We always describe vacations as chances to engage in new cultural experiences, for they really are so. If you are a foreigner and want to visit the States, then be poised to learn about the weirdest things that are rooted in the American culture.
But before this, you need to find low-cost airline tickets and promo flights which is not, in fact, a hard deal anymore. This is due to the fact that travel booking websites provide the needed services upon a single click.
Traveling from a far point to the US is going to make air travel hectic, but it is totally worth it. So book your flight and be ready to embrace cultural diversity in the US.
If you are wondering about what is culture like there, then there is one way to find out which is flying there. However, we got to warn you that you will witness some weird things which are typically American. Here are few instances.
1. PRICE TAGS
While you are in the US, you might think about stopping by a supermarket like Whole Foods Market, Kroger, or Wegmans Food Markets to grab something to eat to hit the road again.
You may pick whatever foods and products you wish to buy, but the indicated price tag on the shelf is not the real price you have to pay, weird, right? Unlike many countries around the world, the shelf price in the US does not include taxes.
The logical reason that explains this is the fact many countries have as standardized national tax, which is not the case in the US.
If you check the sales tax calculator in the US, you will realize that each State has got its tax; compare California sales tax or Virginia sales tax with Tennessee sales tax. They are different. In fact, there are even states with no sales tax at all.
P.S: cities and counties within the same State can have a different sales tax. On top of this, tobacco and other products have a different sales tax.
Once you conclude your flight reservation, buy few guiding books which might help you throughout your journey in the States. If you go through such books carefully, you will notice that public transportation is not really common in American culture.
If you come from a European country, you will be surprised by the Americans’ habits of driving instead of taking the bus or train. Check Seattle public transportation or Denver public transportation, only small shares of people use public transport.
Given that the US is a vast country, there is a huge interstate highway system that links States to one another. In Europe, you will likely find train lines instead.
Americans buy the best cars for long-distance driving and kick off their road trips. All they need is driving directions to enjoy their adventure travel in a car.
The vacations’ concept in the US is quite different from the one common in many European countries. If you are a foreigner, you probably have more vacation days, so all that you think of is finding active vacation packages and setting about your trip.
But Americans have to work a lot and enjoy less vacationing days. The US is characterized by having a small number of holidays and vacation days, in the sense that the received average days are limited in 16 days.
The US labor laws don’t include rules that require companies to offer their employees any vacations. Unlike the US, European countries offer their citizens approximately a month of vacation.
Therefore, European citizens have more chances to enjoy vacation packages while 25% of the American labor force does not have any benefits of vacation.
4. FOOD COMBINATIONS
The stay in luxury vacation rentals cannot do without trying delicious, local foods. For Americans who can travel abroad, that is an issue. You cannot easily satisfy the taste of an American.
Americans, in general, have specific food combinations plus strong salty and sugary flavors of foods in their culture. This has made the US one of the countries with top obesity and heart diseases rates.
Still, Americans are not planning to change any of their eating habits. They have the weirdest combinations of salty foods and sugary foods. The most famous examples of such combinations are McGriddles plus chicken and waffles.
5. BOTTLED WATER VS. TAP WATER
Rarely do Europeans drink bottled water. They save their money to buy other things instead of buying packaged water. The American people do the exact opposite as they prefer the consumption of bottled water over tap water. If you think of the ‘bottled water vs.
tap water’ formula, the winner would be for Americans bottled water. The weird thing is that tap water in the US is as healthy as packaged water. Many foreigners are likely to consider the American people as not very eco-conscious; otherwise, they would not pay for something available for free.
The Americans’ over-consumption of beverages contributes to the production of more waste. Another weird thing about American households is that their electrical outlets don’t include the on and off options. If any gadget is plugged in even if it is unused, electricity will be wasted.
6. THE FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD SMILE
Americans are quite known for their great interest in having super white and glowing teeth. They are quite obsessed with the perfect smile dream. They are always ready to spend a fortune on dental procedures like whitening and braces.
Foreigners are not all obsessed with fixing their crooked and yellow teeth unless there is an issue that necessitates a dental intervention.
Of course, they brush their teeth and have their regular, dental checkups, but the Hollywood smile beauty standard is not an obsession for them. For the record, the Hollywood smile cost in the US can be unimaginable.
7. MEALS OUTDOORS
Your travel booking agent can help you book your plane tickets and reserve your hotel, but s/he cannot acquaint you with any details relevant to the culture of your destination. You can buy books or be patient enough to know when you get there.
But here is a cultural secret about the US, tipping the servant or taking leftovers with you home is one part of the American dining culture. In Europe, the service charge is incorporated under the umbrella of your bill.
The American food industry service does not include this. In fact, tipping a waiter in a foreign culture can be considered as a way of offending him or her. Waiter services is a job field on its own right, and, therefore, tipping someone for doing his or her job is pointless.
8. BEVERAGE RITUALS
As an American and after spending the entire day, touring your destination with your private guides, you can use a cold juice with some ice, right? Well, the addition of ice cubes to drinks is an American beverage ritual.
In many parts of the world, the common thing is serving drinks without ice. There are exceptional cases where you can be provided with some ice upon request, but the beverages will not be served at low prices.
The American cultural diffusion is on its way, but the beverage culture is not included. Europeans like to enjoy the taste of their drinks so they drink them slowly. Americans can consume more than one drink on the go during one meal.
9. HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION
Since Americans don’t have many holidays and vacation days, they use every chance they get to celebrate. This includes high school graduation celebrating traditions. The homecoming and prom are barely found elsewhere than the US.
High school graduation in America is an exceptional event which is celebrated in the most lavish ways. In other places across the globe, people don’t celebrate high school graduation at all; they postpone the celebrations until they obtain a degree.
The overblowing of high school celebration in the US confuses many comers from other countries. If you want to see how it is celebrated yourself, you got to travel to the US.