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55

Tipping is for the service, the menu price is for the food. If the service is bad, leave a small tip. This will show the wait person that you didn't forget to tip, but felt that their service was undeserving. On the converse, it is important not to leave a poor tip if the food was bad but the service was good. The wait staff can not make the food ...


46

The federal standards (that states lose highway funds for not following) are that you cannot purchase or publicly possess alcoholic beverages under the age of 21. Technically this is implemented as state laws, but it applies in all 50 states and DC. That means neither of you can buy alcohol legally. In addition, the general rule is that you can't ask someone ...


33

Missing pages generally invalidate a passport. Depending on how cleanly they were removed, a casual inspection might not notice, but if noticed, you will at the very least be in for some heavy questioning, and may be denied boarding/entry. Applying for a new passport is strongly advisable.


32

tl;dr: You cannot Generally US rental companies don't have option to select transmission type, because they don't offer anything other than automatic. The only cars in popular rental companies would have any chance to have manual transmission, would be high-end sports cars. And even so, that chance is slim to none. For example at Hertz you have "adrenaline ...


31

No. You don't tip unless it's a delivery charge. For example, if you order takeout food and have them deliver (especially common in hotels), then you'd want to tip the driver. From Wikipedia: Tips are also generally given for services provided in golf courses, casino, hotels, concierge, food delivery, taxis, spa and salons. If you're going to the ...


26

cdkMoose is correct in that the quality of the food should not influence your tip. However, your question appears to operate on a bit of a false premise, and I think it should also be said that leaving a small tip for poor service should be done only in exceptional circumstances. By exceptional circumstances, I mean active hostilty or extreme rudeness on ...


24

You're relying on the desk agent (if flying), the border guard and the CBP (2-3 checks going there), and 2-3 checks coming back. Very unlikely, and a bad idea. If caught, ignorance is never accepted as a valid excuse, and you might get blacklisted in future. Like Vegas, the risk outweighs the reward, not worth the gamble ;)


22

As Jonathan's answer mentions, pretty much all police officers open carry firearms in the U.S. (pistols on their belt.) Other than that, however, seeing people visibly carry their firearms is very rare in the U.S. (unless you're at a gun range or some such thing.) I live in one of the most gun-friendly parts of the U.S. and I almost never see a firearm ...


21

No, using a "TSA lock" is not compulsory. What using one does is enable TSA to physically inspect your luggage, if they so deem it necessary, without cutting your existing lock(s). If you use a "TSA lock", it has been designed to allow TSA to use a master key to open it. Of course, this also means, as you have surmised, that anyone else with a master key ...


18

Every single police offer in the US carries a visible firearm as a part of their uniform. Therefore it is extremely likely that you will see multiple handguns during your visit as most urban areas are regularly patrolled by policemen.


18

As far as the law goes, you can be denied a visa for (almost) any or (almost) no reason, including if the consular officer doesn't like the color of your tie. Whether you will be denied a visa for having unpaid credit card debt is therefore not an objective science, but probably not. The consular officer's task is to reject people who would attempt to ...


17

Age limits and such like are always those of the place you are in. While you are in another country you have to obey the local laws on drink, and other stuff, whatever your laws are back home. The good news is that you can do things that are legal in the place you are, even if they are illegal back home (with some exceptions), which is great news if you are ...


16

TSA locks are not "mandatory", in the sense that it's perfectly legal & allowed to bring any old suitcase with any old lock into the US. However, if you use a lock that is not TSA compatible, the TSA reserves the right to break it open if they need to check the contents of your bag. The "other places" you describe seem to be more about Customs issues, ...


16

No, I wouldn't. A tip is for good service (someone bringing food drink to your table, keeping on top of your requests etc.) but with takeout you're buying a product. Its similar to going to McDonalds or Wendy's. Generally, its waiters and waitresses that get tips as they make a lower Federal minimum wage than the other staff. While some states have laws ...


15

Every piano I've ever seen has had a 'not for public use' (or equivalent) sign on it. If you find one that doesn't it's still polite to ask, but they're probably content with people playing it if they don't say otherwise. Or they just installed it this morning and haven't seen the problem yet ... If you can play the piano decently I really doubt anyone will ...


15

I would feel comfortable sitting down at any piano that doesn't have a sign saying not to. Assuming they don't have music playing that you would be in competition with, and assuming that you're good and aren't going to play the same thing over and over, I would keep the following principle in mind: It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. - Rear ...


15

I like to tip them the smallest value coin I have; that way they knew I didn't forget a tip. Then I talk to the manager or email feedback.


16

Yes, they almost certainly do know you've left. The US processes passport details for all air passengers through a system called APIS, and ties that to the electronic I-94 (arrival and departure record). You can check your US arrival and departure history online. This allows you to verify their record of your departure.


13

Some companies rent manual cars. Here's one such company in San Diego. I can't help but chuckle that they have a paragraph explaining the context, and have 'how to drive a proper car' (my wording) sessions. I've not lived that long in the US, and finding a manual car to purchase was a struggle. We got a very fine two year old Saab, but gave up on the idea ...


13

In general it is allowed to volunteer in the US when you are there on a B1 or B2 visa, or on visa waiver program, and for most other visas that do not permit paid employment. However there are some significant restrictions, and it is best to check them out. The most significant restriction is that you can only volunteer to do things that are normally done ...


12

It is extremely unlikely that you will ever run across a normal citizen walking around with a gun strapped to their belt, even in open-carry states. You will see police officers with guns strapped to their belts, that's about all you're likely to see. There's a lot of over-hyped media attention to open-carry laws, and during some protests, pro-gun owners ...


12

Generally the worker at the cashier will take tips if given, but they aren't required. Usually the "tip jar" in those circumstances serves as a "put that pocket change you didn't actually want here," like if you're paying cash or the like. Just because there is a jar of some sort next to the cash register doesn't mean they take tips, either; Some ...


12

In my opinion, when in doubt it's always better to err on the safe side and get a new passport. Last thing you want to happen is to get bounced back at immigration checks due to a damaged passport. Quoting from my other answer on the topic: I checked the definitions of damaged passports and there seems to be a common denominator across countries. A ...


11

The people at the takeout counter probably aren't dependent largely on tips as their primary wage (as waitstaff in the US are), but if your order is complicated, it is courteous to tip. And, I'd recommend being consistent with a dollar or two if this is a neighborhood restaurant you order from frequently — they'll remember. The blog "Wait But Why" has a ...


9

In many locations, tips are not only for the waitstaff, but are actually shared with the busboys, the bartender, and sometimes other members of the staff - usually not the cooks, but even occasionally then. They're also a significant fraction of their wages, most waiters earning a few dollars an hour "plus tips" rather than a full, normal wage. When I ...


8

1a) You will show your passport at airline checkin, so they know you (probably) have the right to enter the UK. As a US citizen, you don't need a visa. 1b) You will not go through US customs or CBP when leaving the US. 1c) You will show your passport to the UK border control in LHR. 2) If you're ticketed on United the whole time, your bags will almost ...


7

I had the same situation and contacted the authorities and they replied by saying the ESTA is valid until the end of the day of the expiration date. So you can travel on the day of your ESTA expiry: "Yes, the ESTA would be valid through 11:59 PM on its expiration date. You can use the ESTA if it will be valid for your date of travel and date of arrival. ...


7

Simply put, no. As an UK immigrant myself, first arriving at age 19 (and effectively drinking in the UK since age 16) I certainly experienced this first hand. You have to be 21. Significantly, age is nearly always determined by requesting and reviewing a drivers license which has a picture of the person plus the date of birth. This is unlike my ...


6

There's an entire wiki dedicated to this exact question! http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/ I'm marking this as a community wiki-answer in case anyone wants to dig into the pretty significant amount of work required to expand this answer with rates and options available for the US. :-)


6

The answer in the broad sense is maybe. Due to State vs. Federal application of laws there are circumstances in which people under the age of 21 are allowed to drink within the state. But you will not be allowed to do this at a bar!! And you will not be allowed to purchase at the store! Some states may allow it in a presence of a parent. So if you are ...



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