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Hartford, Connecticut, USA

 

Location

Hartford is located in the center of the state of Connecticut in the northeastern United States at at latitude and longitude of 41° 45′ N, 72° 40′ W. It is located roughly equally between the major cities of New York City and Boston, each a distance of roughly 100 miles (160 km) and a two-hour drive away.
 

Climate

Hartford lies in the humid continental climate zone and experiences four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. IUMAS-6 takes place during the middle of summer. Attendees should expect humid weather with high temperatures in the mid-to-high 80s °F (around 30°C) and occasional afternoon thunderstorms. 
 

Time Zone

Hartford is located in the US Eastern time zone, five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-5). Like most of the United States and Canada, Hartford goes on daylight savings time during the summer months, and hence will be on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). 
 

Telephone Calls

International calls incoming to the United States use the "+1" prefix: dial 1 followed by the three-digit area code and the seven-digit phone number.

International calls originating from the United States use a prefix of "+011": dial 011 followed by the country code, city code and phone number.  
 

Electricity

Standard electrical supply in the United States is 120 V AC / 60 Hz. All electrical outlets that you are likely to encounter are the NEMA 5-15 type, which accept both NEMA 1-15 (parallel prongs for hot & neutral) and NEMA 5-15 (hot & neutral plus ground) plugs.
 

Currency

The U.S. dollar is well known, but the following information may be valuable to those who have not visited the United States.

Unlike many countries, the U.S. has not transitioned from bills to coins for its small dollar denominations: $1 coins exist, but are rarely encountered. Notes are of equal size, regardless of denomination, and those in general use are $20, $10, $5, and $1. (Notes in higher denominations such as $50 and $100 are available but not typically used in day-to-day transactions, and may be refused.)

Coins in use are the quarter (25¢), dime (10¢), nickel (5¢), and penny (1¢). Note that unlike many currencies, the size of the coins do not increase in size with increasing value; the dime is the smallest of U.S. coins.
 

Credit Cards & Cash Machines

Major credit cards are widely accepted at business establishments in the United States. Visa and Mastercard are generally universally accepted; American Express is accepted at major hotels, restaurants and retail outlets, and other major credit cards such as Diner's Club and Discover are accepted at many establishments.

Cash transactions are expected for many personal services transactions such as taxis, shoe shines, and tips. Cash is most conveniently accessed at the ubiquitous cash machines or automated teller machines (ATMs) located in public places such as airports, hotels, and shopping districts. Note that in the United States it is unusual to pay with a note larger than $20, and accordingly ATMs do not dispense larger notes than this.
 

Tax

The United States does not have a national Value Added Tax (VAT) as is common in many countries, but typically has a sales tax that varies according to state. Lodging taxes are typically locally applied and higher than the state sales tax rate.

In Connecticut, a sales tax of 6.35% is applied to the majority of goods and services, including meals. Thus, the bill for an entree listed as $20 will amount to $21.27, including tax.

Hartford levies a lodging tax of 12%. Thus the bill for a hotel room listed as $100 will amount to $112, including tax.  
 

Tipping

Tipping is a regular practice in the United States and an important source of income for individuals who provide personal services of various kinds. With the exception of tipping in restaurants, where the tip is traditionally added to the credit card receipt before signing, tipping in cash is customary. When traveling in the U.S., consider keeping a supply of $1 and $5 bills on hand for this purpose.

  • Restaurants: Service charges are not added to the bill automatically in the United States. Tips - and not wages - are the major source of income for restaurant wait staff, and at tip in the amount of 15% - 20% is customary.  The exception is that for large parties (typically 6 or more), a tip (usually 18%) may be added to the bill automatically.  If paying by credit card, a space for the tip is provided on the credit card receipt; if paying by cash, you can leave an amount of cash including the appropriate tip, or ask for change, then leave a tip in the appropriate amount.
  • Taxis: It is customary to pay for a taxi in an even-dollar amount which includes a tip of 10%-15%. For a taxi fare of $11.35, it would be appropriate to pay $13, either giving the driver exact change or, for example, paying with a $20 bill and asking for $7 back.
  • Porters: A tip of $1-$2 per bag is customary for individuals handling your luggage, whether at an airport or a hotel.
  • Hotel Maid Service: A tip for the maid is expected at the end of your stay in a hotel, typically $1-$2 a day rounded up to the nearest $5 increment. Thus a tip of $10-$15 would be appropriate at the end of a week-long conference. Alternatively, leave $1-$2 each day of your visit, then $5 at the end of your stay.

 

Emergency Calls

The standard emergency phone number in the United States is911.  
 

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