Travel tips for the USA

So, a few days ago, I saw a list of travel tips for traveling the world. AKA, Stuff you need to know when visiting other countries.

For instance, it’s quite rude to tip in Japan. But here in America, it’s really rude if you don’t tip!

Anyway, since I’ll be blogging a lot about cities here in the USA (and since, I was born and raised) Here’s a few things the international crowd might want to know.

Americans are loud and friendly. 

Now of course, everyone is different. I know some very very quiet Americans and also ones who are not friendly, but for the most part, we are. Our normal, everyday speaking voice is just louder then others.

Example, I have a friend who’s from the UK, he lived there until he was 12 and then moved here. We’ll frequently hang out with other people. It was me and several other friends were all chatting, I noticed with the music playing in the background, everyone was having trouble hearing our British friend.

Because his natural speaking voice is softer then ours.

I literally can’t explain it anymore. No, we don’t yell indoors (try not to anyway) But we’re just.. natural a bit louder.

We are also very friendly. When I’m out walking, listening to my music, if I make eye contact with a person, I smile at them and they smile back. This happens all the time. It’s normal and natural.

Also, if you’re visiting and you get lost, do not be afraid ask for directions.  Heck, I’ve had cars pulls over to the sidewalk to ask where the post office is. Always stay a few steps back from the car, but I just point them in the right direction.

There’s always bad apples in every country, so do be careful. But in general, we are so okay with helping another person out.

When I was in San Diego, I got lost. Very very lost. I pulled into a parking lot and went into a sandwich shop to ask for directions. A random guy was like Oh, I know where that is. And I followed behind his car for several blocks until he lead me  back to the freeway.

Easy as can be. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Tipping.

This is important. The rule of thumb is this. If you can’t afford to tip, don’t eat out. I know it sounds crazy, but you look like a really big jerk if you don’t tip. We tip based on service. If the waiter did a horrible job, then leaving them like a few penny’s or no tip at all makes sense. But that’s pretty rare, in the last decade, it’s only happened to me once.

Now, when to tip. If you go to a fast food (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, ETC) Aka, someplace where you walk up to a counter, order food and then it’s delivered to you, no tip needed. They usually leave a tip jar out and it’s nice to do, but not needed. Most people usually leave a dollar or spare change.

If you go to a sit down restaurant, where they take your order and bring you food, then you need to tip.

How much do you tip? It depends.

Lets say your meal was twenty dollars (including tax.) The waiter did a nice job. I’d say 15-18%. If you want to be nice, 20% or more.

If you go out to eat with a large party, you need to leave a bit more. When there’s 14 people and the bill comes out to 140$ total, leaving 10 bucks is not enough. In that case, I’d def say leave 20$ (But since there’s 14 of you, split it between you guys obviously)

You can’t afford that? Think before you eat out. They pay waiters here very little. They make most of their money from tips. Also, not tipping leaves a very strong messages. And not tipping after a large group, that’s extremely rude, expect to get glares when you leave.

Finally,

I once saw this in a news article. A man from Argentina once at a mall patted a few kids on the head. He didn’t think anything of it, the kid’s parents called the police. The guy wasn’t arrested, but good to know. Don’t touch a stranger unless they give you permission or  emergency. And especially don’t touch someone else’s kid.

I know there’s several cultures where they air kiss or kiss on the cheeks. I know many Americans will do it to you in your country, but here, it’s a little more odd.

I don’t speak for all Americans, I bet there’s more who don’t mind air kissing someone they just met, but in general, we’re used to shaking hands.

If you are not used to shaking hands in greeting, it’s very simple. Firm but not painful grip while looking the person in the eye.

Easy.

So that’s about it. Have a great day and see you around =)

 

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