20 Don’ts Of Traveling In America, As Shared By People Online
Sometimes, tourists are not aware of certain things when they visit a new country. This ignorance leads to uncomfortable situations for the tourists themselves or the local people.
Recently, someone asked, “If visiting America what is something that person should NEVER do?” and many people gave their advice on what not to do in America. So if you are planning to visit America, this thread might be helpful for you. Scroll below to read some answers.
More Info: Reddit
#1 Do Not Assume Sunshine Means Warm Weather In The Midwest Or Northeast
“If you are coming to the Midwest or northeast during winter be prepared and don’t think sunshine means warm weather. It can be deceptively cold. :)”
#2 Do Not Trashtalk American Customs
“Don’t talk about how you think a holiday or American custom is stupid if you are invited to someone’s home. We had a guest from Germany once, who was invited to my parents house for Thanksgiving . The whole day she talked about how it wasn’t a real holiday and it was just an excuse for fat Americans to eat more. It was extremely insulting and made the day unpleasant for everyone. If you are invited to someone’s home, at least try to to be polite.”
#3 Do Not Leave Without Tipping Restaurant Staff
“Whether you agree with it or not (and the Redditland consensus is not), but please do not leave a restaurant without tipping (unless you’ve had really bad service). Again, the debate on this can be had another day, but right now, IRL, these servers depend upon these tips.”
#4 Do Not Wear Clothes That Allude To Hell’s Angels
“Wear clothing that has any imagery associated with Hells Angels. I was once at the convention centre in San Francisco during the setup of an event, and happened to be wearing a t shirt that had a variation of the “death head” logo on it (I had no idea – it was a cheap t shirt bought in the U.K. that I liked the look of). There was a guy riding round on a fork lift that kept staring at me and talking to his buddies. Eventually he came over and asked if I was associated at all with the Hells Angels. When I said no, he basically told me that if I was spotted outside wearing that t shirt by a member of the gang, I’d be in a whole heap of trouble. He was so insistent that he virtually escorted me back to my hotel to change it. At the time I couldn’t believe it, I was like “mate it’s just a t shirt I bought for 10 quid from TK Maxx” but in hindsight he probably did me a favour.”
#5 Do Not Exit The Vehicle If You’ve Been Pulled Over By The Police
“If pulled over by the cops, do not exit the vehicle unless they ask you to. The cops might sit in their vehicle for a while, & then they will approach the window & expect you to talk to them while sitting in the car.”
#6 Do Not Ignore The Tourist Advice Of The Locals
“If locals tell you not to go to a certain part of town, listen to them. Similarly, don’t go touring drug or gang territory.”
#7 Do Not Approach Raccoons
Raccoons are cute… but from a distance.
I had two f*ckers break into my condo and steal my dogs food. And as they went over the wall of my patio it was like watching a fat middle aged man do an obstacle course.”
#8 Do Not Swim In Standing Bodies Of Water In Florida
“If you find yourself in Florida, absolutely do not swim in the lakes, ditches, or channels. Any standing body of water can (and does) have alligators in it. Also possibly water moccasins. And maybe even diseases.”
#9 Do Not Photograph The Amish
Image source: saradoering82
“Do not take pictures of the Amish. It’s really rude to them.”
#10 Do Not Stray From The Path
“When visiting tourist places, if there are signs instructing you to “stay on the path” or “please do **not** touch” or “**no** flash photography” or a guide at the place asks you to please refrain from doing something….
DO AS THEY (or the sign) ASK! It’s no different than when the tourism is in reverse.”
#11 Do Not Engage With Folks Who Ask What You’ll Be Doing The Next Day In Las Vegas
“If you’re visiting Las Vegas, do *not* engage with anyone that asks if you’ll be in town tomorrow night. They’re trying to rope you into a timeshare presentation and even though they’ll offer free show tickets, meal vouchers, and even cash, it’s not worth it! The tour and “short” presentation will be way longer (and obnoxiously higher pressure) than you’d expect and they know damn well after you’ve invested a few hours you’re not going to leave without the promised reward that they only give you at the very end.
These people are most often found at the entrances to malls or casinos at what can be easily mistaken for information booths. Either just say “no” no matter how long you’re actually still going to be there or flat-out ignore them.
Also don’t accept the cards being handed out by people in brightly colored shirts on the strip unless you want a promo for strippers.”
#12 Do Not Haggle
“[Do not] haggle. There are times it’s appropriate to haggle in the US, but none of them are going to come up on your tourist trip. In the US, haggling is basically reserved for high-ticket items and certain services. You can’t haggle for things in a store or at a restaurant. The people you’re talking to usually don’t have the power to change the price, and if they do, they still won’t want to. The exceptions would be of the thing in the store is damaged (and they might not reduce the price, they might just take the broken one from you and find you a decent one), or if the person you’re dealing with is a criminal (ex; the guys who sell stolen purses, fake sunglasses, and bootleg DVDs in the street in some cities). Goods in stores or at kiosks have a set price based on pretty specific metrics, and everyone pays the same. No one’s going to cry or try and convince you if you walk away.”
#13 Do Not Go Into The Wilderness Unprepared
“Do NOT go into the wilderness unprepared. If a trail says 2 miles and 2000′ of elevation gain, that’s not a nature walk.
Do NOT approach wild Animals. Yea, the moose looks big and stupid, but he’ll kill you. So will the bears, mountain lions, alligators, snakes.”
#14 Do Not Underestimate Travel Distances
“Underestimate distances. When I was a tour guide, far too many customers asked how many HOURS the train to New York was [in seattle] and I had to put their jaw back in when I said 5 days.”
#15 Do Not Assume Places Will Be Walkable, Or Rely On Public Transport Alone; Also Friendly American Alert
“Don’t underestimate the size of the U.S. We get a lot of international visitors who think they can hit Disneyworld and the Grand Canyon in one or two days. America is huge. We’ve got 50 states for a reason.
Also, don’t expect things to be extremely walkable, or assume a decent public transportation system will be available to you. Urban areas usually have good public transport but truthfully, America is built around having a car. We have drive thru everything – banks, pharmacies, fast food, and in some states, liquor stores.
Don’t get weirded out if Americans wave and randomly want to chat you up. We’re a pretty talkative bunch, but do watch out for hot-button topics (for example, politics…we’re a hot mess right now).”
#16 Do Not Visit The Hospital, Unless It’s Absolutely Necessary
“Don’t go to the hospital unless absolutely necessary. The memes don’t lie, they’ll charge you $2,100 for a s***ty Walgreens splint and an x-ray.”
#17 Do Not Underestimate The Intense Heat Of The Southwest U.S.
“Visiting south west USA? Cali. Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, ect. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE HEAT, all to often people try a hike in 113° and end up needing rescue. And that’s no good for anyone.”
#18 Do Not Assume The Price On The Item Is Actually What It Costs Because Taxes
“Don’t assume that the price shown on an item for sale is your price for said item.
There are almost always taxes that are added to the price when you go to pay.”
#19 Do Not Try To Bribe An Officer Of The Law
“Do not attempt bribe a police officer. It’s common in some countries, but it will land you in a world of s**t here.”
#20 Do Not Make Extended Eye Contact With Folks On The Subway In New York
“If you’re in a New York City subway, try not to make too much eye contact or look too long at people around you. Old guy lighting up a crack pipe near the door between cars? Just ignore the smell. Woman near you screaming at the top of her lungs at her silent child? Keep listening to your music. Someone digging through their bag, muttering to themselves, and throwing rose petals on the floor like they’re preparing for a seance? Just keep staring blankly at your phone. Trust me.”