What should We absolutely not do when visiting the USA?

What should We absolutely not do when visiting the USA?

What do you think?

12 Points
Upvote Downvote

39 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. If you go shopping in a grocery store, the clerk will generally bag your groceries for you. You can always do it yourself, but let them know you plan to do so. (It’s actually more awkward other way around when an American goes to Europe and stands there like a lump expecting someone to bag their groceries for them.)

    Fast food restaurants are generally low quality, dirty, and gross. Yelp is a great way to find good restaurants in your area.

    Americans smile a lot, especially in customer service. Feel free to smile back.

    There are LOTS of homeless people, especially in cities. Best not to smile at them or even make eye contact.

    Please and thank you go a long way here.

    Americans are friendly, but we are really weird about personal space and touching. Don’t touch other people, even if it’s just meant to be friendly.

    Maintain your situational awareness at all times. Don’t let yourself be distracted by something and lose sight of what’s going on around you.

    If you’re driving and you see lights and hear sirens behind you, safely pull over to the right until the emergency vehicle has passed.

    For emergencies, dial 911.

  2. Don’t be shocked about how price tags don’t have the sales tax, VAT or whatever. There is no federal sales tax it’s determined at the state, county, and city levels so the same item has a different tax even within the same metropolitan area so no way it can be tagged. Just add 10% to whatever you buy to be safe in your thinking

  3. Americans will make fun of other Americans, but only in other states.

    So if you’re in Pennsylvania “these damn new yorkers are so rude” or if you’re in Connecticut “they have no idea how to drive in Pennsylvania!!”

    Or if you’re not sure what state you’re currently in you can go with the standard “why does new jersey even exist?” Because everyone hates new jersey

  4. Greetings! Here’s some easy things to remember when visiting the US.

    Beyond the obvious like don’t steal or anything try to remember:

    Always keep it moving, if you must stop whether it’s walking, biking, or driving, make every effort to move out of the paths of traffic.

    Don’t stare and try to respect personal space, the US is big and not super crowded in most places.

    Don’t bother with politics, it’s not worth it.

    Some people watch Football, but out here a ton of people watch Gridiron Football, learn the difference and don’t get upset when someone makes a mistake.

    No one finds terrorism a joke out here, avoid the topic.

    We tip out here, if you aren’t sure ask. But generally 18% is safe for most normal sized parties 1-6.

    Don’t interact with strangers children out here.

    America is massive, don’t plan to drive cross country unless you have a few weeks. It’s 2900 miles from California to New York.

    We use the Imperial system out here, don’t bother arguing it.

    Also out date format is different. Ours is Month//Day/Year not, Day//Month//Year. Keep it in mind.

    Hope these help and I got plenty of Do’s if you’re interested as well.

  5. Don’t smoke in public buildings; this is illegal. Don’t smoke in someone’s house, apartment, or condo without asking for permission; this isn’t illegal, but it’s still extremely rude.

  6. Stay arms length away from strangers. And don’t go in for a cheek kiss. We don’t do that here and as a woman, it’s highly uncomfortable from strange men. May sound like random advice but it happened to me and I don’t know why on earth anyone thought that was normal here, NEVER seen this anywhere in the US.

  7. don’t forget to tip servers or cab drivers. the standard is at least 20% of your total bill. remember that tax isn’t included on price tags and will be added at the register. if you’re pulled over by an officer, absolutely do not get out of your car, just roll the window down. there have been many confused foreigners that got in trouble for getting out of the car.

    don’t discuss taboo topics in public (politics, race, gender, etc.) and don’t compare countries or states in front of locals.

    “hi, how are you” is a pretty standard greeting between people, even if you’re strangers. don’t ignore this, it’s rude. you don’t need to have an elaborate, thought out, or honest answer, nobody is legitimately concerned about your current wellbeing, it’s just nice. it’s perfectly acceptable to just say “good and you?” as long as you’re also asking the person how they are.

    don’t let all the bad news scare you from enjoying your time here.

  8. I’d say don’t visit without a plan. The country is huge and unless you’re spending the whole time downtown in a major city you’ll be spending way too much time traveling place to place (unless you really like driving, in which case the US is probably the best place in the world to visit lol)

    Everyone on Reddit complains about healthcare all the time, but if you don’t live here that shouldn’t matter. You’d never get turned away and it’s not like they can garnish your wages or throw you in jail lol. If you think there’s a chance you go hiking and break your leg then I’d get traveller’s insurance to avoid the headache.

    Other than that, I guess it’s just be cogent of what you’re expecting. I don’t know where you’re from or where you’re going but I’d say the most interesting things are for sure national parks and large cities. Suburbia is totally different from anything I’ve seen in Europe and there might be some novelty in in but not worth taking up limited vacation time. And then of course there are so many parts of the US that it’s tough to be any more specific. Going to the beach in Florida Vs. NYC Vs. The Rockies Vs. Yellowstone Vs. Texas are all gonna have pretty different vibes and expectations

  9. Traveler safety tips for visiting the US

    * Don’t feed the Americans. Any Americans. It’s not great for them, and it can be potentially dangerous for you. From a slight nip to an all-out attack, giving food to wild Americans can set you up for an injury or worse.

    * Don’t try to pet the Americans. That beautiful baby walking across the road probably has a mama nearby who’ll attack.

    * Don’t even go near any cute and cuddly Americans. Avoid touching anyone you see. It’s not safe for you or them.

    * Don’t get too close. Believe it or not, you’re in their territory. Most wild Americans don’t love it when you invade their space.

    * Don’t provoke, sneak up on, or scare Americans. Wild Americans are unpredictable and that innocent-looking one will protect itself at all costs. Trying to provoke them is a recipe for disaster.

    * Don’t wander off the main roads after dark.

    * Don’t surprise a mother who’s with her babies.

    * Do make noise. It’ll let Americans know you’re nearby so you don’t startle them.

    * Do watch for American’s tracks and poop. They can let you know who might be around.

    * Do carry bear spray if you’re in an area known to have Americans.

    In the majority of cases, wild American encounters are a non-issue. While you’re in the country, it’s fun to see Americans. But you should always use common sense and know what to do if an encounter goes wrong.

  10. Let’s say you’re heading to my neck of the woods, or desert in my case, the city of Las Vegas. Don’t spend all your time on The Strip, unless that’s all you can do. People might speak highly of Seven magic mountains, but it’s a waste of time. It’s just rocks painted in colors that don’t fit the surrounding area. And if you feel like you’re in an area that sets your gut instinct off, trust it. Most importantly, try not to be rude to people who are just doing their jobs.

  11. Politics and religion have been mentioned several times. I just say no. I’ll tell someone quick, “I’m just not in the mood.”

    If you come through the South, send me a PM. I’m in Louisiana, I’ll take you to the range and feed you some food that will change your life.

Leave a Reply