With so many things to see and do, it's little wonder that the USA is the third most popular tourist destination for Australians, with 931,900 short-term Australian visitors for the year ending October 2013i. Making sure you have sufficient travel insurance is important so that you can enjoy your holiday, knowing that you are financially secure if you suffer from an unexpected medical emergency or theft while overseas.
One of the main risks for travellers to the USA is petty crime such as pick-pocketing and other forms of theftii. Travel insurance can protect you from financial loss if your valuables or cash are stolen while overseas. The USA poses extra dangers to travellers: over 1.2 million violent crimes reported in the USA in 2012iii and medical costs are high.
Medical facilities are of a high quality in the USA, but they are also extremely costly. Health insurance or proof of ability to pay is required otherwise you may have to pay up-frontii. Even the most routine of checkups can cost several hundred dollars, and a day in hospital can cost anywhere from US$1,500-$12,500iv. If you were unfortunate enough to experience severe medical complications, you may also require a medical evacuation back to Australia, which can range from $75,000-$300,000ii. Travel insurance can cover you if you require emergency medical assistance during your travels.
Before leaving for the USA, it is important to have all your routine vaccinationsv. Check with your local doctor in case you require a certain vaccination. The USA is free of many diseases, but a few places in the south are susceptible to dengue fever. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, which carry the disease, by wearing mosquito repellent and loose-fitting clothingvi,vii,viii.
Transportation around the United States is fairly easy, with a range of options including plane, train, bus and car. Renting a car can be a good way to travel around the USA, which you can do for up to 12 months using an Australian driver's licenceix. Motor insurance is a legal requirement in the USA, which can be conveniently purchased from your rental car company. If you are involved in an accident, Allianz Travel Insurance can help cover the excess on your rental car.
Domestic air travel is widely available and can be inexpensive. The Amtrak train system offers a relaxing and scenic alternative way of seeing America, while long distance buses offer a cheap way to travel between major urban centresix. Many major cities have a comprehensive transport system of buses, subways and taxisix. If you travel on the public transport system, keep your valuables safe and be aware of petty theft.
Travel Insurance can help protect you so that your holiday isn't spoilt by unexpected events such as theft or medical emergency. Choose the travel insurance policy that suits your needs best: Allianz offers Comprehensive Travel Insurance and Frequent Traveller Insurance for your trip overseas. Contact Allianz for a quote in minutes today!
Want more information on travel insurance and travelling to the USA? See our travel guide for the USA and visit the Australian Government Smartraveller website.
i Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, 3401.0 Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, June 2013, viewed 11 December 2013, http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3401.0Oct%202013?OpenDocument
ii Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Smartraveller) 2013, United States of America, viewed 12 December 2013, http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/United_States_of_America
iii Federal Bureau of Investigation 2013, Latest Crime Stats Released: Violent Crime Up, Property Crime Down, viewed 12 December 2013, http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/september/latest-crime-stats-released/latest-crime-stats-released
iv International Federation of Health Plans 2012, 2012 Comparative Price Report - Variation in Medical and Hospital Prices by Country, p.9, viewed 12 December 2013, http://static.squarespace.com/static/518a3cfee4b0a77d03a62c98/t/51dfd9f9e4b0d1d8067dcde2/1373624825901/2012%20iFHP%20Price%20Report%20FINAL%20April%203.pdf
v World Health Organization 2013, International travel and health: Vaccines, viewed 12 December 2013, http://www.who.int/ith/vaccines/en/
vi World Health Organization 2013, International Travel and Health Interactive, viewed 12 December 2013, http://apps.who.int/ithmap/
vii Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Dengue fever, viewed 12 December 2013, http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Dengue_fever
viii Better Health Channel, Victorian Government 2013, Mosquitoes - beat the bite!, viewed 12 December 2013, http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Beat_the_bite
ix Discover America 2013, Transportation within the USA, viewed 12 December 2013, (www.discoveramerica.com/usa/travel-information/transportation-within-the-us.aspx)