It would seem that there might be some advice: take with you more dollars - that’s all the recommendations. But in reality there are a number of nuances that you should know about before you leave. The United States is not a very cheap, but in some places a frankly expensive country, especially given the current ruble / dollar exchange rate. In particular, this applies to New York and California - the most popular states among tourists. This does not mean that you have to limit yourself in everything, but optimizing your budget will not hurt.
The most important thing you need to know about: housing and food - these are the expense items that will account for the lion's share of your costs. When planning the budget, I would recommend laying on average $ 150 a day for accommodation and about $ 100 for food (all for two, of course). These are the amounts that guarantee you comfortable housing and a more or less diverse diet. Yes, the numbers are shocking, but what can you do: finding a normal home cheaper than $ 100, especially in New York and the suburbs, is almost impossible, and the cost of one dish in a mid-range restaurant starts from $ 8-10, and this does not include taxes and gratuities.
Of course, there are ultra-low-cost options in which the cost of a roof over your head and food can be reduced to several tens of dollars a day, but this is not our choice. If you, of course, do not want to eat exclusively cheap fast food every day and live in the same room with a bunch of other thrifty travelers. About how to choose housing and where to eat - read in the following parts.
By the way, about taxes and gratuities: neither one nor the other is usually included in the visible price of goods in the USA. Whether you buy a can of cola in a store or pay for a taxi - in most cases, in addition to the amount that you see on the price tag, you will also have to pay a tax (or even a few). Since the tax rates in different states (and even cities) can be different, for the convenience of preliminary calculation, simply add another 10% to the price - the total amount will be plus or minus the amount that you have to pay.
The situation is similar with tips: when you receive an invoice in a cafe or restaurant, you will most likely see the final amount excluding tips. In the United States, it is customary to leave them in the amount of 18-22% of the amount of the check. More is possible, less is not recommended, not leaving at all is impossible. When my acquaintances compatriots were dissatisfied with the service and decided to leave the waitress without remuneration, she caught up with them at the exit and was reasonably indignant at the lack of a tip. As a result, there was a scandal that almost ended with a call to the police, which is understandable: according to local concepts, non-payment of tips is in a sense equivalent to if you didn’t pay the bill at all. Of course, such a development of events is rather an exception than a rule, but you should not experiment and take risks.
In some establishments, mainly located on hiking trails, tips are included in the bill. In this case, the “service fee” or something like that will appear on the check. If you have received an invoice and are uncertain whether a tip is included, ask the waiter.
Now a little about how it is worth taking money for expenses with you. The USA is the country of the long-won “plastic”: bank cards are accepted almost everywhere - from vending machines for drinks to entrances to national parks. So before leaving, I recommend putting about two-thirds of the amount spent on the card, and it is advisable that it be tied in a dollar account and belong to the Visa system - so you can avoid unnecessary currency conversion when paying. Take the remaining third with you cash, making sure that at least some of this money is in the form of small bills - 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 dollars. They will come in handy in the early days for paying tips, buying street food and paying for goods where cards and / or hundred-dollar bills are not accepted (and such places are also found).
Another important point regarding bank cards: when someone (a seller or an automatic machine) asks you which card you have - debit or credit - answer credit, even if you have a debit card. Do not ask why, just remember - in the USA, any card issued in the Russian Federation that has a magnetic strip / chip and your name is indicated is considered a credit card.