If you’re from America, you quickly pick up on the rules of the society around you. But if you’re visiting for the first time and haven’t been before, then some of the things that you encounter can be downright baffling.
This is a post for all you Europeans out there who want to get a heads up on the American way of life (and how to be a cool operator) during your stay. Here are some of the funny things Europeans don’t know about traveling to America.
You Can Turn Right At A Red Light
If you decide to hire a car during your stay in the US, then it’s a good idea to get to know some of the rules of the road. Most of the rules are similar to those that apply over in Europe. Except unlike Europe, with its bounty of roundabouts, America likes to rely on the good old-fashioned crossroads.
Crossroads, however, can be a challenge if you’re not used to them, especially if you don’t know the right turn rule for red lights. In America, you can turn right at a crossroads, even with a red light, so long as it’s safe to do so and no signs are prohibiting it. Many European drivers, however, get stuck at this point, because over there, a red light always means stop. Learn this rule now so you can avoid frustrated drivers queuing up behind you, honking their horns.
You Need Health Insurance
In Europe, the government pays for healthcare. But in America, it’s down to the individual. It’s essential, therefore, that you pay for health insurance covering the costs of paying for your healthcare, should you become sick or get injured.
Health care covers all the basics as well as extras, like medical flights. Buying insurance means that you avoid paying out-of-pocket, which could be extraordinarily expensive.
You Have To Tip Service People
In Europe, you might tip a waiter for their services as a way of saying thank you and boosting their income. But in the US, it’s expected that you tip practically everyone who provides you with any kind of in-person service. Rather than see it as an additional cost, it’s best viewed as part of the price of the service. The company asks you officially for a given amount; then it’s up to you to top it up to what it’s worth to you. Don’t be surprised if the valet at your hotel asks for a tip after delivering your suitcases to your room.
You Have To Pay Tax On Top Of The Advertised Price
In Europe, retailers include sales taxes in the price of the goods. In the US, they don’t, so don’t be surprised if you have to spend more when you get to the checkout. The price advertised on tags and shelves is the sale price, once you reach checkout they add the tax at the end.