So. Christmas. And I find myself on an unplanned trip to the USA, Washington DC. I am here visiting family so I won't post many tourist pictures, but I think I can get some good, general info about travelling out here.
Being born in Iran, I am since early this year no longer allowed to travel on ESTA (online quick visa). Same goes for anyone who's visited Iran over the past 5 years. Read more here:
Process of getting a regular tourist VISA wasn't too painful, and all available online, except for the interview. However, make sure to have the interview during summer and bring a snack - they'll keep you queuing outside for a couple of hours at the American Embassy in Stockholm. And only those with appointment are allowed in. Anyway, the VISA is good for 10 years so that's good.
Tip #1: if you have to visit the American Embassy in Stockholm, do it in the Summer.
So, what's up recently? Any new terror attacks? Nothing that concerns airports, to my knowledge, so I was surprised to see the hardened security all over the place. At transit, there were extra interviews and checks and there were extra queues at the destination airport. An ESTA would have saved me a lot of time at destination, as ESTA holders didn't have to wait in line... but what's a girl to do. Hopefully we are safer this way. However, I learned one thing...
Tip #2: If you have brought a snack for the air trip, make sure to finish it all up and throw away any leftovers before getting to the airport. After all the queuing, I was forced into yet another line, since I had leftover apple and the agricultural people needed to take a look.
A few notes on how to get a cab from the airport to town would've been good, but I had a ride so again I cannot give any tourist information at this point. I hear it's easy to get shuttle everywhere though.