LOT Polish Airlines is behind the “without a visa to the US” campaign, which aims to lower the number of rejected visa applications, in order for Poland to be allowed to enter the Visa Waiver Program. It’s entirely realistic that it could happen within the next year or two, meaning that Poles would finally be able to enjoy the benefits of visa-free travel to USA. For the purposes of the campaign, LOT has launched a website www.bezwizdousa.pl, where people are able to get familiar with the details of how to correctly fill out a visa application while also allowing Poles to explore the many interesting travel destinations that America has to offer.
According to official statistics, it’s highly unlikely for a Pole to be denied a visa to the U.S. Only 5 out of 100 fail to obtain a visa after aapplying. Once the traveller has received the visa, some practical information about what to expect after the arrival in the U.S. is usually appreciated, especially for first-time travellers.
ELECTRICITY: First of all, remember to pack down a travel adapter Due to the differences between the Polish and American power grid, don’t expect to be able to charge electronic devices bought in Poland or Europe once in the U.S. It’s worth buying the necessary adapter already in Poland, but it isn’t difficult either to buy one in USA.
AMERICAN DOLLARS: Cash is always useful and it’s best to exchange some Polish zloty into dollars before going to the airport. The exchange rate will be easier on your wallet. A card operated by American ATMs will also be useful. Visit your local bank well ahead of the planned trip to get the necessary information.
TAX SYSTEM: When shopping inr US stores, it should not surprise us when it turns out that the price at the cash register is different from the one seen on the shelf. All this is due to VAT being added for the total price first at the cash register. The tax rate can be differ quite significantly from state to state. In many states, the level is around 7% but in some states, such as Delaware or Oregon, VAT on purchased goods amounts to exactly 0%.
ROADS: The car is the king in the United States – there is not a grain of exaggeration in this statement. We shouldn’t be surprised if people will give us distances not in kilometers or miles, but in the amount of hours needed to overcome them. Most of the highways don’t come with a cost for the motorist, especially in the western parts of the country. The farther east we travel though the more likely that we will eventually come across a toll booth. Payments are usually collected at the exit of a highway and amount to approximately PLN 10 for 100 miles (160 km). Trips across certain bridges or tunnels can also come with a cost.
While travelling by car on American roads, pay attention to “carpool” lanes in which only cars with with a driver and a passenger or passengers are allowed to drive. Parking in the USA is not the cheapest – especially in big cities. Due to the large number of cars, finding a parking space in the city center can take some time. In rush hour, traffic jams can significantly change the estimated time of arrival. Due to the long distances travelled, the issue of gasoline is crucial in the U.S. and Americans are fighting for the price to stay low to a far higher degree than in most European countries. Compared to Polish prices, gas is much cheaper. One liter in the U.S. currently costs around cost only around 70 cents (2,7 zlotys).
As a result, renting a car and going on a road trip will allow you to see much of what USA has to offer and it won’t be as expensive as you might think.
Get a visa, pack a bag and fly to the U.S. to explore all that the country has to offer. Safe travels!