New Hampshire Basics for International Visitors

International visitors find New Hampshire as picturesque as they’ve imagined and incredibly hard to leave when their holiday is over. Here’s some basic information to help you plan your visit to New Hampshire from across the border or overseas.

Currency Exchange
Although there’s no currency-exchange service on-site at Manchester–Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire, some major banks in the state provide this service for international visitors during business hours. Traveler's checks in U.S. dollar denominations may be exchanged at most banks.

ATMs (automated teller machines) are readily available at the airport and at banks and retail establishments throughout the state. Most are linked to international networks, so international visitors may access funds from their accounts. Fees typically apply.

Locate an ATM: Driving:
Foreign citizens vacationing in New Hampshire may drive, provided they hold a valid driver's license from their home country, plus an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued by their home country. The U.S. doesn’t issue International Driving Permits to visitors from other countries.

The speed limit on Interstate highways is 65 miles per hour (104 kilometers per hour). Obey other roadway speed limits as posted. Vehicle passengers under the age of 18 must wear seatbelts or be restrained in an approved car seat or booster seat if they’re under 7 years old and 57 inches tall. In New Hampshire, it’s legal to turn right at a red light after stopping completely when there’s no sign prohibiting right turns, and circumstances make it safe to proceed.

Car Rental
Rental-car company policies vary. You may expect to be required to show a valid driver's license from your home country, as well as an International Driving Permit issued by your country of residence. Some companies don’t rent cars to individuals under the age of 25. If you are 21 to 24, underage surcharges may apply, and certain categories of vehicles may not be available to you.

Time Zone
New Hampshire is on U.S. Eastern Time (GMT minus five hours). Daylight Saving Time is observed. Clocks are set forward one hour at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March. New Hampshire returns to Eastern Standard Time at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November.

Calling Codes
The country code for the United States is 1. The area code for New Hampshire is 603. To reach an operator in New Hampshire, dial 0. To make international calls from New Hampshire, dial 011, followed by the country code and the phone number.

In the United States, electricity is provided as 120V 60Hz alternating current via wall outlets designed for NEMA 1 (two flat prongs) or NEMA 5 (two flat prongs with a third round grounding pin) plugs. If you’re traveling to New Hampshire with appliances and devices not compatible with U.S. electrical standards, you may require a converter and/or an adapter.

Gratuities and Taxes
In New Hampshire, gratuities for service personnel (restaurant servers, hotel housekeepers, bellhops, and so on) are customary and should be based, in part, on the quality of the service you received. In general, add a tip of 15% to 20% of your total bill for restaurant wait staff; tip bellhops and others who assist with baggage $1 per bag; and leave $2 to $5 per night for hotel housekeeping staff, depending on the size and level of accommodations.

Many travelers come to the USA to shop, and in New Hampshire, there’s no sales tax, so your money goes even further. Travelers are, however, subject to a 9% Meals and Rooms Tax assessed on stays in hotels (or any facility with sleeping accommodations) and restaurant or takeout meals costing $0.36 or more. A 9% tax is also assessed on motor-vehicle rentals.

Attire in New Hampshire tends to be casual, although you may want to pack a dressy outfit if you’re attending a business meeting or planning an elegant evening out. The weather in New England can be changeable, so dressing in layers is always a traveler's best strategy. Even when summer temperatures climb, it can be significantly cooler on the water or in the mountains. Winter visitors should pack boots, gloves/mittens, scarves, hats, and warm jackets. Seasonal attire may also be purchased in New Hampshire when you arrive.