Time Zone Georgia is in the Eastern Standard Time zone, which is five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-5). For example, Georgia is five hours behind Great Britain, six hours behind mainland western Europe and eleven hours behind Japan. Transport Airport Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (atlanta-airport.com) is the busiest airport in the world. Despite that, it is generally easy to navigate your way through if you watch for signs. When you are departing to return to your home country, make sure that you arrive at least three hours before your flight. This will help to ensure that you have enough time to check in, get through security and board the plane. If you have more than a couple of hours between flights, consider taking a MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) train from the airport’s baggageclaim area into Atlanta to see some of its attractions. Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (savannahairport.com) is another key Georgia airport. Other airports around the state may also be used for connecting flights. When you are packing for your flight, be sure not to pack any liquid products larger than three ounces (3.3 ounces equals 100ml) in size, as these are prohibited on all flights. If you will need these products, purchase containers that are three ounces or smaller and place it in a quart-sized (1 quart equals about 1 litre) zippered transparent plastic bag. You are only allowed one of these bags per person (items must fit in it comfortably). Any other liquid items will have to be discarded. Taxis Taxis are easily obtained at the Atlanta airport and at most hotels. If you are in the Atlanta area, restaurants and hotels can call a cab for you. Otherwise, keep a taxi service’s phone number with you. Cab companies vary by area, so these phone numbers are best obtained at your hotel. MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) If you will be staying in the Atlanta area, the city’s transit system can save you time and money. You can find a map of its routes and stations on itsmarta.com. You can catch a MARTA train or bus from the baggage-claim area of the airport. Ports The main seaport of Georgia is the Port of Savannah, which is a major U.S. cargo port. A smaller cargo port is located just south of Savannah, in Brunswick. Driving In the United States, people drive on the right-hand side of the road. The speed limit in most residential areas is 35 mph (48 kph) and on the interstate roads and highways, 55 mph (88 kph). Make sure that you look for speed limit signs in the area in which you’re driving. Always make sure your seat belt is fastened, because in Georgia it is against the law to drive without a seat belt, unless you are driving a pick-up truck. Georgia laws also require drivers to turn on their lights when driving in the rain. Licence requirements for drivers In order to drive or hire a car, you must have a driving licence from your home country. Most car rental companies require people hiring cars to be over the age of 25. If you prefer to travel by motorcycle, you can rent these from such places as EagleRider and Signature Days. If a traveller's out-of-country licence is not in English, he or she must obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in English from their home country before departing for Georgia. Smoking/Alcoholic Beverages You must be 18 years or older to purchase tobacco products, and it is illegal to smoke in most public places. You must be 21 or older to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. Accommodation State parks generally offer camping and/or lodging, but make sure that you check before your visit. Motels and inns are generally less expensive than the bigger hotels. Of course, this varies considerably, especially depending on the city. If you’re looking for a more intimate experience, consider a bed and breakfast (B&B). These establishments generally only have a few rooms and are located in private houses. Breakfast is usually included, but ask beforehand. Particularly in the major cities, make reservations before your arrival. Most Americans take family holidays between the months of May and August, so you may have more trouble finding available rooms at that time. If you want to take your accommodation with you on the road, consider renting a camper van or recreational vehicle (RV). These are especially good for long trips and may provide great savings.
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