Large English-speaking country in North America between Canada and Mexico, and Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

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193
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6answers
22k views

How do you know if Americans genuinely/literally mean what they say?

I have come across a few situations when an American will say something like "We should have lunch some time" or "Let's have lunch some time." Or "you should come down to visit me in D.C. (or Miami or ...
171
votes
8answers
55k views

How to intentionally get denied entry to the US, without getting into trouble?

I have a multiple entry visitors visa for five years. I went to USA last year and lived there for one year with my husband (6 months entry and other 6 months of extension). I left USA legally. Now my ...
51
votes
4answers
14k views

Is there a ZIP code I can enter when paying-at-the-pump in the USA with a foreign credit card?

In the USA, many pay-at-the-pump fuel dispensers that accept credit cards require a 5-digit numeric zip code that corresponds to the billing address of the credit card. In Canada, for instance, we ...
47
votes
8answers
13k views

Is it dangerous to go to the USA as a Russian now?

I am a Russian student and I have been dreaming about visiting California and living in LA for a while, and I decided to take this trip on my summer break. I have already accumulated enough money for ...
41
votes
9answers
5k views

What to do in Las Vegas without having to sin?

For religious reasons, I don't gamble drink alcohol engage in fornication visit prostitution or strip clubs Are there still interesting things for people like me in Vegas? It is a week-long ...
40
votes
5answers
9k views

Is it normal to walk around a(n American) hotel in pajamas?

I recently spent a weekend in a hotel with a bunch of friends and colleagues. To help cut down on costs, some of us shared rooms. I like reading before I go to sleep, but my room-mate was tired and ...
40
votes
5answers
10k views

Does a US immigration officer really have the power to deny entry to the country at personal will?

Quite some comments exist that in the end it is the individual immigration officer that has the final call to let you enter the US or not and that there is no way of objecting that decision. Given ...
39
votes
10answers
12k views

Is tap water drinkable in Massachusetts (and elsewhere in USA)?

I have been offered a position with a US-based company. This role is initially located in Massachusetts, but the company says I can live anywhere in US, as long as I am not too far from an airport. ...
39
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5answers
5k views

Tipping for takeout food in the USA

When I go to a restaurant in the USA and order food for takeout, am I supposed to tip?
37
votes
12answers
10k views

How should I tip if the food is good but the service from the waiter/waitress is terrible in the USA?

I tip all the time in the USA, usually from 15% up to 20%. The food is usually good but sometimes the service I received from the waiter/waitress is terrible. He/She was basically ignore me all the ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

If I visit Los Angeles, am I better off renting a car or not?

California has a pretty notorious reputation for having bad traffic, so I am wondering if it would be worth my time to rent a car when I visit there. If I stay within the LA area, is public ...
35
votes
2answers
6k views

Am I supposed to respect traffic signs that are upside down (in the USA)?

I am travelling by car in the USA (Massachusetts). Am I supposed to respect traffic signs that are upside down? E.g. on this road, there have been an upside down 25 MPH speed limit for a while, I ...
33
votes
3answers
14k views

Is there any list of countries I should not visit if I want to go to the US?

I have heard that if I have been to some countries I might be refused entry to the US. I'm planning to travel (vacation) a bit in the Middle East; that will include Iran, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman and ...
31
votes
7answers
16k views

Car rental vs. buying a car for 1 month

I would like to visit a few places in the states sometime next year, and I was thinking of doing a road trip while I'm at it. I could start in either Los Angeles or Montreal, and then I would like to ...
30
votes
9answers
7k views

From what point could you view the most US states?

A fairly simple question: from what single point could you see the most US states? It seems like it should be a popular tourist attraction.
30
votes
6answers
15k views

Is it dangerous to drive through Death Valley?

I planned to drive through Death Valley with a rental car during end of May or beginning of June. Now a friend of mine told me that this is a little bit dangerous, and that a lot of rental companies ...
30
votes
2answers
15k views

What does this sticker on the back of my passport mean?

I am currently travelling in the USA and when checking in on the boarding flight to enter the country, the security personnel attached a small yellow-white sticker to my passport (see a somewhat ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Any way to find out what US Customs & Border Protection has in their database on me?

I travel from the US to Canada occasionally (about once per year on average) with my family. We are all US citizens and travel with US passports. Every time we re-enter the United States, I am given ...
29
votes
8answers
2k views

Can you tell a cabbie which route to take?

I'm going back home to Virginia for the Thanksgiving holiday and I'll be taking a taxi to Boston Logan. I've noticed that in the past, the cabbie tends to take a longer route, and I was wondering if ...
29
votes
8answers
25k views

What is the best method for exchanging dollars for Euros?

I'm traveling from the US to Europe in a few weeks. What's the best method of exchanging dollars for Euros? I imagine there's options like: at the airport when you arrive in Europe at a bank in ...
28
votes
6answers
8k views

What are the main differences in traffic regulations between the US/Europe?

There are the obvious ones. The US has the keep-your-lane system, where as in Europe you are expected to keep to the right (left for UK) as long as possible. On my latest travel to the US, I was ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

How to tip in the United States?

Tipping customs in the United States can be surprising for people who travel there for the first time. It happened to me when I used a shuttle van service out of LAX a few years ago. To sum up the ...
27
votes
5answers
31k views

Can a tourist buy a gun in the USA?

This came up as a discussion. With recent incidents in the news, it's often argued by some members of the public in the US that guns are a requirement for safety, and that everyone should have the ...
27
votes
6answers
23k views

Is it safe and legal to sleep in my car in California (L.A. area)?

I will be visiting California and some parts of the US West Coast in the coming September. I'd like to rent a car for travelling, and to reduce travel expenses I would like to sleep in it some nights. ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Renting a Manual Car in the US

Neither specific websites of Hertz, Budget, Alamo, Enterprise, Thirftly or FOX allow you to specify that you want to rent a manual car. Neither do Kayak, Hotwire and Priceline. Is there a way to ...
26
votes
11answers
4k views

Is there any United States slang I should avoid in the UK or Ireland?

We'll be spending a couple weeks this summer in the UK (Scotland and London), then a week in Ireland. Is there any slang common in the United States that we be best avoided in either country? For ...
26
votes
7answers
5k views

How much cash am I supposed to prepay at gas station in the US?

In the US (and probably Canada as well), it is possible to pay at a gas station either with a credit card often with a fee (in the US) or cash. If I pay cash, gas stations often require to prepay for ...
26
votes
2answers
98k views

Do I need a US visa to change planes in an American airport?

In Europe usually you don't need to go through immigration to change planes (unless you are entering/exiting Schengen). Is it the case in the US as well? May I catch a connecting flight on one of the ...
26
votes
1answer
4k views

How does the US know that I left?

Every time I leave Australia, I have to fill in an official form that the government collects to state that I've left the country. However, when I left the US last week (after my first visit there), ...
26
votes
2answers
3k views

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

I have nothing but fond memories of the children show Sesame Street, and I know that it's filmed somewhere in New York. Is there a way to visit the actual set? As part of a guided tour would be ideal, ...
26
votes
1answer
3k views

Am I supposed to pay for parking when the parking meter is buried under the snow (USA)?

I am travelling by car in the USA (Boston, Massachusetts). The weather is currently pretty snowy. Am I supposed to pay for parking when the parking meter is buried under the snow? E.g.:
25
votes
4answers
3k views

What rights do passengers have when flights in the USA are delayed?

What rights do passengers on delayed flights in the USA have? In some countries, depending on the length and type of delay, passengers can receive a free phone call, meal ticket, lodging, booking on ...
25
votes
1answer
2k views

How to clean drug misdemeanor in US so I don't get stopped at border every time?

I'm an American living in Canada. 11 years ago, when I was 19, I was stupid and had some pot in my car while driving through a border patrol checkpoint. (Note: A border patrol checkpoint is not the ...
24
votes
8answers
14k views

Do all American ATMs charge an extra fee for cash withdrawals on a foreign card?

I've just gone to take some cash out of an ATM (Cash Machine) in Seattle. I visited about half a dozen in the end, and every single one wanted to charge me an extra fee (typically about $3) for the ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it OK to play the piano housed in the lobbies of hotels?

I travel a lot and often find grand pianos in lobbies of hotels. Is it appropriate to just sit down and play them for a while (FWIW, I am good and play slow classical music. My playing will not ruin ...
24
votes
4answers
7k views

Can't check-in to a hotel because I am 18

I'm 18 and traveling to the East Coast of the USA. I am staying in Syracuse, NY for 2 days, but can't seem to find a hotel that will let me check in. Are there any hotels in Syracuse with a minimum ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

What items are forbidden to take when traveling to the US that would be OK in most other countries?

I am aware of a couple of items that are not allowed to take when traveling to a US destination (from abroad), even though they would be OK in most other countries: Kinder Eggs 6 or more "obscene ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

Laptop Searches by Customs - UK and US

I'll be traveling to the UK (London) on a study abroad in the spring and will be bring my laptop for school and intern purposes. I was just curious what/if any rights UK customs has to search laptops ...
23
votes
11answers
6k views

Do any States in the US give traffic tickets for 5 mph above the speed limit?

In Louisiana, USA it's widely understood (unofficially) that one can travel 5mph above the speed limit without receiving a speeding ticket. Does this rule apply when traveling the rest of the ...
23
votes
11answers
10k views

How to access the internet during a road trip in the USA?

I'm traveling from Europe (Belgium) to USA soon. While on a road trip from New Orleans to Miami, I'd like to access the internet without paying exorbitant amounts of money on roaming fees. I was ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Are there data plans for travelers in the USA?

I intend to travel to the US for a month, and I would really like to use a lot of data traffic during the trip, for browsing, maps, Skype calls, etc. How can I do that? Should I buy a SIM? Do I have ...
23
votes
1answer
7k views

What happens when a foreigner gets a traffic fine in the United States?

What happens when a foreigner gets a speeding ticket / traffic fine in the United States? I've heard that the issuing officer will demand payment on site or will confiscate the drivers license. That ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it wise to pretend to be Christian to safely travel through the US?

In this Economist blog it is stated: In the most religious parts of America, it is tough being a secular teenager. Many of the kids at Camp Quest say that, at school, they either keep quiet about ...
21
votes
9answers
796 views

How can I travel between US towns without flying

Can you help me decide, what type of transport can I use to travel from one US town to another (it will be a big journey), without flying? Are buses available, and is there any more suitable method ...
21
votes
11answers
9k views

Can a visitor who is “of age” in their country drink underage in the United States of America?

Is there any way to get around the drinking age? I'm 18 (19 at the end of the year) and I will be travelling to America next year with my 18 year old sister. The legal age here in Australia is 18, is ...
21
votes
9answers
37k views

What kind of ID does the US accept when visiting bars or drinking age events?

For tourists visiting the states, what kind of ID do you need to carry with you to visit bars or drinking age events? I understand the passport is the main piece of ID but do they accept any other ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I use USD in Canada?

I will go to Canada for the first time from the United States. I will use credit card as much as possible but I guess I need cash for small shops and cafes anyway. To avoid exchange money back and ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Any trouble at Florida customs for not paying a California speeding ticket from 5 years ago?

I'm from Montreal (Quebec). I went on vacation in California 5 years ago and got pulled over for speeding on the highway in a rental car (111 mph in a 60 mph zone.) The officer told me I was lucky he ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I travel within US if name on ticket is abbreviated?

I booked a flight from LA to Miami using my abbreviated name 'Chris' instead of my full name 'Christopher' (per my passport) and the right surname. As the ticket is non-refundable the airline refuses ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

Why are prices published without tax in the US?

On a recent trip to San Francisco it was always a surprise to see what to pay in stores. It was never as simple as just adding all the published prizes. There was always a surplus of taxes. Sometimes ...