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Old 9th July 2007, 19:50   #1
Max
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Arrow Travel insurance (and other queries) for the United States

Hi guys,

i will be traveling to usa for few days for first time. Any suggestions on which insurance company i should use for travel insurance? icicilombard.com (icici lambard)? bajajallianz.co.in. (bajaj allianz )?

also, anyone know if how indian airtel gsm mobile phone will work in usa? i call airtel customer support and they said its pre-activated i just need to switch on phone in usa and it will work fine!!!!

any travel experience to usa, please share your tips and advice. thank you very much bros.

-max
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Old 9th July 2007, 20:28   #2
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Had been to the USA around 6 yrs back and compared to my trip to europe i found americans more friendly and easy going.

If you are a veggie, dont get paranoid, there are lotsa indian resto's around especially in big cities and most resto's now have good veggie menu's.

Refrain from using slang like nigger etc and you should be fine. Almost anyone will help with directions and might even offer you a lift.

Take it cool... you will love it. The mystery makes it more enjoyable. Plan your travel well and add more time in each sightseeing activity as you might want to "stop and smell the roses". get the drift? LOL.

if u need anything in particular, google for more info. there's plenty out there.

all the best. have a safe and memorable trip.

P.S. Most of the electronic stuff from circuit city and best buy are available for much less elsewhere. ask ur hotel staff and they will guide you.

Dollar stores can fetch u a good deal too.

Check out these links:

Travel USA Travel - USA Tips - USA Tourist

U.S.A. Travel Guide; Tips for foreign travels coming to America; Consumer and Government Guides; help, info

Last edited by n_aditya : 9th July 2007 at 20:35.
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Old 9th July 2007, 21:13   #3
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Quote:
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also, anyone know if how indian airtel gsm mobile phone will work in usa? i call airtel customer support and they said its pre-activated i just need to switch on phone in usa and it will work fine!!!!
Go in for a Matrix simcard which should save you a lot of money. They provide you with foreign sim cards in India and you pay in rupees.
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Old 9th July 2007, 21:25   #4
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Have some quarters (25 cents) handy. You may require them to procure a trolley at some airports, make phone calls locally or to get something from a vending machine.

Carry your International Driving License, if you have one. Will help you rent a car. Of course, you need to show that in addition to your regular Indian Driving License.

Remember to carry basic medicine with you (specific ones, if you are already taking them) as you will be able to buy only generic medicine here and all other drugs require a US doctor's prescription (unlike India ).

(Assuming your trip is offcial) Make sure you carry one set of clothes in your carry-on/hand baggage to change, lest there be a problem with your checked-in baggage getting lost or misplaced. You will get your baggage within a day or two if this happens at all.

Bon voyage !!
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Old 10th July 2007, 00:17   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post
i will be traveling to usa for few days for first time. Any suggestions on which insurance company i should use for travel insurance? icicilombard.com (icici lambard)? bajajallianz.co.in. (bajaj allianz )?
I know a person who came to US to study and he had ICICI insurance. I am not sure if there are different plans in that but I think they will pay in case you avail medical services here.
If you get sick during your stay, try to use over the counter medicine. have Tylenol handy and it will work for all minor ailments. Try not to go to hospitals for fever or such stuff as by the time you get appointment you will be healthy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post
any travel experience to usa, please share your tips and advice. thank you very much bros.
-max
1. Accent - If you are not familiar with american accent, you wont understand half the things they are saying. So concentrate when speaking to someone. Also speak very slow and if they do not understand a term, use a synonym. For instance, when I first landed here I used to say " 2 'times' 2 = 4 as 2 into (X) 2 = 4"... took me a while before I realized that.

2. If you smoke, do not use the word 'Fag'. You will probably make some unwanted friends.

3. Cheese burgers have beef in addition to cheese.

4. Rest rooms are actually toilets.

5. Depending on where you are going, there may be many Indians. Dont gawk at them unless s/he is really hot. My mom used to get so excited seeing Indians she used to say it out loud 'hey look! Indians!' just like we say 'Hey look! Thats a Ferrari Enzo!!'.

6. If you are coming to Phoenix, let me know.
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Old 10th July 2007, 00:42   #6
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ICICI shud be good enough. just check if they have a cashless transaction. If you have to pay first and then they reimburse, it can be a tedious and stressful experience. medical bills start from 200 dollars and can go upwards to 1000s.

Phone? are you planning to call local US, call india? or hoping to receive calls? we can advise better if we know your plans.

regular (yearly, two yearly) plans are cheaper, but for a short term, it can be costly. international roaming with indian SIM will be even more costlier.

Use payphones/ur hotel/room/office phone for india calls. reliance has a toll free number from US which works well. for local calls, get unlimited local plan rather.

Also I hope you know there is small diff between indian GSM bands and american (900/1800 Vs 850/1900). your phone may work with some signal issues.

if you are going to a place with public transport, stick to it. else you will HAVE to drive, and maintain a car.
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Old 17th July 2007, 02:44   #7
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guys, thanks for all the advice. My friend told me to go with USA based insurance company as it will be better. I can buy it online. I will let you know how it goes. I want insurance for some kind of unusual circumstance like accident etc., other wise i will not need it. My International driving license will be ready tomorrow.

Hey, do anyone know, If i need to pay duty on electronic item bought from USA for personal use? I am planning to buy an digital camera and 2 digital players and bring them to India with myself. If yes, do anyone know how much?

Thanks for all the help and advice guys. Mayavi, I will not be traveling to Phoenix. Thanks for the invitation though .
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Old 17th July 2007, 03:13   #8
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The advantage in going with american insurance companies is that you do not have to pay anything in case of emergency hospital visits. You can just give them your insurance information. Make sure what is covered and what is not covered and what are the co-pays, deductibles.
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Old 17th July 2007, 03:18   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max View Post
My friend told me to go with USA based insurance company as it will be better. I can buy it online. I will let you know how it goes.
I'd used my Indian insurance for the first few days that I was here. My parents generally use the Indian insurance when they come for a visit. If you're going to be in the US just for a few days, then you can stick with the Indian insurance instead of buying it here - anyways, thats upto you. Mayavi has got that covered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max
My International driving license
You mean your International Driving "Permit". It's not a license. You'll need to bring your Indian Driving License with you when you come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max
If i need to pay duty on electronic item bought from USA for personal use? I am planning to buy an digital camera and 2 digital players
You won't need to pay duty on your digital camera. What do you mean by digital players? Btw, you're also allowed to take-back one laptop with you duty-free.

Also - get used to not using the metric system. (kgs and grams will be replaced by lbs and oz).

Last edited by aah78 : 17th July 2007 at 03:27.
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Old 17th July 2007, 03:22   #10
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You won't need to pay duty on your digital camera. What do you mean by digital players? Btw, you're also allowed to take-back one laptop with you duty-free.
Are you sure? Last I checked, and this was a year back, you can only take goods worth 6000 Rs or something in that range if your stay is less than 3 months. 18,000 Rs worth stuff between 3 - 6 months and so on. I am not sure if there are any exemptions on electronic items.
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Old 17th July 2007, 03:34   #11
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Yes, i'm sure about the laptop - didn't have any issues myself when i did take back a laptop last year.
I think the Indian Customs website or some other has a notice to that effect.
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Old 17th July 2007, 09:12   #12
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Check the website below. It really help a lot, for the initial preparations. You can also discuss any doubts in the forum section.

Immigration Help - Green card, visas, Visitor Medical Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayavi View Post
Are you sure? Last I checked, and this was a year back, you can only take goods worth 6000 Rs or something in that range if your stay is less than 3 months. 18,000 Rs worth stuff between 3 - 6 months and so on. I am not sure if there are any exemptions on electronic items.
Now you can carry a laptop back home without paying duty !!

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th July 2010 at 21:26. Reason: Old posts, mergeing nonetheless :)
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Old 17th July 2007, 10:21   #13
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Some important tips from my experience.

First - Where in US are you going? If NY then believe me, you are in another Mumbai.

TATA AIG travel insurance policy is best and cheapest. Go for it.

Keep some dollars handy. From airport to Manhattan there is a fixed rate taxi.

At JFK airport you will find many taxi drivers asking you for where you want to go. Just like our railway stations. Dont pay heed to them. There is a Taxi stand out of the airport from where you can get an official taxi.

You will easily find map of NY or any other city for free from the airport. Pick that up and that will help you find your way.

US is supposed to be IDIOT friendly country. Just look around and READ. You will find instructions everywhere. If you get stuck, don't hezitate to walk into a nearest store and ask directions. People are friendly.

Calling back to india will be cheapest by Relianceindiacall.com website. Just registere and pay by your credit card in INR. Call charges are very low around 14 cents for a minute. You can also get india calling cards for 2$ at any indian store. It will allow you to talk nonstop for 1 hour (without disconnecting the line).

Airtel is good. You can have international roaming activated. But be sure not to use for making or receiving calls. It will cost you a bomb. Airtel can be used for SMS max will cost you Rs.10 to 15 Per message. Good in case of emergency.

If you need more tips jus mail me.
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Old 17th July 2007, 16:40   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayavi View Post
Are you sure? Last I checked, and this was a year back, you can only take goods worth 6000 Rs or something in that range if your stay is less than 3 months. 18,000 Rs worth stuff between 3 - 6 months and so on. I am not sure if there are any exemptions on electronic items.
one of the pravasi bhartiaya divas had changed this (and many other) rule.
apparently customs is not that attractive department anymore, at least in delhi.
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Old 17th July 2007, 18:52   #15
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Duty free allowances are :
Laptop
Cigarettes - not unlimited
1 lt booze or 2 lts wine
Upto 25000 Rs value dutiable items

These would include cameras, mobile phones, etc

If you carry two of the same item, then you will have a problem. If you want to buy an iPhone there, dont take your mobile phone with you.; only the SIM card. land there and buy the iPhone, use it while you are there
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