International Travel

Know Before You Go

Visiting North Carolina for the first time or returning after several years? Review these travel tips to help prepare for your trip.

NEED-TO-KNOW INFORMATION

  • EASTERN

    time zone

  • 16 YEARS OLD

    legal driving age

  • 21 YEARS OLD

    legal drinking age

  • 25 YEARS OLD

    legal car rental age

Tipping

At restaurants, waiters/waitress and bartenders are typically tipped 15% for standard service and 20% for exceptional service. At hotels, bellman, housekeepers, valet attendants, and doorman are tipped between $1 to $2 per day and or per bag, while room service attendants are typed approximately 10% to 15% if not included in the bill. Taxi drivers often receive 15% and concierge can expect anywhere between $5 to $25.


Smoking

North Carolina’s Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars Law requires enclosed areas of almost all restaurants and bars to be smoke-free. Smoking is also banned in enclosed areas of hotels, motels and inns, if food and drink are prepared there.


Accessibility Services

ACCESS North Carolina is useful for planning vacations, weekend getaways, visits to local sites, school field trips, conferences, relocation, health and wellness activities, or any other type of trip. In addition to benefiting people with disabilities, the information ACCESS North Carolina provides can also benefit people who are aging and parents with child and infant strollers. For more information contact 1-800-689-9090. Hearing-impaired persons with TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) can contact 919-855-3579 or access.nec@dhhs.nc.gov.


International Documents

All visitors from abroad who are planning to visit the U.S. must have a passport valid for at least six months longer than their intended stay in the U.S., unless they are exempted by country-specific agreements. For families traveling together, each member of the family must have his or her own passport, including infants and children.

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Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Wavier Program (VWP) enables most citizens or nationals of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Travelers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel.

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Customs

Watch these short videos published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to learn everything you need to know before entering the U.S. For more information on customs, visit cbp.gov/travel.


Travel Insurance

Check with your health insurance to ensure you are covered while traveling in the USA. If not, please consider purchasing temporary or travel health insurance that will cover you during your travel dates. For emergency contact information during your stay in Charlotte, please reference our Emergency Contacts.


Real ID Act

Make sure you have the appropriate identification before your trip.

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