Photo Credit: Howard Ignatius

Every foreign traveler entering the United States is required to have their travel visa arranged prior to arrival in the country. Most people are required to have some form of travel visa, so contact your local US embassy or check online at the US government’s visa website to find out what is needed.

Health and Safety

All visitors to the United States are advised to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, as this is the main contagious disease in the country. It can be contracted from any restaurant where hygiene standards are poor, so getting inoculated is a good precaution. Otherwise, Washington has no real health threats to worry about. The damp weather can be chilly in winter, causing flu and colds easily. Be sure to bring appropriate clothing that is warm and waterproof if visiting in the winter. In the warmer months, it rains frequently so having rain gear is essential for any outdoor recreation in Washington.

The Cascades receive a lot of snow in the winter so travelers who plan to explore the mountains during this season should come prepared. Drivers need to have food, water, and blankets in their car in case of any road trouble because the mountain roads are lightly traveled in winter. Skiing or backcountry snowshoeing should also be approached with care. Heavy snows and avalanches are common in winter so keep an eye on the weather forecast.

Washington’s big cities have the same crime issues as most big American cities. There are bad parts of Seattle, Bellingham, and Tacoma but few visitors have reason to go to these areas. Common sense is all you need to stay safe and happy while visiting Washington.

Click here to learn about the History and Culture of Washington