USA Travel Tips
The following offers USA travel tips about money, sales taxes, and tipping practices to help you get around easily and conveniently on your New England holiday.
Banks are usually open during office hours: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A few will open on Saturday mornings. The ATMs (cash machines) at banks are open 24 hours and are often available in supermarkets.
Cash machines, or ATMs as they are called, are plentiful. To find Mastercard/Maestro/Cirrus dispensers call toll-free in the USA: 1-800-MC-ASSIST (1-800-622-7747). For the Visa/Plus System call toll-free in USA: 1 800 843 7587.
The major international credit cards (American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover) are widely accepted. However, in the USA debit cards from overseas are sometimes not accepted for payment.
Take travelers’ cheques in US dollars, rather than foreign currency, and have a mixture of small and larger denominations. You can use them like dollars in shops and restaurants. Outside major cities, few banks are ready to exchange foreign currency. Exchange bureaus, usually in airports or city centers, tend to charge a high commission.
Tax on purchases such as accommodation and meals is added at the time of paying. Although the rate varies from state to state, the taxes on clothing and shoes are low or non-existent, as follows:
- Connecticut: 6.35% sales tax
- Maine: 5.5% sales tax
- Massachusetts: none on items under $175
- New Hampshire: no sales tax
- Rhode Island: no sales tax
It is standard practice to leave a 15%-20% tip for a meal or taxi. Allow a dollar per bag for a helpful bellhop.