There are more things besides the top 5 things you need to know before you visit USA. We have made an overview of the other important things you must keep in mind before you visit USA:
1. Liability and Waivers. The law is taken very seriously in the USA. Similar to the situation in the medical industry, the legal battles are also quite big. Whenever you decide to participate in certain activities or extreme sports, you will be asked to sign a liability waiver. In this waiver you are simply saying that you will not hold the operator responsible in case anything happens to you.
2. Emergency Services. The easiest way to get help in an emergency is pick the phone up and dial 911. It is the best service in the US. The service is quick and highly efficient. The operator will speak to you and keep you calm. He/she will then send whoever you need for your help, be it the police or an ambulance.
3. Gigantic Grocery Stores. The idea of shopping for everything from one place is growing everywhere, the US actually invented it. Costco and Sam’s are the most popular options there. You can buy anything and in any amount no matter how strange. Most Americans go shopping once a week for what they need.
4. Public Transportation. There are good subways, buses and trains throughout the country. Smaller cities have good public transport but since the country is very big, the infrastructure is spread and so are the resources. Most Americans own at least one car and the best option to get around when visiting US is to rent one yourself. The cabs there are also a great option but make sure you know the average rates as sometime, cab drivers can be deceiving.
5. Minimum Wages and Tipping. The minimum wages for waiters are $3 per hour, which is very low. For this reason alone, at least 15% to 20% of the total bill is expected as a tip on services. That is the way the labour force earn their salaries. Whenever you are ordering, keep this point in mind but make sure to check the bill before making the payment. Sometimes, the tip is already added and you just need to adjust up or down.
6. National and State Parks. The US does a very hard job preserving their national and state parks. Lot of investment and efforts has been made in maintaining the natural spaces and for good reason too. The US is home to some of the largest natural spaces like the National Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. Make sure to visit at least one when you visit the US. The entry fee is very low and the experience? Priceless!
7. Public Libraries. All cities are home to great libraries which are free! If you plan on staying somewhere make sure to check out the nearest library. You will be able to stay there all day reading, studying and using the internet. There are occasional workshops which you can attend and there is enough entertainment for children that no one ever gets bored. Activities for children include arts & crafts, story hours and toys to play with. These libraries does not require you to be a resident in order to use the facilities.
8. Big Discounts. Like everything else that is big in the US, nothing is bigger than the discounts. Malls and bigger branded stores are willing to sell merchandise from the previous collection at a price which is unbelievable. Thrift stores and garage sales are quite famous for getting amazing preloved things at throw-away prices. As for the black-Friday sales? The deals are almost unreal and the most popular time for Americans to complete a years’ worth of shopping.
9. Credit Card over Cash. The American way of payment is through cards. There is little to no cash transaction across the country. Some places do not even accept cash payments. So when you plan to visit, make sure you have your credit card with you. In places where you do need cash and need to use an ATM, be careful. Most ATMs charge an additional cash withdrawal fee so be sure to look for no fee ATMs.
10. Language Barrier. With English being the universal language, Americans hardly speak any other language. When you are visiting the US, make sure you have practised your English enough. In case you cannot speak in English it will be very hard for you to get around in the US. Although in bigger cities like New York and Los Angeles, some people may be able to speak other popular languages. This situation too is quite rare.
Americans usually are very kind people. They are considerate and love small talk. They will exchange warm greetings and help you in way they can. Some visitors believe that American people are way too nice. Their friendly nature will make you feel right at home!
Americans usually are unaware of the place that you are coming from but they will be all ears. They know very little about the rest of the world but you can talk about your home and they will be very attentive. They love learning about different cultures and will even participate with you in your events.