Safety, security and health in America
Should you have any problems during your tour, then your tour guide will be able to assist you, however, below is some general health and safety information before and during your trip.
The Department of Health does not make any specific health recommendations for visitors to the USA. However, you may also like to check with your doctor before departure. The United States has no national health service and no reciprocal health agreement with the UK, so you must have full medical insurance to cover the cost of any possible treatment required. For example, if hospitalised, charges may typically be $1000-$2000 per day.
Visitors carrying medication should make sure that they also carry a doctor’s certificate in order to avoid problems with customs, as well as noting the comments on taking liquids onto aeroplanes in the section on Prohibited Items.
A range of comprehensive medical and personal holiday insurances, from short stays to annual and multi-trip policies, with leading provider Aria Assistance, is available through Carefree Travel Service.
Safety and security
While the USA is a stunning and remarkable country to visit and most Americans are among the most welcoming, hospitable and polite people you are likely to meet anywhere, it is sensible to be aware of the following:
As anywhere in the world, it is prudent to be generally vigilant about your property, both in terms of your motorhome and personal belongings. No one wants unnecessary trouble while on the holiday of a lifetime. In particular:
- Avoid leaving your door open at any time when your vehicle is unattended.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewellery and carrying valuable items in run-down areas.
- Do not sleep in your vehicle by the roadside or in rest areas.
- Avoid leaving valuable items on display in your vehicle.
- Try to stay on main roads and use well-lit car parks.
- If hit from behind while driving, indicate to the other driver to follow you to a public place and call 911 for police help.
The US department of Homeland Security operates a colour code system (green-blue-yellow-orange-red) for its assessment of the current terrorist threat to the country. You can see the current level and learn more about the meaning of the various alert levels by visiting the Homeland Security website. You should also monitor news reports before and during your trip to the USA.
As in any other country, you should be particularly vigilant in high-profile public places and report anything suspicious immediately to the authorities.
Keep relatives informed of your intended itinerary and be sure to top up your fuel and water before travelling into sparsely populated areas.
Please remember that the above information is intended to inform rather than to alarm and applies to a country that occupies much of a continent. Around four million British visitors per year enjoy a wonderful, trouble-free stay in the US.
Accuracy of information
The information provided here was correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing (12 July 2012).