What to Bring

If you have never visited the United States before, here are some recommendations about what you may wish to bring with you.

  • Adapter plug. (U.S. electrical line voltage is 110/120 Volt AC, 60 Hz.)
  • Binoculars
  • ​Cameras
  • Camcorders
  • English phrase book
  • Family photos
  • Guidebooks
  • Travel Health insurance information
  • International Drivers License
  • Medicines (left in their original containers and clearly labeled)
  • Paper, pens and pencils
  • Passports, visas, and any other travel documents
  • Toiletries
  • Reading material in your own language

What Clothing Should You Bring

Although the climates of the eleven states are similar, there are some variations in the weather, spring and autumn seasons across the region offer the most comfortable temperatures with summers very hot and generally humid. Winters are generally mild with occasional ice and snow storms in some areas. Depending on the time of year you travel, you may want to bring these items:

  • Bathing suit
  • Casual clothes
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Dress clothes (if you plan on going to certain restaurants, or other events
  • Jackets
  • ​Sweater (Although it is hot in the summer, most buildings are air-conditioned.)

Items You Shouldn't Bring

It's best not to bring anything you can't replace, anything you would hate to lose, and anything that is prohibited and restricted. These can include the following:

  • Valuable or expensive-looking jewelry
  • ​Irreplaceable family objects
  • All unnecessary credit cards
  • Unneeded items that may be in your wallet
  • For a list and explanation of prohibited and restricted items, click here

A Few Last Tips

  • Don't be concerned if you forget to pack something because you will always be able to purchase what you need once you arrive.
  • Make sure you keep all of your medicines and valuables with you, and do not pack them in baggage that will be checked.
  • In case of an emergency at home, be sure that you leave a copy of your itinerary with family or friends so that they can contact you in the U.S.
  • ​It is advisable to make two photocopies of your passport identification page, airline tickets, and credit cards you plan to take. Pack one copy separately from the originals, and leave the other copy with family and friends.

Helpful Links and Resources for Visitors

Alabama Tourism Department P.O. Box 4927
Montgomery, AL 36130
Phone: 334-242-4169 Fax: 334-242-4554
Arkansas Department of
Parks & Tourism
One Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-7777 Fax: 501-682-1364
Georgia Department of
Economic Development
75 Fifth Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
Phone: 404-962-4000 Fax: 404-962-2093
Kentucky Department of
Travel and Tourism
Capital Plaza Tower, Suite 2200
500 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40601-1968
Phone: 502-564-4930 Fax: 502-564-5695
Louisiana Office of Tourism P.O. Box 94291
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9291
Phone: 225-342-8100 Fax: 225-342-1051
Mississippi Development Authority,
Tourism Division
P.O. Box 849
Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601-359-3297 Fax: 601-359-5757
North Carolina Division of Tourism,
Film and Sports Development
4324 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4324
Phone: 919-733-4171 Fax: 919-733-8582
South Carolina Department of Parks,
Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-734-1700 Fax: 803-734-0138
Tennessee Department of
Tourist Development
320 Sixth Ave. North
5th Floor, Rachel Jackson Bldg.
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615-741-2159 Fax: 615-741-7225
Virginia Tourism Corporation 901 East Byrd Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-545-5500 Fax: 804-545-5501
West Virginia Division of Tourism 90 MacCorkle Avenue, SW
South Charleston, WV 25303
Phone: 304-558-2200 Fax: 304-558-0108

 

Exchange Rates

Exchange Rates

The currency of the United States is the dollar, also known as the American dollar. It is advisable to have some U.S. currency already with you when you enter the country. Although you will be able to exchange money at the airport, the rate of exchange there is usually much lower than what you can find elsewhere.

Where to Exchange Currency

The most important thing to bear in mind when exchanging currency into U.S. dollars is safety. Airports and banks are the safest places to exchange your currency once you are in the United States.

ATM Locators

Another way to exchange currency is through ATM’s that are affiliated with a major bank or credit card. Bear in mind, however, that you might be charged a fee by both the U.S. bank and your bank at home for making the exchange. You might want to consider exchanging your currency in larger sums to avoid incurring additional fees.

Visa and MasterCard are known worldwide so using their ATM’s is usually recommended. You might find their ATM locator links helpful.

MasterCard/Cirrus ATM Locator and Visa ATM Locator

Check Current Exchange Rates

Before exchanging cash, you should research the best exchange rates and always be mindful of commission fees. There are a number of online sites that can be of assistance. Because the currency exchange rates change daily, it is a good idea to check the sites regularly.

For up to date exchange rates visit: exchangerate.com or xe.com (This site also has a currency exchange calculator.)

Traveling with Credit Cards

By far the best way to avoid carrying a lot of money around with you is to have a credit card. However, before you leave home, be sure to check what kind of fee the credit card company may levy for foreign usage.

Have a great time! We are happy to welcome you to the Southern USA.