How to travel safely and securely in the USA
Over the last years, new direct flights to the USA have been opened, and the country has become a big holiday destination for Nordic travellers.
SOS International records the USA as one of the top countries from which most claims are filed (data from 2019).
What should you remember when travelling to the USA on business or for pleasure? We have gathered some pieces of good advice for your trip.
Updated June 2022.
Follow the travel advice of your Ministry of Foreign Affairs for USA
Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.um.dk
Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.formin.finland.fi
Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.mfa.is
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.regeringen.no
Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.regeringen.se
We also recommend that you sign up on the travel data base of your local Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to be informed and warned by the authorities if necessary.
When travelling to the US it is a good idea to have documentation for test results, vaccinations, and/or immunity at hand.
You will find more information and requirements for tests and vaccination at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or embassy.
There are no required vaccinations, but it is always a good idea to contact your own doctor well in advance of a trip, to make sure that your vaccination program is up to date.
Country specific and individualised vaccination advice can be found at:
Remember to check if you need a medical pre-assessment to find out whether your chronic or current illness will be covered if you need treatment on your trip. If you are in doubt about your specific situation, contact SOS International or your insurance company.
Before travelling, thoroughly check the coverage of your travel insurance as it may vary from company to company.
USA as a risk destination
USA is considered an low medium risk destination.
Besides the general risk of terrorism, crime is a concern in the big cities. Crime involving visitors and tourists is most often non-violent and categorized as petty crime like bag snatching and opportunistic theft.
More information on current alerts can be obtained from Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Keep an eye on your belongings at all times
- Report any suspicious behaviour to the authorities
- Always wear safety equipment such as seat belts while driving
- If you are victim of a criminal offense, report this to the local tourist police as soon as possible. See telephone numbers below.
Local emergency numbers in USA:
SOS – all services: 911
We are ready 24/7 at +45 7010 5050
Hospital services in the USA
The standard of hospital services in the USA is high.
In case of minor diagnoses, there are a lot of smaller so-called urgent care or walk in clinics, which travellers can go to instead of an emergency room.
Often tourists or Nordic travellers will not be prioritised at an emergency room, and it is therefore often faster and easier to visit urgent care clinics.
Are you looking for a doctor in the USA? We recommend you contact SOS International before you seek medical help.
With our large network, we can provide you with a doctor or a hospital nearby and thus secure quality and price.
Call SOS International at +45 7010 5050.
Generally, it is important that travellers in the USA contact SOS International, before seeking medical treatment.
SOS International has an extensive network and cooperates with a number of hospitals and clinic and can help you find a doctor nearby.
Treatment is generally very expensive in the USA, and clinics and hospitals outside of SOS International’s network often charge very high fees, over-payment of services or demand that patients pay in advance by credit card.
SOS International is working closely with a range of American partners, who know the market, prices of treatment and the quality of hospitals and clinics from within, and therefore they ensure a high quality of treatment and the right price.
Avoid hotel doctors in Florida, New York and California
Hotel doctors have become very common in the USA, especially in the tourist areas such as Florida, New York and California. Most of the time, hotel doctors are recommended by the hotel reception.
SOS International recommends that you avoid using hotel doctors because they seldom accept payment via insurance companies. Instead they make the patient sign a binding contract and pay an often large amount of money by credit card for the treatment. Once the contract has been signed, SOS International or our partners cannot guarantee the payment.
SOS International has seen examples of prices from $2,000 and up to $6,500 for minor diagnoses which would have cost around $250 at an urgent care clinic.