest set of reforms in decades. President Biden believes we must secure our border. That is why today, he announced executive actions to bar migrants who cross our Southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum. These actions will be in effect when high levels of encounters at the Southern Border exceed our ability to deliver timely consequences, as is the case today. They will make it easier for immigration officers to remove those without a lawful basis to remain and reduce the burden on our Border Patrol agents. But we must be clear: this cannot achieve the same results as Congressional action, and it does not provide the critical personnel and funding needed to further secure our Southern border. Congress still must act. The Biden-Harris Administration’s executive actions will:   Bar Migrants Who Cross the Southern Border Unlawfully From Receiving Asylum

  • President Biden issued a proclamation under Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a) suspending entry of noncitizens who cross the Southern border into the United States unlawfully. This proclamation is accompanied by an interim final rule from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security that restricts asylum for those noncitizens.
  • These actions will be in effect when the Southern border is overwhelmed, and they will make it easier for immigration officers to quickly remove individuals who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States.
  • These actions are not permanent. They will be discontinued when the number of migrants who cross the border between ports of entry is low enough for America’s system to safely and effectively manage border operations. These actions also include similar humanitarian exceptions to those included in the bipartisan border agreement announced in the Senate, including those for unaccompanied children and victims of trafficking.

Recent Actions to secure our border and address our broken immigration system: Strengthening the Asylum Screening Process

  • The Department of Homeland Security published a proposed rule to ensure that migrants who pose a public safety or national security risk are removed as quickly in the process as possible rather than remaining in prolonged, costly detention prior to removal. This proposed rule will enhance security and deliver more timely consequences for those who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States.

Announced new actions to more quickly resolve immigration cases

  • The Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security launched a Recent Arrivals docket to more quickly resolve a portion of immigration cases for migrants who attempt to cross between ports of entry at the Southern border in violation of our immigration laws.
  • Through this process, the Department of Justice will be able to hear these cases more quickly and the Department of Homeland Security will be able to more quickly remove individuals who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States and grant protection to those with valid claims.
  • The bipartisan border agreement would have created and supported an even more efficient framework for issuing final decisions to all asylum seekers. This new process to reform our overwhelmed immigration system can only be created and funded by Congress.

Revoked visas of CEOs and government officials who profit from migrants coming to the U.S. unlawfully

  • The Department of State imposed visa restrictions on executives of several Colombian transportation companies who profit from smuggling migrants by sea. This action cracks down on companies that help facilitate unlawful entry into the United States, and sends a clear message that no one should profit from the exploitation of vulnerable migrants.
  • The State Department also imposed visa restrictions on over 250 members of the Nicaraguan government, non-governmental actors, and their immediate family members for their roles in supporting the Ortega-Murillo regime, which is selling transit visas to migrants from within and beyond the Western Hemisphere who ultimately make their way to the Southern border.
  • Previously, the State Department revoked visas of executives of charter airlines for similar actions.

Expanded Efforts to Dismantle Human Smuggling and Support Immigration Prosecutions

  • The Departments of State and Justice launched an “Anti-Smuggling Rewards” initiative designed to dismantle the leadership of human smuggling organizations that bring migrants through Central America and across the Southern U.S. border. The initiative will offer financial rewards for information leading to the identification, location, arrest, or conviction of those most responsible for significant human smuggling activities in the region.
  • The Department of Justice will seek new and increased penalties against human smugglers to properly account for the severity of their criminal conduct and the human misery that it causes.
  • The Department of Justice is also partnering with the Department of Homeland Security to direct additional prosecutors and support staff to increase immigration-related prosecutions in crucial border U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Efforts include deploying additional DHS Special Assistant United States Attorneys to different U.S. Attorneys’ offices, assigning support staff to critical U.S. Attorneys’ offices, including DOJ Attorneys to serve details in U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in several border districts, and partnering with federal agencies to identify additional resources to target these crimes.

Enhancing Immigration Enforcement

  • The Department of Homeland Security has surged agents to the Southern border and is referring a record number of people into expedited removal.
  • The Department of Homeland Security is operating more repatriation flights per week than ever before. Over the past year, DHS has removed or returned more than 750,000 people, more than in every fiscal year since 2010.
  • Working closely with partners throughout the region, the Biden-Harris Administration is identifying and collaborating on enforcement efforts designed to stop irregular migration before migrants reach our Southern border, expand investment and integration opportunities in the region to support those who may otherwise seek to migrate, and increase lawful pathways for migrants as an alternative to irregular migration.

Seizing Fentanyl at our Border

  • Border officials have seized more fentanyl at ports of entry in the last two years than the past five years combined, and the President has added 40 drug detection machines across points of entry to disrupt the fentanyl smuggling into the Homeland. The bipartisan border agreement would fund the installation of 100 additional cutting-edge inspection machines to help detect fentanyl at our Southern border ports of entry.
  • In close partnership with the Government of Mexico, the Department of Justice has extradited Nestor Isidro Perez Salaz, known as “El Nini,” from Mexico to the United States to face prosecution for his role in illicit fentanyl trafficking and human rights abuses. This is one of many examples of joint efforts with Mexico to tackle the fentanyl and synthetic drug epidemic that is killing so many people in our countries and globally, and to hold the drug trafficking organizations to account.

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    From the rugged wilderness and glacial fjords in Alaska to the winding coastal highways in California, the wide array of national parks to the musical streets of New Orleans, this country is simply sprawling. So whether you're hiking, biking, toe-tapping or road-tripping, you can't go wrong exploring the USA the Intrepid way. Overview. Our trips.

  17. Visit the U.S. as a tourist

    Entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. See what travel documents you need to enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda. To visit the U.S. as a tourist, learn about tourist visas, ESTA, I-94, and visa waivers. Learn how to extend your stay in the U.S.

  18. Russia Travel Advisory

    Travel Advisory. September 5, 2023. Russia - Level 4: Do Not Travel. O D U T. Updated to remove COVID-specific information and the kidnapping risk indicator as well as updates to security risks. Do not travel to Russia due to the unpredictable consequences of the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the ...

  19. Best Places to Visit in the USA for 2023-2024

    Las Vegas. #27 in Best Places to Visit in the USA for 2023-2024. Sin City astounds travelers with its smorgasbord of offerings. Whether you choose to spend your trip testing your luck at its ...

  20. What travelers need to know about the new US travel requirements

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  21. Travel All Russia: the Leading Russian Travel Agency

    The world-leading company for tours to Russia. To this day, we have organized more than 200,000 trips to Russia, private and small group, Trans-Siberian and Volga river cruises. Our tours have become the golden standard for the industry of inbound travel to Russia. Each year, we take thousands to Russia and show them the very best of this ...

  22. How to Visit Russia as an American

    Americans looking to visit Russia on tourist visas have two options, a single-entry visa for $113 or a multiple entry visa for $273 dollars. It's recommended to apply for Russia travel visas 30 to 90 days before departure, but procrastinators can typically pay extra to have visa applications expedited. The first step in getting a visa to ...

  23. Allianz Trip Insurance − Plan travel − American Airlines

    Allianz Trip Insurance comes in a variety of plans to fit your specific needs. Single-trip plans can protect one trip, annual plans can protect all your trips for an entire year, and rental car protection plans can keep your budget safe from accidental collision and damage to a rental vehicle. All insurance is recommended / offered / sold by ...

  24. US Embassy warns Americans to leave Russia

    The US Embassy in Moscow issued a security alert overnight that again urged US citizens to leave Russia immediately while there are still options for departing the country.

  25. American Airlines Will Allow Travel Agency Customers to Earn Miles

    American Airlines tried to drag an entrenched industry toward the airline's vision of a more productive distribution future. But the financial hit stung. Online and offline travel agencies had ...

  26. The Best Annual Travel Insurance Of 2024

    Best Annual Travel Insurance for 2024. GeoBlue Trekker Choice - Best for Travel Medical Insurance. GeoBlue Trekker Essential - Best for Cost. Trawick International Safe Travels Annual Basic ...

  27. Biden said American weapons would not be used to strike Moscow ...

    W ASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said in an interview Thursday that U.S. weapons would not be used to strike Moscow and the Kremlin as he commemorated the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy.

  28. Moscow Throws Putin Fanboy Scott Ritter Under the Bus

    Former U.N. weapons inspector turned sex offender Scott Ritter has made a name for himself parroting Kremlin propaganda about the war against Ukraine. But if he was hoping Moscow would back him up ...

  29. FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces New Actions to Secure the Border

    President Biden believes we must secure our border. That is why today, he announced executive actions to bar migrants who cross our Southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum. These actions ...

  30. Live updates: D-Day 80th anniversary in Normandy, Biden, Macron

    World leaders and veterans marked the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France, on Thursday.; On June 6, 1944, Allied troops from the United States, United Kingdom, France ...