Is There A Default Time Zone for the US?
Traveling to the United States is a dream for many. Some want to visit this country because of its countless tourist attractions, perfect for adventures. Others want to meet different locals, learn their culture, and try the US' signature dishes. If you have never been to this country before, you might need to understand a few things about the US, including its time zones. The United States observes nine time zones; that's why familiarizing yourself with them is essential to avoid time confusion when traveling.
Time Zones in the United States
Initially, the United States had nine time zones that were approved by the law. However, two additional time zones were observed in its uninhabited territories, Baker Island and Howland Island. As such, there are 11 US time zones.
With these time zones, 4 are standard time zones, and Alaska, Hawaii, and five US dependencies have their time zones. Not all US states observe Daylight Saving Time, and these include Hawaii and the five dependencies. Therefore, only six US states have corresponding DST time zones.
The 12th Time Zone
As mentioned earlier, Baker Island and Howland Island are uninhabited territories in the US. But since they constitute the world's westernmost landmasses regarding the International Date Line, these islands are considered the last places on Earth where any date exists. As such, they are sometimes assigned a theoretical 12th-time zone called Anywhere on Earth (AoE).
Daylight Saving Time in the United States
Daylight Saving Time is a biannual tradition that is observed in many countries, including the United States. Usually, it starts in March, where people have to set their clocks one hour forward. DST ends in November, where those who observe the time set their clocks one hour backward.
If you are visiting the United States soon, remember that their generic name often refers to the time zones in the contiguous US. This means there's no difference between the standard time and Daylight Saving Time designations. For instance, Eastern Time (ET) can refer to Eastern Standard Time (EST) or Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The time depends on which is currently in use.
US' Default Time Zone
Dealing with many time zones is challenging, especially if there is no default time zone. If you are in the US, you might be confused when you go from one place to another because the country observes 11 time zones. Can you use the default time zone instead?
Unfortunately, there is no default time, so you have to change your time depending on the time zone used in the place. The good news is there are time tools that you can use to adjust the time based on your location automatically.
Though there might be no default time zone in the US, you'll find it less challenging to know the time. This is because there are time tools that you can use to know what time it is. The US has many time zones, but with tools like Meeting Planner, you can see that time difference in between time zones.