You know you’re a tourist in the United States when…

Rach Kusel

By Rach Kusel
06 Jul 2018

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So traveller, is an epic USA road trip on your bucket list? If not, it should be! If you’re ready to throw yourself headfirst into the land of stars and stripes, you should be aware; there’s bound to be a few dead giveaways that you’re not exactly a local. But nobody will blame you! Just be prepared to experience life a little differently, and remember; act natural, and play it cool. Here a few of the telltale signs that you’re the new guy or gal.

You’re not used to tipping

It’s pretty clear who the newbie is when you’re sitting after a meal with your calculator app, trying to work out how many dollar bills to leave on the table. Or you find yourself wondering why the person who kindly helped you with your bags is now hovering and staring at you. Don’t be that person. Never forget to tip!

You want to hail a yellow cab

Just for the hell of it. And you want to do it by throwing out your arm and dramatically yelling “TAXI!”, preferably in New York City. Try not to get too carried away, as tempting as it may be to jump in and say “follow that car!”. It probably won’t be well received.

You’re amazed by the changing scenery

Anyone who has travelled across the United States can appreciate just how vast the country is, and the sheer distance that you cover on a road trip. But you’ll also be amazed by how different the scenery is from state to state; from towering cities, to wide open desert plains, to green fields and flowing rivers with mountain backdrops. You’ll be that person with their jaw on the floor.

You’re way too excited about buying a hotdog

You’ll see a hotdog street vendor standing by his/her cart and immediately decide that you need one. Maybe it’s just because you’ve seen your favourite characters on various TV shows buying a hotdog and casually strolling through the park discussing their life problems. But it makes you want one.

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You’re stunned by the meal sizes

When you realise that the meal portions are nearly double what you’re used to? Bliss. Sure, you probably won’t be able to finish it, but you can have a lot of fun trying. America is well known for their generous portions, so make the most of this while you can!

You go to a football/basketball/baseball game

…to cheer on a team you don’t know. But that atmosphere! The crowds, the music, the half-time shows, the snacks…absolutely unbeatable. In fact, you’ll probably walk out of the stadium wearing a team cap, jersey and a giant foam finger on your hand wondering what the hell happened.

You get excited by free refills of massive cups

A lot of restaurants and cafes use cups far larger than what you’ll be used to, and as with the food sizes, you won’t mind one bit. Who can even drink that much Coke? Well, hey, it’s free refills. Have another gallon!

You want to take photos of everyday objects

Wow, a REAL yellow school bus! Just like in the movies! It’s a guarantee you’ll be taking some snaps of random things that American’s wouldn’t take a second look at. They will, however, take a look at you getting the perfect shot of a red fire hydrant.