Travel Advice for the Deep South USA
As the situation continues to change, please visit our Covid-19 Update page for all the latest developments & news per state. We can travel to the US again now but there are new protocols to follow. Everything will be kept up to date on our website and Facebook page.
Do you need a Visa for the Deep South?
Most citizens of 36 eligible countries, including the United Kingdom, travelling on national passports with at least 90 days validity from the date of entry into the US, for business or tourism for 90 days or less, are eligible to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program provided they meet certain conditions. A passport indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, British Dependent Territories Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen or a British Protected Person does not qualify for visa free travel. Bearers of such passports are not eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program and must obtain a visa before they travel to the US. A British passport must quote the holder's nationality as British Citizen and nothing else in order to qualify for visa free travel.
International travellers who are seeking to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are subject to enhanced security requirements and are required to register in the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). ESTA applies only to those VWP travellers entering the United States by air or sea. Travellers entering by land either from Canada or Mexico are not required to register before travelling. If your ESTA registration is successful, it will be valid for multiple US entries for two years or until the date on which your passport expires, whichever comes first.
All travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP now need to hold a passport with an integrated chip (an ePassport).
You won’t qualify for entry to the USA under the VWP and will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate, if:
You have a Britisth passport that describes your nationality as something other than 'British Citizen'
You've been arrested for certain crimes, even if it didn't result in a criminal conviction
You're a dual national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria
You've travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 2011
Certain exemptions apply on a case-by-case basis to those who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 2011. For more information about these exemptions, see the website of the US Embassy.
If you’re in any doubt about whether you qualify for the VWP, or if you’re concerned that an existing ESTA may have been cancelled, you should contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
Click here for further information or to start your application.
Enhancements to the Visa Waiver Program
Due to changes made in November 2014, those seeking to travel to the United States from countries under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are now required to provide additional data fields of information in the travel application submitted via the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). The new information sought includes additional passport data, contact information and other potential names or aliases. They are taking this step to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program and to learn more about travellers from countries who do not require a visa.
Deep South Weather: Best Time to Visit the Deep South
We are often asked when the best time to travel to the Deep South is. Well, there is a generally mild climate year-round, yet with the beauty of four distinct seasons. This should help with your holiday planning:
Spring and autumn are seasons of pleasantly warm days and cool nights.
Summer daytime temperatures are generally in the 80-90°F (27-32°C) range, although they can occasionally reach 100°F (38°C) on very hot days.
Winter daytime temperatures are generally in the 30-40°F (1 to 4°C) range, very occasionally dropping to near zero or below.
Time Zones in the Deep South
Which time zone applies to the Deep South? The Deep South USA is divided by two time zones:
Georgia and East Tennessee are within the Eastern Time Zone (GMT minus 5 hours)
Middle and West Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are within the Central Time Zone (GMT minus 6 hours).
Welcome Centres in the Deep South
All five States of Deep South USA operate welcome centres on interstate and major state highways. The centres are fully staffed and some are open 24 hours a day with plenty of information on Deep South USA attractions and local points of interest.
Driving in the Deep South
Deep South USA has an extensive system of roads and highways which are all well numbered and clearly marked with directional signs. Strictly enforced speed limits are signposted and vary from 15mph in school zones to 35mph in built up areas, and 55mph or 70mph on open roads. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a major offence.
A full valid UK or EU licence is all that is required to drive in the US. An international Driving Permit on its own is not acceptable.
Deep South Accommodation
There's a wide range of accommodation in Deep South USA, in every price range. All the major hotel chains are represented and there are dozens of smaller hotels and motels throughout each state. Bed and breakfast is becoming a popular option, but this does not necessarily imply low cost as B&B is often in an historic home, usually of extremely high standard, and priced accordingly. Hotel accommodation varies from simple roadside motels to city-centre first class and deluxe properties, some with two-room suites or kitchenette facilities.
Please do get in touch with our Deep South experts if you have queries or concerns regarding your trip - we are always pleased to hear from you!