Transportation in United States


Traveling by plane

According to extrareference, the flight from the east of the USA to the west takes 5 hours, from north to south 2 hours. Since there is very strong competition between the airlines, the flight prices are quite different. In addition to the common booking classes First and Economy Class, there are numerous special tariffs and discounts. Night flights are usually cheaper.

Delta (DL) and other airlines offer special discounts for visitors on all domestic flights if the tickets are purchased at least 21 days in advance.
ExpressJet Airlines (XE) flies between different cities in the United States.

Note: The free baggage allowance is based on the number and size of the baggage as well as the weight.

Flight times

Detroit – New York: 1 hour 40; Los Angeles – Chicago: 4 hours 15; Los Angeles – New York: 5 hours 20; Miami – Chicago: 3 hours 10; Miami – Los Angeles: 7 hours; Miami – New York: 2 hours 40; New York – Chicago: 2 hours 50; New York – Dallas: 4 hours; New York – Detroit: 2 hours; New York – Los Angeles: 6 hours; New York – Miami: 3 hours 10; Seattle – San Francisco: 1 hour 50.
For other flight times, see p. The states from AZ.

Air passes

With the Star Alliance North America Airpass, 300 destinations in 20 countries can be flown to.

The Visit North America Air Pass of oneworld offers 250 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

On the way by car / bus

The best way to explore the country is by car, although the distances are vast. You should estimate the travel times correctly in order to avoid overexertion. The driving conditions are excellent, all places are connected to the road network.

Especially in the east of the USA there are numerous toll roads, tunnels, bridges, etc. So-called turnpikes and parkways usually burden the travel budget. You should always have change on hand for this. Petrol is cheaper than in Europe.

At gas stations you often have to pay in advance (Pay First) or leave a credit card. The prices vary: with cash payment and / or with self-service there is more fuel than with a credit card and / or with the gas station attendant (full serve). Refueling is in the USA gallons (1 gallon equals 3.78 liters), to which the displayed prices refer.

Breakdown assistance: An ADAC international emergency call station has been set up in the USA and offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC international health and accident insurance assistance with hotels, rental cars, vehicle or patient repatriation. The German-speaking emergency call station in Orlando (Florida) is open around the clock (Tel: (1888) 222 13 73. Internet:

The American Automobile Club (AAA) offers the travel services, maps, advice, and insurance that most states require for rental cars. Members of a European automobile club often receive discounts from the AAA (Internet:

Long-distance bus: Greyhound World Travel (Internet: is the largest bus company in the United States and serves the whole country. Together with over 11,000 other bus companies, it provides inexpensive connections throughout the USA. The intercity buses are air-conditioned, have adjustable seats and toilets. Greyhound travels the southern states, the southern central states, the south of the Rocky Mountains and offers connections to Mexico and Canada. Luggage storage and snack bars are usually open around the clock. Spending the night in the bus station (e.g. while waiting for a connecting bus) is forbidden and not recommended, as the stations are often in remote areas.

Greyhound Lines offers the North America Discovery Pass, which allows unlimited travel to the United States for between 7 and 60 days. The pass must be purchased through Greyhound World Travel outside the US. Children between 2 and 11 years pay half. The number of stopovers is unlimited. Greyhound Linesalso offers discounts on single trips. Details from the international greyhound office in New York (Tel: (212) 971 63 00) as well as from the Internet ( or from the STA Travel offices (Internet: available in Germany, Austria (Ökista / STA Travel, Internet: and Switzerland.

Most bus companies offer time tickets that are valid for 60 days and allow unlimited travel. These tickets are available at special rates for students and international tourists.

Rental car:The well-known international car rental companies are represented at all international airports and in major cities. There are flat rates and excellent discounts for visitors. Credit card holders are often not required to pay a deposit. An »Economy« or »Compact« corresponds to a normal European car; a “standard” is a large limousine. The minimum age is different depending on the car rental company (as well as payment method and delivery). In addition to the German one, an international driving license is recommended. Renters must be in possession of their passport and return ticket. Travel agents should inquire carefully for customers under the age of 25.

Transportation in United States

Drive Away: AAA and Auto Drive Awayoffer the possibility to transfer cars on certain routes. You have to leave a deposit and pay for the gas yourself; the arrival time is mandatory and leaves little scope for sightseeing (those who arrive later have to pay high fines). See the Automobile & Truck Transporting section of the US industry directory for details. Some companies offer this service as far as Canada. For more information, contact Auto Driveway (tel: (312) 939 36 00 or 1-800-346 22 77 (toll free). Internet:

Campers / Motorhomes: Campmobiles and Motorhomesare another great way to get to know the vast country. There are two different types of vehicle to rent: In a motorhome, the living room / bedroom and driver’s area are connected to one another, and it can accommodate up to 5 people. A camper has a living / sleeping cabin that is separate from the driver’s area and can accommodate up to 3 people. There are numerous models with different levels of comfort, but all have a refrigerator, gas stove, sink, toilet and shower. All vehicles are also available with automatic transmission. For legal reasons, the return of the camper cannot take place on the day of your return to Germany, so an overnight stay should be taken into account.

An international driver’s license is recommended but is not required by law (often recognized as an additional form of identification). The national driving license is recognized for up to one year. Insurance: Third party insurance is strongly recommended for all travelers renting a vehicle in the United States. The yellow “Non-Resident Interstate Liability Insurance Card”, which is used as proof of insurance, can be obtained from car insurance companies. The driver must be at least 21 years old. If several people are to drive the motorhome, they must all be entered in the rental agreement.

Traffic regulations:
Overtaking a school bus with hazard lights that children get out of is prohibited. All vehicles have to wait until the bus has closed the doors and left.
Turning right at red lights is allowed in all US states except New York City, but only after you have stopped completely and made sure that no pedestrians or other road users are obstructed. (Exception: traffic signs with a crossed right- turn arrow or the words No Turn On Red.)
If you are stopped by the police, you should not pay the penalty immediately (unless requested), as this could be interpreted as an attempt at bribery.
Drivers must always have their driver’s license with them.
Drinking and driving is strictly forbidden, violations are severely punished.

State speed limits:

within built-up areas: 25-30 mph (40-48 km / h);
on Interstate Highways: 55-75 mph (89-121 km / h);
on US and state highways: mostly 55 mph (89 km / h).
Signs on the motorways show the maximum speeds; Overruns cost heavy penalties.

Average car travel time:
Los Angeles – Chicago: 44 hours; Miami – Los Angeles: 57 hours; Miami – New York: 27 hours; New York – Chicago: 16 hours; New York – Dallas: 33 hours; new York- Los Angeles: 58 hours; New York – Miami: 27 hours.

Average bus travel time:
Dallas – New Orleans: 13 hours; Detroit – Chicago: 6 hours; Los Angeles – Las Vegas: 6 hours; Miami – Atlanta: 18 hours; New Orleans – Houston: 8 hours; New York – Washington DC: 5 hours

Traveling in the city

Some cities in the United States have had good public transportation systems since the “transit renaissance” that followed the oil crisis of the 1970s. There are underground networks in several major cities, e.g. B. in New York (Subway), Washington DC (Metro), Boston (“T”), Chicago (Train), Los Angeles (Metro) and San Francisco (BART – Bay Area Rapid Transit). There are also several streetcars and trolleybuses, including the popular old San Francisco cable cars.
In the USA, the colors on the curbs mark different parking and stopping areas:
Red: no parking; Yellow: Loading Zone – loading zone for delivery vehicles; Yellow and black: truck loading zone; Blue: parking space for the disabled; Green: 10 minutes parking; White: Passenger Loading Zone – only getting on and off.

Note: Many subway networks are dangerous during off-peak hours but offer fast, cheap, and reliable connections during the day (especially in New York, Boston, and Chicago). Using other modes of transport during the day is often very cumbersome.


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