American Etiquette Every Traveller Needs To Know

America may be a westernized country that’s pretty laid back, but just like anywhere it has its quirks, and you’ll need to know a bit about the accepted etiquette before you pay it a visit.

Dealing with the police

Police in America are very on the ball, and whatever you do, do not be over friendly, or try and bribe them. Rather comply with their instructions and be honest and upfront about not being local. Know as much of the law as possible, and if it’s legal to drink, play the online slots Australia has to offer, or when you can use a mobile device.

Discussing about politics

This can be a very sensitive topic, so it is often to best leave well enough alone. You can of course read the crowd, but don’t call the president an idiot and bash their political systems, as you may get into trouble, fast. Talking about Trump is never a good idea either, nor is criticizing past presidents, as many Americans are very passionate about the men who have led their country.

Racist remarks

This should be a given that it is a no, but sometimes you may even say something in jest and it can be misinterpreted. Steer clear of any racist terms and even if you think it funny, do not use the N word, even in an ironic way!

Chatting to women

Americans may refer to women as babe or chick, but rather keep these terms out of your vocabulary. They can be deemed derogatory and they may land you in hot water, especially considering the current focus on equal rights and feminism.

XL-sized meals

America is famous for its huge meal portions, but don’t be afraid to ask servers to bag up any leftovers. Not finishing your meal doesn’t mean you have to leave it all behind. Most restaurants are more than happy to give you a ‘to go box’ as a take away.

Tipping servers

Tipping servers in the USA is the norm. But you must also remember that all restaurants and bar menus have their prices before sales tax, and so everything you order will cost as much as 26% more. This tax will reflect on the bill, but a tip for the server will not, unless it is specified that this is added upfront. Tipping is usually at around 15-20% of the bill and you may even see some bills include a suggested tip section.

Public bathrooms

Like most countries, the nicer the establishment, the nicer the bathroom will be. As always, try and leave the restroom as you found it, but be warned, there are some restrooms in gas stations and convenience store that leave a lot to be desired.

Personal space

Americans are not huge fans of having others in their personal space, so if you are riding the subway or in close proximity try and remember this. Unlike in some countries where affection between strangers is the norm, this is not the case in the USA.

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About the Author: Mercedes Sanchez