Lots of people want to see more of the world, and many of them dream of travelling America. America is absolutely huge. There are 50 states, and many of them are larger than the country you probably live in. Just like other countries, America has its own traditions and customs that you’ll be expected to stick to. Here are some things to consider when travelling america.
You’ll Pay More Than the Listed Price
It can be tempting to go on shopping sprees in America, especially when everything is so cheap. However, you need to remember that you’ll pay more than the listed price. VAT is put on top. It totally depends on the state you’re in, but it can be anywhere from 4-6%. I usually tell people to add 10%, because that’s easier and you’ll be able to work out if it’s really a bargain or not.
Don’t Try to Be Funny at the Airport
The amount of people that try to be funny at the airport is astounding, especially when it comes to making jokes about bombs. Do not under any circumstances say anything that could be taken the wrong way, even if you feel like you’re being funny and it’s obvious. Don’t say anything that could get you in big trouble with a stripsearch to boot.
Public transport isn’t as widely used in America as in the UK, for instance. You can still use it, but you’ll need to do some research so you know exactly where to get it. Transport is also used for touring the country. For example, you can get a Miami to Key West bus tour, but you’ll need to know exactly where it is beforehand.
Prepare to Pay a Gratuity
Paying a gratuity is customary in America too. You are expected to pay a tip for the service you receive. Hopefully, this means the service will be good but it can vary from place to place. Either way, there’s no getting away from it. Some places might automatically add your gratuity onto it, so double check that first. If nothing has been added on, make sure you add a good percentage on top for the wait staff. If you’re really pleased with the service you’ve received, make sure you add more.
Slow Down When You Talk
Americans won’t always be able to understand your accent, depending on where you come from. Make sure you slow down when you talk and really try to pronounce your words. It’s better than constantly repeating yourself!
Apply for an ESTA
Make sure you apply for an ESTA well in advance so you can actually make it into the state you’re visiting. If you don’t, you’ll probably be turned away once you reach the American airport you’re travelling to. This helps them to judge whether you’re a person they want to let into the country, so you need to apply and you need to be honest.
The drinking age is 21, and there will be no exceptions. If you’re not 21 yet, don’t make any plans to drink.
Watch Your Topics
Some topics are very controversial in America, so beware what you start talking about. Politics, abortion, and patriotism are taken very seriously, but there’s more.
Remember these points and you’ll have a much better time!