14 Tips for Indian Parents Visiting USA

So, you are bringing your parents to US? I can imagine how excited you are. I went through the same excitement long time back when I brought my mom to USA. She flew for more than 24 hours, and went through a lot of anxious hours. But finally when you get to see their smile.. that’s priceless! (Reminds me of the Ad)

So, if you are preparing to bring your parents to USA on a visit, here are some tips and suggestions. All from my experience! So take them with a pinch of salt.

Tips for Indian parents visiting USA

  1. Book them a “Wheel chair Assistance”
    Most airlines offer wheel chair assistance/special assistance for some extra money. Under this option, an Airport staff will take care of your parent right from check-in to getting seated in the Airplane (through different legs of the journey). So right after they check in, someone will call out their name and will offer a wheel chair. They will take her to the right terminal, right plane, right seat so you don’t have to worry about anything. I suggest giving some cash in your parent’s hands to tip the person taking care of them.
  2. Ensure they have traveler’s insurance
    Lot of people make the mistake of not buying travel insurance. In parent’s case, I very much recommend it. You can buy a not so expensive travel insurance here, by comparing different plans available.
  3. Don’t send dangerous items in their hand bag
    Dangerous items that are prohibited by Airport authorities should not be added in their hand luggage. One, they will have a hard time figuring out what’s happening, if they are questioned. Two, it might cause unnecessary delays and create confusion.
  4. Store their important travel documents in a body bag and keep extra copies too.
    Travel documents should always be with them. Ask your parents to strap them on securely on a cross-body bag and keep it attached with them all the time. Also, keep extra copies of the same documents in another bag, just in case they miss the originals.
  5. Buy shorter journey Airline tickets with maximum one stop over.
    This is obvious right? Why put them through misery of stop overs when they can make the journey short? It’s already a 24hours + journey, make it easy for them. Don’t go “kanjoos”!
  6. Write down emergency contacts on a card/paper and leave it with them.
    Write down your contact number, an Indian contact number and ask them to carry it all the time, in their purse or document bag.
  7. Give them some Dollars and Rupees to keep in hand
    You never know when it will become handy.
  8. Give their medications etc in hand bag and keep Doctor’s prescriptions notes along with them.
    While most common medicines are ok with customs, they will ask if you have Doctor’s prescriptions to them. Especially if you are carrying a medicine that is banned or not available in US. it’s a good idea to keep low quantities instead of in bulk. If you are carrying medicine in bulk, it will raise suspicion with the immigration officers.
  9. Give them all the information they need to fill up immigration forms handy
    Everyone forgets this. When they are about to land (and begins to get anxious) in US, they will be handed the immigration form in the plane. This time, make sure they have a writable pen and the information they need to fill up the form handy. So they don’t have to stumble with opening the document bag etc. A good trick is to get an additional immigration form when you are traveling to India/US, and fill it up with your parent’s information. Ask them to carry it with them when they are traveling. Easy peasy!
  10. Give them warm clothes to wear
    Many parents wear their traditional clothes like Saree etc while traveling. Problem is, when they are on the plane, it begins to get cold. Of course, air hostesses will give the comforter/blankets but sometimes they may not be fully clean. So, it’s a good idea to give them jackets or sweaters handy that they can use when required.
  11. Teach them basic etiquettes
    Most people would know how to behave etc but in case they don’t teach them the basic things. Like how to ask for water in the plane (by switching the light or calling for help). Tell them how to behave by saying “Thank you” etc so that they don’t annoy others. I’ve seen many cases where parent’s behavior comes out as rude not because they were but because they didn’t know how to behave.
  12. Teach them the difference
    The way people behave in India and US is different. Tell them how different it is without being preachy. It’s always good to let them know casually than to give them awkward surprises.
  13. Memorize your job, employer, local address
    Ask them to memorize your employer name, office location, your home location and some basic things like that. Immigration officers both in US and India will be asking them these questions randomly.
  14. Immigration questions
    During travel, you will find instances where officers will ask them all kinda of questions. For example, where they are going, what they are doing to do etc. Teach them how to answer those questions without fumbling.

Don't forget to get Travel insurance before your trip : Very important!

All the best. Bringing your parents to US on visit is definitely not easy. But provided you put in some early planning and make the right choices, everything will go just right!

Also read: Best travel insurance for parents visiting USA

About the author

Mani Karthik

Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC's to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I've learned in life. Here's my full story. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). This blog is read today, by more than 300K people world over! Here's my guide on how you can start a blog like this. :)

6 Comments

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  • hi Mani, my dad had a small accident before coming to USA. He is almost recovered from it but his foot has still some wounds which are not completely healed. Is this condition scary ? Which insurance plan should i go for ?

    Please help.
    Tanu

    • Hi Tanu,

      That depends on his condition. Like is it ok to travel without fully healing? What if you run into some complexities while in USA? Etc..

      If I were you, I’d firs ask your Doc when is the right time to travel and plan accordingly. Second, I’d get a comprehensive plan.

  • hi mani can we carry both parents medicines in bulk to usa in checked in bags with prescription,not in cabin or hand bag as they are diabetic hypertensive etc?also aloevera juiceand karela juice etc in checked in bags?do they open and check these bags?

    • For medicines, normal quantity (for perhaps a week stay) is ok, with prescription. But unusual quantities might get you questions at immigration. If you are taking home made juice in large quantities, it is very likely to get caught at immigration as they could be threat of infection on them. Normal quantity (branded possibly) with declaration (in immigration form) is ok though.

Who is Mani Karthik?

Having lived in 3+ countries, 8+ cities and worked for small and big companies alike, I have a lot to share with you all! I shuttle between USA and India.

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