We encourage every traveler to visit the United States. However, you must know a few important things before you hop on your flight to M’erica.
THE UNITED STATES IS MASSIVE
“ Size is not a grandeur, and territory does not make a nation.” – Thomas Huxley
Territory may not make a nation, and size may not matter. However, the United States is large in every regard, not just land mass.
If you do not already know, the United States has 50 individual states. Traveling through each and every state, which collectively cover 3.8 Million square miles, is a mammoth task. You need to plan carefully, that you do not miss anything during your trip.
However, it will be hard regardless to visit every state during your first voyage. It is advisable to narrow down your journey to a particular region or destination so that you are not overwhelmed.
Check Out: United States Travel Guide
Fun Fact: Different states have radically different cultures. Thus, if you ask for a sandwich, you might get a Hoagie handed to you in Philadelphia or a Po’boy in the South.
A regular sandwich
NO METRIC SYSTEM
“I have been struck time and time again by how important measurement is to improve the human condition.” – Bill Gates
America is one of the few countries in the entire world which does not use the metric system. They still live in the age before the invention of the metric system, and thus they use the Imperial System.
You will find it unusual when you ask how high the Grand Canyon is, and you will get the answer 8,000 feet rather than 2,438 meters. The units of measurement for distance are miles and yards rather than kilometers and meters.
No matter how strange it is for you if you are coming from another country you have to be familiar with the units of measurement in order to navigate.
THE TIPPING CULTURE
“I wish we had a system where you are given a bill including service and that people were paid properly so that they didn’t have to rely on tips.” – Murray Walker
Because the wages are low, workers depend on tips. From your waiter to the doorman, it is customary to leave tips for those in the ‘service industry.’ You are expected to tip 15%- 20% of your bill. So, stuff your pocket with dollars bills.
A note on Sales Tax: When you are shopping, you need to pay sales tax in most US State. The sales tax varies from state to state and even from county to county.
TIGHT AIRPORT SECURITY
“At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security.” – Jodi Rell
Terror bombings in planes have become an increasing threat to America. Consequently, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), introduced the use of full body scanners.
You will need to wait in the queue and get scanned before you are allowed to board the plane. The scanned image is private and it is almost like a cartoon.
However, if you think it is an invasion of privacy or you suffer from health problems, you can ask for a pat-down scan. Every passenger boarding a domestic or international flight has to go through this process.