|Most popular in||January||High demand for flights, 6% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||February||Best time to find cheap flights, 3% potential price drop|
|Average price||$2,717||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||$1,526||From Auckland to Nantucket|
$1,359 - $2,502
4 - 29 °C
70 - 99 mm
The United States of America is a land of many climates, lively cities and natural wonders. Situated in the middle of North America, the country comprises 48 mainland states, as well as Hawaii and Alaska. American Samoa, Guam, Marianas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands round out the list of U.S. territories.
Travellers can find a variety of experiences in U.S. cities. Whether you want to take in the energy and creativity of New York City or soak up some sun and entertainment in Los Angeles, there’s truly something for everyone. New England features plenty of history and picturesque scenery, especially in autumn during foliage season when leaves turn bright shades of yellow, orange and red. Music-lovers can take a road trip along the Blues Highway from New Orleans, through Mississippi and Memphis to Chicago.
In the South, Florida’s beaches and theme parks will wow you. Head to Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld for some family fun.
California lines a large part of the West Coast, featuring everything from wine country, a rugged coastline and the Sierra Nevada mountains to the north to the southern cities of Los Angeles (home to Hollywood and most of the U.S. entertainment industry) and laid-back San Diego.
There are many different international airports located in the United States. The destination city, along with the number of stopovers, and the duration of those stopovers, will factor into the length of the flight times. If you will be travelling out of Auckland and heading to the Los Angeles International Airport, the fastest flights will be 10h and 45m long. The longest flights will be 32h and 10 m long. The fastest flight time from Christchurch Airport to LAX is 15h. Those who are travelling to other destinations in the USA will have differing flight times. For example, flights from Christchurch to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport will have flight times of 18h and 5m as the shortest.
You will find that there are some options for direct flights into the USA. Air New Zealand has USA flight deals that are direct and that will take about 12h and 5 m. One and two stop options are available, as well. Those who are travelling out of Christchurch will have at least one stop. Air New Zealand has a flight that has a 1h and 30m stopover in Auckland before heading to Los Angeles.
The United States is a very large country and it has an excellent infrastructure. You will have a wealth of options when it comes to travelling to the various destinations you might need to go. Airlines, such as Southwest and American can provide domestic travel. Train services, such as Amtrak, and buses like Greyhound can provide travel across the country and from city to city, as well. Within the cities and towns, there is ample public transportation and taxis, and it is always possible to rent a vehicle.
The USA has many interesting things to see and do, and they vary substantially from one location to the next. Those who are in Chicago might want to visit some of the museums and parks. Travellers who are visiting Los Angeles and other areas in Southern California will find theme parks, Hollywood, and the nearby beaches. Travelling to New York City offers a host of galleries, shows, museums, and other attractions. Each city in the USA will have their own attractions and things to enjoy.
The USA tends to have strict entry policies. Those who will be travelling to the United States will need to make sure that they have a valid passport. They will be able to stay in the United States for business and tourism needs for up to 90 days without needing to have a visa. Those who come to the US with this visa waiver programme will not be able to change their visa status.
Given its size, the climate varies throughout the US but some regions experience the changing seasons more intensely than others. The West Coast enjoys fine weather year-round, while the Pacific Northwest Coast (Washington, Oregon) has cool summers and mild winters. The Midwest is known for its intense summers and winters and frequent tornadoes and thunderstorms, while Florida enjoys the warmest winters on the eastern coast.
There’s never really a bad time to catch flights to the US, but New York is most pleasant in spring and autumn. May and June are comfortably warm, while LA gets hottest in August and September.
San Francisco is pleasant year-round, while Las Vegas is best enjoyed in spring and autumn. Orlando is teeming with families during US summer holidays (July and August), when temperatures can reach 37 degrees Celsius.
Cheap flights to the US are always found during the off season.
Americans love their cars and their road trips, but there are many low-cost airlines, including no-frills leader Southwest, JetBlue, AirTran and Spirit Airlines to fly you around quicker.
If you’re intent on hitting the highways a la Route 66, you’ll find all the major car rental agencies at most US airports, including Budget, Dollar, Hertz and Thrifty.
By bus: GotoBus.com has a handy online service for more than 100 bus companies and tours throughout the US, from budget to luxury options.
By rail: AmTrak (www.amtrak.com) covers the States and the major cities in Canada. Check online for routes and weekly specials.