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Do’s and Don’ts For Foreign Travelers in The USA

Whether you are coming to the US through visa or ESTA VISA, there is one thing you should know – you should keep in mind those things you can do and cannot do when you are there. It is important that you do your own research on which things you are allowed to do in the US and which ones you should be careful of doing. Although things vary from one state to another, still you should be careful of federal laws that operate in all states.

Do Give Tips for Good Service

One of the most customary practices in the United States is tipping. In fact, this makes up a huge percentage of the salaries of some servers. This is especially true if the average wage can only reach as much as $7.25 per hour, depending on which state one is in. The thing is that it is quite rude to walk out of a good restaurant if you did not leave any tip.

Although the tip is usually based on the tipper’s discretion, you can tip anything from 10 to 20 percent of your bill. There are also some restaurants that may charge you an extra 18% for gratuity fee in case they hear your accent or they see that you are not from the United States. Mention it to them if you see it, and provide the payment for it anyway. There is no need for an extra tip if you’re paying the gratuity fee already.

Don’t Think You Can Just Smoke Anywhere

While you may freely smoke in your home country, it does not mean you can do the same thing in the United States. In fact, as of October 2015, there are already 28 US states that have banned smoking even indoors in public places.

There are also around 60 cities including Nashville, Miami, and Las Vegas which have issued the same prohibition in their respective locations. America may be the land of the free, but your USA visa could be questioned if the police found you smoking on a California beach.

Don’t Use American Slang

When you’re in the US, do not display what you’ve heard in your favorite Hollywood action movie by repeating the cussing in front of an American. Most Americans may look down on you and may feel insulted if you use certain words that could sound abusive to them.

Be very careful too with words that are sensitive to a particular race. For example, use normal English when asking “How are you?” instead of something like “How are Y’all?” or “How are you, man?” Be careful too when calling people “fat” when they expect you to just use a polite word like “healthy.”

Do Obey Traffic Signs and Laws

While you may enjoy considerable freedom in your home country when it comes to over speeding or crossing the street even when it says you should not, do not do the same thing while you’re in the US. While stop lights, pedestrian lanes, and “No Parking” signs in some countries are merely suggestions for drivers and passers-by, they are strictly enforced in the United States.

For example, if you are driving, the law prohibits you from driving along unless the light turns green. Drivers must always stop at the red light and must give way to people crossing the pedestrian lane. Be careful or your US visa, esta, or driver’s license might be questioned by the police in case you are violating any traffic rules.

Do Visit the Amazing National Parks

When coming to the United States for the first time, you should not just visit any place. You should look for the national parks and get there with your family. You cannot find these places anywhere else in the world. America’s national parks are home to grizzly bears and many beautiful sceneries. Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave will give you the longest cave system on earth while the Sequoia National Park in Visalia, California will show you the world’s largest tree.

Some Final Words

Going to the United States alone or with your whole family may be as convenient as using only a USA esta visa. Nonetheless, you and your family members should be familiar with things that you could do and could not do in the US, especially with those things that you cannot do. Otherwise, you could get yourselves in big trouble. The US police could detain you for simple traffic violations, or an American could tell you off for an insulting word you have spoken.

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