Go Northwest! tips on purchasing air tickets online.
US Travel Tips
Northwest Travel Planning
About the Northwest
Northwest Provinces and States
The Go Northwest! definition of the Pacific Northwest includes the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Like Canada, residential USA uses 115 volt electrical systems at 60 hertz. You will need a voltage transformer/ converter for your electrical appliances if they operate on a different voltage. There are different types of converters for different types of appliances. Small electronics, razors and non-heating appliances can operate with a 50-watt converter. Heating appliances such as hair dryers, irons, coffee makers and other high-power electrical appliances need a 1600-watt converter. You can also purchase combination converters for both types. Mains wall sockets and plugs for 115 volts are two parallel flat blades. If those sockets are different from the ones used in your country then you will need a socket converter. You can buy a kit online at the Go Northwest! Travel Store.
English is the official language in the USA.
The USA uses the imperial system, however the metric system is creeping in. You will see both systems displayed in places such as some road signs, digital temperature displays, and tourist brochures.
Dialing into the USA:
1 + area code + local number
Idaho area codes: 208
Montana area codes: 406
Oregon area codes:
(except Portland): 541
Portland and area: 503
Washington area codes:
Greater Seattle: 425
western WA: 360
eastern WA: 509
Dialing out of the USA
011 + country code + area code + local number
Toll free: known as "800" numbers, dial 1 + 800 + rest of number
Emergencies: dial 911 (police, ambulance, fire)
If you wish to receive post while in the US, have it sent to a city's main post office marked with your name, c/o General Delivery. The post office will hold it for four weeks and you will need ID to collect.
States Postal Service (USPS)
International visitors, find how much it currently costs send a postcard. US visitors, scroll down to find the current cost for sending postcard home. US citizens can also download a passport application from here.
Like Canada, in the USA it is customary to tip for services such as restaurants, bars and pubs, taxis and hairdressers. Usually 15%, although the amount can range from 10% to 20% at the discretion of the person paying the bill. Always check whether a service charge was included in a restaurant bill, especially if paying by credit card, as this is the tip.
January 1 - New Year's Day
January, third Monday - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February, third Monday - Presidents' Day (combined observance of George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays)
[May, second Sunday - Mothers' Day. Not a holiday as such, but be warned, restaurants will be crowded.]
May, last Monday - Memorial Day
July 4 - Independence Day
September, first Monday - Labor Day
October, second Monday - Columbus Day
November 11 - Veteran's Day
November, fourth Thursday - Thanksgiving Day
December 25 - Christmas Day
Technically the USA observes no national holidays. Each state has jurisdiction over its holidays, and the U.S. Congress can only designate holidays for the District of Columbia and federal employees. However in practice most states observe the federal legal holidays. It varies across employers as to how holidays are observed. Often the supermarkets are open, while retail centers, banks, post offices and schools may close. Note: unlike British English "holiday" refers only to these public days. "Vacation" refers to the weeks of leave granted by employers.
1 US Dollar (US$) = 100 cents.
US$1 = "Susan B. Anthony "
50 cents = "half-dollar"
25 cents = "quarter"
10 cents = "dime"
5 cents = "nickel"
1 cents = "penny"
The United States Mint
The United States Mint is responsible for the annual production of 18-20 billion circulating coins; managing $400 million a year in commemorative and bullion coin programs; oversight of field facilities in Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco and West Point, N.Y., and the U.S. Bullion Depository at Ft. Knox, Kentucky; and protection of the Nation's $100 billion in gold and silver reserves.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Pacific Northwest Haunts by Joe Teeples. This ghostly field guide lists over 270 haunted locations in the Pacific Northwest that ghost hunters can easily visit. Includes street addresses, photographs, and historical information about the spirits and areas involved in spectral hauntings. Order now...
Where To Find Hundreds Of Spectacular Waterfalls In Washington, Oregon, And Idaho by Gregory Alan Plumb. At-a-glance table for selecting waterfalls by scenic rating, form, how to access, best season to go and defining characteristics. To help you select, each waterfall is keyed for accessibility by car, on foot, or by canoe or raft and rated for magnitude and aesthetic value. Order now...
Fodor's Pacific Northwest, 19th Edition: with Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver. This guide has the latest information expanding the coverage, illustrations, recommendations, advice and trip planning tools such as easy to read maps for your next adventure in the Pacific Northwest. Order now...
Hidden Pacific Northwest: Including Oregon, Washington, Vancouver, Victoria, and Coastal British Columbia by Eric Lucas. The ultimate guide with information on over 300 hiking trails, 700 campgrounds, and 200 beaches, parks, and wilderness areas. The book reviews a wide range of unique accommodations, including boutique hotels in Seattle, stone-and-wood lodges in the Cascades, and seaside B&Bs. Order now...
Lonely Planet Washington Oregon & the Pacific Northwest (Regional Guide) by Sandra Bao. Local authors, detailed maps, easy to use maps, parks and reserves, planning tools and at-a-glance practical information. Order now...
Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest: A Romantic Travel Guide by Teri Citterman. Hundreds of detailed reviews cover the coziest inns, resorts, B&Bs, hotels, and restaurants in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, with all-new "lip" rankings that rate each spot's kiss-ability. Order now...
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