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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

BANKING

Regular banking hours in Houston are 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, with extended hours including weekends at some locations. Visitors who wish to cash cheques or require other banking services are advised to check times of operation with the institutions. Main branches of American banks, particularly in major centres, are equipped to exchange foreign currency.

Most banks have automatic teller machines, which can be accessed 24 hours a day, using bank or credit cards.

CURRENCY

The monetary system in America, United States Dollars (USD), is based on dollars and cents. Foreign currencies may be readily exchanged at the airport, banks or at currency exchange bureaus located throughout the city. Bank debit or credit cards are the most convenient means of getting cash at the many 24-hour automated banking machines (ATMs) located across the city, although, depending on your bank’s agreement, you may have to pay a fee. 

CLIMATE

Houston has subtropical weather with a very high percentage of humidity throughout the year. The months of winter, between November and February, are tempered, and the summer, from the final days of may until September, are warm, with temperatures reaching above 34°C (93.2°F) or more during this season. In fact, Houston is well known for being one of the most “ventilated cities” of the world, because there are air-conditioners everywhere. 

LANGUAGE

English is the official language and is the language spoken by the locals. 

TIME

Houston, Texas lies within the Central Time Zone, i.e. GMT -6 hours. 

ELECTRICITY

The electrical current in the United States is 110 volts AC at 60 Hz. Adapters are required for appliances from other countries.

MEDICAL INSURANCE

Visitors are not covered by American health insurance plans. Check with your personal medical plan before leaving your home country to ensure you have adequate traveling insurance. Delegates are urged to take out insurance to cover loss incurred in the case of cancellation, medical expenses and damage to or loss of personal effects whenever traveling outside of their own country.

SMOKING LAWS

Smoking is not permitted by law in public buildings, on public transit, in shopping malls, and in most restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and casinos. Please smoke in designated areas only.

TIPPING

While tipping is not mandatory in most of the United States, it is customary in many circumstances for service, especially at almost all restaurants which offer table service. Generally, the average tip is 15% to 20% of the total meal cost.