12 Slip-Ups That Can Wreck Your American Holiday

The USA is one of the biggest countries. With its size comes a diverse culture, weather, and food. However, there are quite a few things that you will not know if you are traveling to the USA for the first time. In this article, we take a look at 12 such items that you should avoid as a tourist in the USA.

Include Too Many Destinations

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The USA is the 4th largest country in the world, with more than 109,000 cities spread across its 50 states and territories. The vastness is something most travelers forget to consider while traveling. If you pack too many cities or items on your list, you may spend more than half your vacation commuting from one place to another.

Make sure to check the map, and include places that are near each other.

Refuse to Give Tips

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It is American culture to tip the service workers. From bartenders to packers and movers, you can tip anyone who helps you. Americans usually tip around 15%.

When people travel to the USA, they are often unaware of the tipping culture. As a result, they either do not tip at all or do not tip well. As a tourist to the USA, you should always tip.

Order Too Much

5. eating bad food in restaurant roach
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American portions are often larger than what you might be used to. As a first-time traveler, be cautious of how much you order. Splitting a main course or appetizer with a friend can be a great way to experience the food culture in the country. If that is not possible, you can opt for smaller portions or order less to avoid wastage.

Prepare for only One Weather

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America is a big country with an extremely diverse landscape. During summer, places on the East Coast are significantly warmer than the ones on the West Coast. Similarly, the East Coast is much colder than the West Coast during winter. Depending on when you make a trip to the USA, and where, be sure to pack your bags with clothes that suit the temperature. For example, North Texas is colder than Houston, and the whole state experiences wild temperature swings.

Buy Items That Seem Cheap

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In most countries the prices include taxes. However, in America, remember that any item on sale costs more than what the packaging shows. This is because taxes get added on top of the selling price. As a tourist, you may not be aware of this.

Joke Around Security Threat

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When it comes to national security, the situation is always tense in the USA. On one hand, there is a liberal culture, and on the other, there is always the threat of an impending breach of security. Did you know that if you make repeated prank calls every 10 minutes, you are violating the law? It is also a serious criminal offense to prank anyone about a bomb threat or a hate crime.

Travel Without a Travel Insurance

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When you travel to the USA, you need to carry travel insurance. The hospitals are expensive and a trip to one can cost you as much as your entire trip.  Whether you are visiting the country for a short period or a long trip, it is necessary to have travel insurance with you.

Forget Different Time Zones

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America is divided into 9 different time zones. extending from GMT -4 hours to GMT -11 hours. The country also follows the standard Daylight Saving Time (DST) protocol during the fall, spring, and summer months. Even as a tourist, when you travel from one part of the USA to another, keep a check on the time zones of the respective places. Before you know it, you may have gone 2 hours ahead.

Step Outside the Car

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It is an unwritten rule among US citizens, but not something that tourists know a lot about. If a cop pulls you over while driving, you should not step outside the car. If you do, the cop will get suspicious and things may get out of hand. Step outside only if they ask you. If not, keep your hand on the steering wheel, and speak to them in a calm, normal tone.

Swim in Florida

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Florida is not the safest when it comes to water bodies. The lakes are full of alligators. There are over 1.5 million alligators in Florida and over the years, there have been many deaths from alligator bites. Yet, people choose to swim in the lakes of Florida. If you visit the country as a tourist, remind yourself to not keep this option on your bucket list.

Smoke Anywhere You Want

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The American laws for smoking are strict. You will be penalized if you smoke outside of the approved public areas. If you are unsure of where to smoke, you can ask. If you smoke in public or in front of kids, it is considered rude. Usually, there are designated areas for smoking and it will help your cause if you smoke only in those areas.

Talk about Politics

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Americans are passionate about politics. Most casual conversations can lead to an argument. As a tourist, you may not always be aware of what is going on in the country or of a politically sensitive topic. Hence, it is better to stay away from the topic of conversation. As long as you stay away, you will not risk putting out a misinformed opinion and offending a local.
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