Things Every Traveler Should Know Visiting America | 8 Tips When Traveling to the US

The US can be a fun but confusing place to visit, especially with some of our quirky laws and cultural habits. This video is primarily meant to help travelers visiting America. However, it can also provide insight for Americans with family and friends visiting from abroad.

While there are a ton of unique aspects about the US, we focused on our top 8 items that we felt were important and likely to be experienced by a visitor.

If you’re interested in seeing our “Things an American Notices in the UK” video referenced at the start, visit: https://www.tripastute.com/things-american-notices-uk/

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10 thoughts on “Things Every Traveler Should Know Visiting America | 8 Tips When Traveling to the US

  1. A lot of visitors severely underestimate the size of the USA. If you plan on going to multiple places while in the States, try to schedule an entire day for travelling between destinations, especially if you’re travelling between different states.

    Also, you will *have* to rent a car if you plan on staying for any length of time. Only a few major cities in the US have any sort of public transportation, and passenger trains are practically nonexistent. If you intend to go outside of major metro areas, you will *need* a vehicle of your own.

    Also of note: because the USA is so big, there are still places (particularly out West) with very limited cellphone service. You should be fine in any town or major roadway, but if you’re going deep into undeveloped areas, prepare to lose cellphone service entirely.

  2. Some cities don’t let you turn right on red. NYC only a few areas allow you to turn on red

  3. Sales tax is THE big one of these that will surprise European visitors or anyone else coming from a country where it is included in the marked price by law. It certainly did that to my family first time. If you don’t drive in the US (I never have when I’ve been there) obviously anything about driving won’t apply.

    I would want to add the whole business of getting through US airports. Immigration and Customs officers have no sense of humour whatsoever so don’t try to joke with them.

    And there is no such thing as getting into the US without a visa. Some countries’ citizens are allowed to use what is laughingly called the Visa Waiver Program. But as this involves signing up online, answering questions and paying a fee, as far as I’m concerned it’s an electronic visa. The problem with it is the confusing nature of some of the questions. The one on criminal convictions, though it has been improved, still fails to identify what does or doesn’t count as something you should answer Yes to in response to the question, and it is about the biggest problem people ask about on travel message boards. The old question asked about “offenses involving moral turpitude” – now as not even American lawyers have a firm definition of what that is, how is a tourist supposed to know? Probably why it got changed.

    And don’t bother asking the US Embassy – they will never give a useful answer. All they will ever say is “apply for a visa and then you will find out”. It cost me £10 for a premium rate phone call to find that out.

    Why the US authorities think that asking people questions actually achieve anything beats me. Especially this one – “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?” Don’t they know that criminals lie? Which is why most countries don’t do anything like this – they either let you in with just a passport or make you apply for a proper visa.

    So I really don’t want to visit the US again. It’s so annoying. If the US doesn’t want tourists, I wish it would just say so.

    But for anyone who actually wants to, and is eligible for the VWP, NEVER use any of the many sites that there are offering to help you. They still have to ask you all the same things anyway and they’ll charge you more. Always go to the actual US government web site for this at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

  4. lol tipping is something my wife and family from New Zealand can’t wrap their head around…here in The USA

  5. That is so true about staying in the car when getting pulled over by a police officer here in the United States!! My wife is from New Zealand and I told her the same thing you where talking about in this video!! Thanks for sharing…

  6. I still can’t believe that such a high-quality channel has less than five thousand subscribers…but I let this be our own special club 😉

  7. I have to explain to my asian cousins that, in the US, you clean up after youself in fast food places.

  8. Great video, One item that I have had some of my visiting friends find unclear is needing to get medical help from emergency room or other medical center.

  9. Thank you Ernest, another on point review ! you always bring us some great tips ! Stay awesome

    Jose P.

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