Useful Information for Travelers

Passports & Visas

Foreign nationals entering the United States are required to have a valid passport. They must also have a travel visa or qualify for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) in which 38 countries participate. The VWP requires an e-passport and approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Below are links for more details. See the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Know Before You Visit page for additional information.

U.S. Visa Types

Visa Waiver Program
(Please note that machine-readable passports no longer qualify.)

e-Passport Information

ESTA Official Site

Currency

The U.S. Dollar is the currency used at the site of ISAPA 2019.

Electronic Payment
Good exchange rates may be obtained by making purchases with a credit card. Cards commonly accepted in the U.S. are Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Some stores and restaurants in Charlottesville also accept Apple Pay.

Cash
We recommended that you have some cash on hand when you travel for tipping transportation personnel ($1 and $5 bills are best). Airport exchange rates may be on the high side. Better exchange rates may be available by exchanging currency before you travel or by ordering cash online. Currency also may be exchanged at banks in Charlottesville which are usually open from 9:00am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, except on national holidays. A few banks are open 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturdays.

USD $1.00
1 dollar bill
Most common denominations: 1, 5, 10, 20

Quarter ($0.25)
coin - quarter

Dime ($0.10)
coin - dime

Nickel ($0.05)
coin - nickel

Penny ($0.01)
coin - penny

Tipping

In the United States, tipping is common and expected for the following service providers. The amount depends on the level of service provided and you may tip based on your satisfaction with the service.

Airport or train station porter: $1 to $2 per piece of luggage; $3 to $5 for wheel chair services
Taxi driver: 10% to 20% (or let them "keep the change" if paying in cash)
Restaurant server: 15% to 20% of the bill (Some restaurants atuomatically include 18%, especially for large groups.)
Hotel bellhop: $1 to $2 per piece of luggage
Hotel housekeeping staff: $2 to $5 per day
Hotel room service staff: amount added by the hotel or 15% to 20% of the bill
Bartender: $1 per drink or 15% to 20% of the bill

Tax Rates

Virginia Sales Tax: 5.3% added when paying
Gasoline Taxes: included in the price per gallon
Charlottesville Hotel Tax: 7% added when paying (in addition to VA sales tax)
Charlottesville Meals Tax: 5% added when paying (in addition to VA sales tax)
Albemarle County Meals Tax: 4% added when paying (in addition to VA sales tax)

Both symposium hotels are within the City of Charlottesville. Many area restaurants are located outside the city limits in Albemarle County where different local tax rates apply.

Weather

Charlottesville weather should be warm and humid with little rain during the symposium. Average temperatures in Charlottesville for mid-June are highs in the mid-80s F (29C) and lows in the mid-60s F (18C).

CHARLOTTESVILLE WEATHER
 

Time

At the time of the Symposium, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time will be in effect which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-4) and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-4).

See a time zone map

U.S. plugs with 2 or 3 prongsElectricity

Electricity in the U.S. is 120 Volts, with plug types A and B. If traveling from outside North America, you will need an adapter for your electronic devices.

Emergency

If you need emergency medical, fire or police services while in the United States, dial 9-1-1, even if your phone service is not from the U.S. This number is for emergencies only. Be advised that if you do not have U.S. based medical insurance, you can be charged in full for ambulance and medical services.