You have filled out your ESTA Visa application and now you are ready to head to the United States! You have already booked your flights and hotels; however, there are some things you need to know before you go. Americans are very friendly and open to foreigners. In fact, America is the ultimate destination to many people wanting a new life. If you are visiting the U.S. for the first time, these important cultural facts will help you go a long way.
1) Learn English!
If you do not speak English very well, then you need to brush up on a few key phrases. Americans are notorious for not knowing other languages. Why would they when everyone else knows English? That being said, you should take a translator or phrase book with you to help you communicate.
2) Handshake it Out
Americans do not kiss cheeks when greeting someone, especially for the first time. Instead, a firm handshake is the proper and correct way to introduce yourself. Women should initiate handshakes to men, and always use your right hand. Your handshake should be strong, but not crippling. Never kiss checks with someone you have just met because Americans will be put off by your behavior.
3) Dress Down
New York might be a fashion capital, however, America is not. The entire country has a very casual sense of style. The exception being work attire because Americans take business very seriously. If you are just on a pleasure holiday, you should wear basic sportswear that can take you from night to day. Do not wear anything too ostentatious because you will stand out as a foreigner.
3) Top Tips
When dining out, you will need to remember to tip your waiter. An average tip is anywhere from fifteen to twenty percent. Anything less means you did not receive good service. You can leave more if you want, but it is not expected. You should always tip because it is seen as very rude not to leave one.
4) Alcohol Laws
Some states are very serious about their open container laws. This means that it is illegal to drink in public or act drunk. Americans are very serious about underage drinking. The legal age is twenty-one, so be prepared if you are not of age in America yet.
If you follow these tips, you will should a very positive experience during your time in America.
Written by Robert Hall a Tech writer with a travel obsession – catch me @travelplex