25 Things to Never Do in the United States

Ephraim Obare
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Welcome, folks! We’re about to embark on a wild ride through the unspoken rules of the United States – a country as diverse as the toppings on its beloved pizza. We all know the U.S. is the land of freedom, but that doesn’t mean you can roam around like a cowboy in an old western. No siree! There are boundaries and some no-nos.

So, buckle up and prepare for an entertaining roundup of 25 Things You Should Never Do in The United States. Consider this your guide to avoiding faux pas and ensuring your American adventure is as smooth as Uncle Sam’s top hat.

Don’t Be Late

Your Punctuality
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Here’s a pro tip for all you time management mavericks: In the United States, punctuality isn’t just a courtesy; it’s practically a religion. So, if you think strolling into a meeting fashionably late will make you seem important, think again.

It’s more likely to earn you some raised eyebrows and a reputation for unreliability. Regarding American etiquette, it’s hip to be square… and on time.

Don’t Forget to Tip

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Tipping is an expected part of American culture. Waitstaff, bartenders, taxi drivers, and others in service industries typically rely on tips.

Don’t Use Your Cell Phone at Dinner

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Here’s a pro tip for roaming the land of the stars and stripes: Keep your phone off the dinner table. Yes, we know that text messages or Instagram updates might seem urgent.

But in the U.S, using your phone during a meal is seen as a one-way ticket to the bad manners hall of fame. So, when the food hits the table, let the phone hit the silence. Your companions will thank you!

Don’t Discuss Politics or Religion

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Don’t get lured into the stormy seas of political or religious discourse, tempting as it may be. The U.S. is a melting pot of beliefs, ideologies, and opinions, making such discussions as predictable as a game of Russian roulette.

Keep the conversation light and breezy – your blood pressure will thank you. These topics are considered personal and can lead to heated debates.

Don’t Trespass

Don't Trespass
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Sure, the ‘No Trespassing’ signs might seem like mere suggestions, but in the land of the free, trespassing is a freedom you don’t have. So, skip the adventure of sneaking into that tempting abandoned property or cutting across someone’s yard.

America has plenty of designated public spaces for your explorations. Remember, respect the boundaries; you’ll find less trouble and more fun.

Don’t Forget the Personal Space

Don't Forget the Personal Space
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Rule number one: Respect the bubble, folks! Personal space is a big deal in the States, and it’s unspokenly considered a ‘no invasion’ zone.

So, keep a comfortable distance unless you are on a crowded subway or at a packed concert. And remember, close-talkers are usually prime candidates for America’s ‘Most Unwanted’ list.

Don’t Assume Everyone Owns a Gun

Don't Assume Everyone Owns a Gun
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While it’s true that the Second Amendment is a hot topic in the States, it’s a cringe-inducing mistake to assume that every American has a gun stashed somewhere.

Just as you wouldn’t ask a Scot about their haggis farm or a Canadian about their pet moose, skip the firearm questions. A safer topic? Try deep-dish pizza or the latest Netflix obsession.

Don’t Forget to Say “Please” and “Thank You”

Don't Forget to Say “Please” and “Thank You”
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In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, manners still rule the day. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple “please” or “thank you”; they’re the magic words that can open doors, earn extra ketchup packets, and might even bag you that elusive last slice of apple pie.

Don’t Disrespect the Flag

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Consider this a friendly reminder: The U.S. flag isn’t just a funky design on a piece of fabric. It’s a symbol revered nationwide, so don’t even think about using it as a picnic blanket on your next beach day. Stars and Stripes demand the utmost respect in the Land of the Free. Tread carefully, my friend.

Don’t Assume Football Means Soccer

Don't Assume Football Means Soccer
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Oh, dear traveler, remember this – in the land of the free and home of the brave, “football” doesn’t mean a game where a round ball is primarily contacted by the player’s foot.

Don’t get shocked when you see burly guys in armor-like outfits tossing around an egg-shaped ball. football” means NFL, touchdowns, and Super Bowl Sundays. Your “football”? That’s called “soccer”.

Don’t Skip Queues

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Embrace the art of orderly queuing, dear friends. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, skipping queues is an unforgivable sin.

Patience is an extolled virtue, whether it’s a line for a mouth-watering barbecue at a Texas rodeo or a queue for the latest roller coaster ride in Disneyland. So, no matter how inviting that shortcut may seem, resist! In the United States, it’s all about ‘first come, first served’.

Don’t Assume Celsius or Kilometers

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Oh, the sweet metric system, our globally accepted friend, right? Wrong! As you merrily navigate the vast borders of the United States, don’t make the rookie mistake of assuming temperatures in Celsius or distances in Kilometers.

It’s Fahrenheit and miles all the way here! Remember, the US loves its quirks, and the Imperial system is one of them.

Don’t Think All Americans Are the Same

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My friend, it’s a melting pot nation with a whopping 50 states, each with its quirks, accents, and favored brand of potato chips.

Just as you wouldn’t expect a Texan to sound like someone from Boston, don’t make the rookie mistake of lumping all Americans under the same star-spangled banner.

Don’t Trash Talk America While in America

Don't Trash Talk America While in America
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Don’t think about trash-talking America while you’re here unless you want to become the least popular person in the room faster than you can say “freedom.”

Sure, it has its quirks, but questioning the supremacy of deep-fried butter at a state fair or daring to suggest baseball isn’t the ultimate pastime could net you some severe side-eyes. So, zip those lips and save your critiques for your travel journal.

Don’t Ignore Sales Tax

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Oh, the sweet surprise of sales tax! Here’s the deal: Unlike many countries where tax is bundled into the price tag, sales tax is a game of hide-and-seek in the US. It’s added at the cash register, popping up when you thought your budget was all figured out.

So, when shopping in the States, don’t forget to factor in the extra cost, or you might end up short-changed (literally!).

Don’t Neglect the Outdoors

Appreciating the Outdoors
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When it comes to the enchanting wilderness of the United States, the rule of thumb is: Ignore the outdoors at your peril! We’re talking jaw-dropping landscapes with mountains that defy logic and oceans that stretch the horizon.

So, don’t you dare hole up in your hotel room with that bag of chips and reruns of ‘Friends’—get out there and soak up some real-life HD splendor!

Don’t Forget to Try Local Cuisine

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The US is a gastronomic melting pot, sporting flavors, and dishes as diverse as its residents. So, be daring – tuck into that Nashville hot chicken, chow down on a New Orleans gumbo, or savor a slice of New York-style pizza. Are we succumbing to a Big Mac? Now that’s downright unpatriotic!

Don’t Be Fooled by Portion Sizes

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Don’t let those super-sized meals fool you! In the land of the free and home of the brave, portion sizes are often larger than life.

But remember, just because it’s on your plate doesn’t mean you have to eat it all in one sitting. Your waistline will thank you!

Don’t Overstay Your Visa

Don't Overstay Your Visa
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Let’s chat about visas, shall we? In the United States, the expiry date on your ticket isn’t just a light suggestion—it’s a hard deadline. Dilly-dallying beyond this date might earn you an unwanted souvenir: a record with U.S. Immigration.

So, ensure your exit strategy is sorted before your visa expiration date because the U.S. doesn’t take kindly to overstayers!

Don’t Drive on the Left

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While the thought of paying homage to our friends across the pond by driving on the left might seem charming, in the United States, it’s a no-go (and a quick route to a traffic citation, if not a head-on collision).

Don’t Forget to Validate Parking

Don't Forget to Validate Parking
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Don’t you adore the allure of free parking? But hold your horses! If you’re in the United States, always validate your parking ticket. It’s a simple step often overlooked by visitors.

In this land of cars and highways, forgetting to validate can turn your free spot into a pricey surprise. So, next time you’re enjoying your free space, remember validation isn’t just for your feelings; it’s for your parking, too!

Don’t Disregard Speed Limits

Don't Disregard Speed Limits
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The U.S. takes its speed limits seriously, and being caught with a lead foot could land you a souvenir you don’t want: a hefty ticket. Remember, law enforcement doesn’t award points for the fastest lap times!

Don’t Ignore Pedestrian Signs

Don't Ignore Pedestrian Signs
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Never underestimate the power of the pedestrian sign in the US. This isn’t a suggestion; it’s a commandment.

While you may be tempted to play the rebel, doing so can lead to a chorus of honks, a symphony of scornful glances, or even a hefty fine. So when you see that bright red stop hand, remember, it’s not just a pretty picture; it’s the law.

Don’t Refuse a Cup of Coffee

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In the U.S., refusing a cup of joe is like turning down a friendly handshake – it’s just not done. Coffee is the liquid handshake that greases the cogs of social and professional interactions.

So, when offered, embrace the brew. You might find it perks up more than just your caffeine levels!

Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself

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And on a lighter note, remember this, folks: Don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Yes, you read that right. America is a wonderland of experiences, and while it’s great to be mindful of the rules, don’t let that consume your journey. Though the “American Way” sets high-performance standards, don’t forget to make time for yourself. From barbecues in the summer to snowball fights in the winter, amusement parks, concerts, and festivals throughout the year – there’s always something exciting going on near you.

Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the landscapes, the lip-smacking food, the diverse culture, and the thrilling roller coasters. Just remember to smile, laugh, and savor every moment. After all, isn’t that what travel is all about?

10 States Where Americans Struggle With the Most Tax Burden

10 States Where Americans Struggle With the Most Tax Burden
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In the land where opportunity meets aspiration, a different kind of struggle unfolds—one that transcends the realm of dreams and delves into the realm of dollars. The tax landscape in the United States is a complex terrain where the weight of financial responsibilities can sometimes cast a shadow over the pursuit of happiness. As the stars and stripes wave proudly, they also unfurl a mosaic of tax codes, regulations, and rates that vividly represent fiscal challenges across the nation.

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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Luggage Sets in 2024

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Luggage Sets in 2023
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When it comes to choosing the best luggage set to buy, you need to consider many factors. For example, what type of traveler are you? How often do you travel? What is your budget? Do you need a hardshell or softshell suitcase? These are just some of the questions you must ask yourself before purchasing the best luggage sets. In this ultimate guide, we will help make the process a little bit easier for you.

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13 French Habits Americans Should Practice For A More Fulfilling Life

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Americans could learn something from our sophisticated friends across the pond. So sit back, grab a croissant, and prepare to inject a bit of joie de vivre into your life. Here are 13 French habits that could make our lives a little more… Allez, let’s dive in, shall we?

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12 Most Dangerous Beaches in America

12 Most Dangerous Beaches in America
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Welcome, thrill-seekers and beach lovers! Are you tired of the same old sandy retreats, mundane tanning sessions, and clichéd seashell collecting? Let’s spice things up! Pack that SPF 100 and join us on a wild journey across the 12 most dangerous beaches in the U.S.

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25 Things Americans Are Absolutely Fed Up With Hearing Over and Over Again

25 Things Americans Are Absolutely Fed up With Hearing Over and Over Again
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It seems there’s no shortage of unsolicited international advice or at least some misplaced humor directed at the U.S. of A. But don’t fret my fellow Americans. Here’s an attempt to set the record straight on the 25 things Americans are downright exhausted from hearing. Fasten your “way-too-big” seatbelts!

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Author

  • Ephraim Obare

    Ephraim Obare is a versatile member of the Frenz Hub writing team, bringing a rich background in economics to his work. An avid swimmer, reader, and cyclist, Ephraim blends analytical insights with his diverse interests.

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