Traveling with the lads to another country can be a one-off experience. Not only will you get to live with your friends but anything can happen in the U.S of A. You'll have the time of your life but there's no harm in taking a few precautions. Here is some J1 advice you should follow:
Go without travel insurance
Healthcare in the US is extremely expensive and insurance matters. The likes of 123.ie offer insurance coverage for travelers with different plans depending on the persons' needs. Insurance cover doesn't just mean your belongings will be protected. If you fail an exam while you're in America insurance companies can cover the costs of changing your flight home. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade offers a fully comprehensive list of what your travel insurance should cover. You may already be insured from your health insurance so check that out too.
Exchange money at the airport
The exchange rate at airports is notoriously high! Don't get stung by paying some corporation your hard earn money. Go to your local Credit Union and they'll sort you out by exchanging your euros into dollars. An Post offers a PostFX Currency card which is similar to a credit card. You preload the card with euros that are converted to dollars. The card is chip and pin protected and not linked to your bank account.
Avoid the law
Even though you're an Irish citizen you are still bound by US law. If you’re arrested you’ll have to go through the local justice system, which could mean fines, jail time and deportation. Ignorance about US law is not a defense. Laws change from state to state. A lot of places in the US have strict laws about tobacco. In certain areas of California, you cannot smoke in public and you will get death stares or a fine. In San Diego, it’s illegal to drink in public or outside. The last thing you want to do is end up drunk on the roof of a skyrise building in a gorilla costume (I swear this didn't happen to me).
Be an obvious tourist
If you're planning on walking around with a giant map the size of Co. Louth you might want to calm yourself. Leave the bumbag at home. Your phone should be able to give you directions in airplane mode or pop into one of those popular places called Starbucks.
Cheaper isn't always better
If you're planning on going on a trip when you finished working plan ahead. Don't book a dodgy bus service with a broken toilet - You might end up sitting on that bus for 30 plus hours! Flying state to state can be cheaper if you book in advance. If you want to take the bus use well-known services such as Greyhound. JetBlue and Spirit are two of the cheapest airlines to fly state to state with.
- Embrace your Irishness
- Discover as much as you can
- Visit your local tourist office
- Buy a burner phone
- Take the official taxi
- Understand your local public transport
- Understand everything about your J1 job
- Bring clothes that dry quickly
- Mind your manners
- Have Mammy on speed dial
Or you could just scrap all our advice and wing the entire thing. Life's for taking chances right? Your best bet is to save this article - just in case...