25 Things to Never Do in the United States

Chela Mibei
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So you’ve decided to visit the good ol’ United States of America, the land of the free, home of the brave, and the birthplace of the hamburger. Excellent choice! While we’re known for our warm smiles and inviting spirit, a few things might raise our eyebrows or even grind our gears. Here are 25 things you should never do while you’re in the U.S.

Don’t Skip The Tip

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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Seriously, don’t. We know it might be different in your neck of the woods, but tipping is vital to several industries here. Did the waiter refill your coffee without you asking? That’s a tip. Concierge carried your bags to your room? That’s a tip.

Forget About the Metric System

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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You know those kilometers, liters, and grams we all learned in school? Well, forget about them. Once you land in the U.S., we’re talking miles, gallons, and pounds. Don’t worry; you’ll get used to it. Maybe.

Don’t Talk Politics Unless You’re Ready for a Debate

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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There’s nothing we Americans love more than an excellent, old-fashioned debate. But tread lightly, friend. Politics can be a touchy subject around these parts.

Don’t Ignore Traffic Signals

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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We know it can be tempting to jaywalk or run a red light when no cars are in sight. But trust us, it’s not worth the risk. Plus, getting pulled over by a cop is never fun.

Avoid Small Talk with Strangers

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While generally friendly, we keep our conversations with strangers polite but brief. So don’t be offended if someone doesn’t converse with you in the elevator.

Don’t Eat Pizza with a Fork and Knife

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Look, we get it: deep-dish pizza can be messy. But here in the U.S., we use our hands to eat pizza. It’s just how it’s done.

Never Assume Everyone Loves Baseball

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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Yes, it’s our national pastime, but not everyone is a fan. So don’t be offended if someone doesn’t know who won the last World Series.

Don’t Forget to Bring Your ID When Buying Alcohol

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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Trust us; it’s not worth convincing the cashier you’re 21 without an ID. And yes, even if you’re well over 21.

Don’t Expect a Bargain When Shopping

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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Unlike some countries, bargaining is not the norm here. The price on the tag is usually the final price unless it’s marked otherwise.

Avoid Wearing Shoes Indoors

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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In many households, taking off your shoes before entering someone’s home is customary. So watch for a pile of shoes by the door and follow suit.

Don’t Assume Everyone Speaks English

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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While it is the most commonly spoken language, many people in the U.S. speak other languages or may not be fluent in English. Feel free to use gestures or simple words to communicate.

Don’t Be Late

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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Time is of the essence in the U.S., and being fashionably late isn’t a thing here. So always arrive on time, whether for a meeting or a dinner reservation.

Avoid Discussing Religion Unless You Know Someone Well

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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Similar to politics, religion can be a sensitive topic for some people. It’s best to avoid discussing it with strangers or in casual conversations.

Don’t Underestimate the Portion Sizes

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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Here in the U.S., we like big food. So don’t be surprised if your plate is overflowing with food or you can’t finish everything.

Never Litter

Do Not Litter
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This should go without saying, but please don’t litter. It’s terrible for the environment and illegal in most places.

Avoid Taking Photos of People Without Their Permission

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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It’s common courtesy to ask before photographing someone, especially if it’s a close-up or private setting.

Avoid Using Your Phone at the Dinner Table

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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We understand you might need to check your email or take an urgent call. But using your phone at the dinner table is considered rude, especially during a meal with friends or family.

Don’t Ignore Personal Space

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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Americans like their personal space, so it’s best not to stand too close or touch someone without permission.

Never Assume Everyone Owns a Gun

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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While it’s true that many Americans do own guns, not everyone does. So don’t be surprised if you meet someone who doesn’t own one or has never fired one.

Avoid Discussing Income or Salary

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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It’s considered impolite to ask someone about their salary or discuss your income in the U.S.

Don’t Assume Everyone Loves Fast Food

Fast Foods
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We have our fair share of fast-food chains, but not all Americans love it. Many people prefer healthier options.

Avoid Being Loud or Disruptive in Public

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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We’re not saying you have to whisper, but being excessively loud or disruptive in public places is generally frowned upon.

Don’t Assume Everyone Owns a Car

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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While it’s true that car ownership is expected in the U.S., plenty of people don’t own one and rely on public transportation or other means of getting around.

Never Underestimate the Diversity

25 Things to Never Do in the United States
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The U.S. is a melting pot of cultures, religions, and backgrounds. So don’t assume that everyone fits a certain stereotype or has the same beliefs. Embrace the diversity and learn from others’ experiences.

Avoid Using Slang You’re Not Familiar With

Avoid Talking Loudly in Public
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Slang can vary from region to region, so it’s best not to use slang terms unless you’re confident you understand their meaning.

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The 12 Worst College Football Stadiums In America

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Author

  • Chela Mibei

    Chela excels in crafting insightful pieces, drawing from her background in finance and commerce. Her passions for reading, travel, writing, and volunteering enrich her contributions.

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