What Should Tourists Not Do When Visiting USA?

Are you busy packing your bag with all your important documents and fabulous dresses you bought for your trip to the US? These aren’t the only important things you should be worried about. It is important that you understand the social etiquettes, culture and behaviour of people in US, so that you can have a stress-free stay.

Here’s a list of things that you should not do when visiting USA.

Racial Comments Aren’t Welcomed

Not just in U.S., but tourists need to respect the regional and ethnic creed of people. US has also struggled with racist history and suffered a lot of small and big civil wars. It is a vast region where people of numerous race, class, faith and religions live together. It is important that you respect people’s faith and don’t hurt their sentiments. Make sure you don’t pass racist comments or indulge with hate groups, while you are travelling in US.

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Don’t Indulge in Insensitive Political Commentaries

Americans have strong political sentiments and beliefs. Often, they are very sensitive to the ideologies that they follow. Political discussions could turn into criticism and then into heated arguments. It may lead to personal attacks and violent fights. So, when strangers try to avoid a subject, that’s the cue to stop. However, you can have polite international political discussions with your acquaintances in US.

Don’t Forget to Tip

Americans believe in tipping generously. The average salary of employees in restaurants is relatively low and can range from $2.13 to $7.25 per hour, so tips make a large part of the employee’s salary in US. It is considered highly rude, if you come out of an eatery without tipping. You can choose to tip anything between 10-20% of your total bill, according to an article on tripsavvy. However, make sure to check your bill, as restaurants sometimes automatically add 18% tip.

Breaking Traffic Rules is Not Cool

Breaking traffic rules is considered as a serious offence in the states. It is better to follow traffic rules such as, not drinking while driving, obeying speed limits, waiting properly at the signals and many such other rules seriously, which will help you, avoid a ticket or a visit to the police station.  Moreover, American police is very strict by nature; but extremely helpful at the same time. Remember, not to ever offer bribe to the police officers, as it is considered as an offensive crime in America, says an article on Quartz. Additionally, remember that you have to drive on the right side in America!

Don’t Smoke In Public

This is something that you can adhere to when you are travelling anywhere in the globe. Often there is a ‘No Smoking’ sign in and around healthcare buildings, private buildings, shopping complexes, parks and beaches. Cities like Chicago, Washington DC, New York, and Seattle has stringiest rules against smoking and has banned smoking even in bars, restaurants and clubs. So, it is better to check for a ‘No Smoking’ sign before lighting your cigarette.

The US is a fun place to be in, with plenty to see and experience. Make the most of your time there.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.