US travel – Visitors Health Insurance Visitors Health Insurance Fri, 14 Dec 2018 11:42:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tips to Stay Healthy During Winter Travel to The US Wed, 12 Dec 2018 11:12:48 +0000 Winter is a great time for travel to the US, but it can bring with it harsh weather conditions and a host of health concerns, especially for those who are not used to living in such cold climes.

Travelers from warm or tropical regions who hardly experience sub-zero temperatures in their home country are more susceptible to infections and other medical problems in this type of situation.

Winter Travel

Here we have for you some essential tips to keep you safe and healthy while you enjoy your time in the US during the winter season.

Tips to Follow When You are En Route

  • Stay hydrated – It is the best way to avoid getting sick en route. Water helps to keep your body systems functioning well and supports digestion. And if you want to make sure that your skin does not get flaky and dry, drink lots of water.
  • The antidote to alcohol – Alcohol is seriously dehydrating, so if you plan to drink during a long flight to the US, make sure to follow it up with adequate amounts of H2O!
  • Supplements – Vitamin B complex can boost your strength, fight fatigue, and provide relief from stress during air travel.
  • Hot natural drinks – Another tip is to pack your own teabags! Hot water is available almost everywhere, free of cost and so you will always have something you enjoy, to sip on. Feel nauseous during traveling? Ginger always works! It has proven anti-inflammatory effects as well. Tea with licorice roots is soothing to the throat, the digestive system and works wonders to calm your mind.
  • Snacking – Make sure to pack healthy snacks that are high on nutrients, fiber or protein, like whole grain crackers, cheese, apples and almonds to help you avoid gorging on sweets and such simple carbohydrates, that can contribute to inflammation as well as blood sugar swings.
  • Exercise – During the journey make sure to stretch every once in a while – whether it a quick stop at a gas station, or a walk down the airplane aisle, to avoid stiffening and swelling of the joints.
  • Hand sanitizer – Are you germophobic? Don’t forget to bring your own hand sanitizer because millions of people use the same seats, drinking fountains, and bathrooms during travel every day.

Preventing Cold, Flu, and Sinuses

  • Consult with your doctor, and if he allows, make sure to carry some Vitamin C supplements with you.
  • Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple, when taken with Vitamin C, helps to thin the mucous and decrease any inflammation.
  • Charcoal tablets (not capsule) help to absorb and flush out any unwelcome ‘invaders’. Sucking on zinc lozenges will help kill the germs and also raise the lymphocyte count in your blood, thus increasing your immunity.
  • Apart from reducing your nauseous feeling, ginger tea also clears your sinuses, and supports the immune system.
  • Salt water sniffs are really effective in getting rid of the bacteria and viruses in the nose and nasopharynx, which may otherwise cause infection.

Additional Tips for Your US Travel

  1. Pack your clothes appropriately

In a geographically expansive country such as the US, the weather can significantly vary from one place to another.

Do your research and pack your clothes in accordance to the place you will be visiting. For many US regions, wearing only one jacket or sweater will not suffice during the winter months. Plan to dress in layers for better protection.

  1. Stay dry

Wearing wet clothes chills the body and makes you more susceptible to catching frostbite or hypothermia. So when exposed to sleet, ice or snow, make sure to cover yourself with waterproof clothing.

  1. Tread carefully

Icy road surfaces and sidewalks can be very slippery and are a common reason for falls and injuries in winters. Make sure to tread carefully while you are there.

  1. Monitor your heart rate

The cold weather can affect your heart in adverse ways – it increases your blood pressure and the risk of heart attack. The elderly are especially susceptible to it, and make sure to monitor your heart rate and take preventive measures.

  1. Asthmatic episodes can occur

The cold weather is hard on people with asthma. So if you have a respiratory ailment, it is prudent to be prepared for the occurrence of an asthmatic episode. Watch your physical activity, take extra precautions when outside, and always carry your inhaler.

  1. Wind Chill – the cold truth

Be sure to take into consideration the wind chill. Wind chill, which is the temperature that your body feels, is always lower than the actual thermometer reading. Check the wind chill in the area in advance and dress appropriately.

  1. Stay hydrated

Your body is as likely to lose water in winter as it is in summer. So, drink plenty of water during your visit to the US, and stay hydrated. Hot tea is also a salient option.

Buy Adequate Visitors’ Insurance Coverage

Children, elderly travelers, and other individuals with frail health should take special precautions while traveling to the US during the winter months. Medical expenses in the US for visitors can be extremely high and remember that accidents or illnesses can happen anywhere at any time.

Protect yourself and loved ones by purchasing a good visitors’ insurance plan to have a safe and hassle-free trip to the United States.

All You Need to know About Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Tue, 10 Oct 2017 07:39:59 +0000 Individuals who are VISA waiver program travelers are required to have an approved travel authorization from Homeland Security, which is called ESTA. This allows those with a VISA board a plane or vessel headed to the United States.

Having an ESTA does not guarantee entry into the United States. Once in the U.S., individuals must establish their eligibility to be in the country during the inspection process by a port of entry officer.

About the VISA Waiver Program

The VISA waiver program is a program of the U.S. government. It enables citizens and nationals to enter the country if they are coming from any of the approved 38 countries.


The benefit of being in the VISA waiver program (VWP) is that you can travel to the U.S. whenever you’d like without having to go through the process of getting the VISA. However, anyone who is travelling by air or sea will need to apply and receive a travel authorization (ESTA).

Who Must Apply for a ESTA
You must apply for an ESTA if:

  • You are in the VWP.
  • You do not have a visitor’s visa.
  • You’re traveling in the U.S. for 90 days or less.
  • You’re planning to visit the U.S. for business or trouble.
  • You want a new authorization for someone or a group of people.

All foreign individuals, except those living in Canada with a Canadian passport, must apply for an ESTA. If you’re a landed immigrant of Canada, you do need to have an ESTA if you enter the U.S. via plane or boat.

Applying for the ESTA
The application fee is $14, which can be accepted with credit card or PayPal. You will need a passport from your Visa Waiver Program country. You must disclose your most recent employment and contact information.

How Long Does ESTA Last?
The travel authorization can last up to two years if it is not revoked. It can also expire if your passport expires, so whichever comes first. ESTA can be used for multiple trips. If the ESTA expires while travelling in the U.S., it will not affect departure from the country.

When a New ESTA Is Needed
A new ESTA is needed when a new passport is issued. Name and gender changes require a new ESTA as well. During the application process, if any of the answers to the questions have changed, a new ESTA is needed.

ESTA Policy
ESTA comes under the VISA Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. This act prevents the following people from entering the United States under the VWP.

  • Nationals from the following countries:
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Libya
    • Somalia
    • Sudan
    • Syria
    • Yemen

Individuals from these countries can still apply for a visa, but must go through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Urgent business, medical or humanitarian travel can be expedited.

Exceptions are only for individuals who have diplomatic or military presence. If the ESTA is denied, the person can go to the CBP website. The person can also apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Updates to Passport Identification
Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the departure date. Families travelling to the U.S. need to have valid passports, even infants and children.

Starting April 1, 2016, everyone in VWP must have an e-passport. This is an enhanced secure passport that has an embedded electronic chip. The chip can be scanned, which will be connected to the traveler. All e-Passports should be issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). There is an international symbol on all valid e-passports. All emergency passports must be e-passports to be approved for entry into the country.

How ESTA Protects America
ESTA helps the U.S. know where individuals are traveling from before they board a U.S. bound carrier. High-risk individuals (those who pose a threat to the country) will not be approved for an ESTA, and thus, will not be able to board a U.S. bound vessel or aircraft.

The ESTA is an extra layer of protection for those individuals trying to come to the country without a VISA. This was instated after the 9/11 attacks in which three planes were taken over by terrorists caused great devastation for Americans. This led legislation to require stricter regulations in who could travel to the country.

For more information on VWP and ESTA, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website or the United States Travel Authorization Application website.