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Questions tagged [usa]

Large English-speaking country in North America between Canada and Mexico, and Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Used for questions on traveling from, to, or through the USA. For general questions about North America, use the [north-america] tag but be more specific (eg State) where relevant.

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333 votes
9 answers
46k 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 ...
user avatar
252 votes
8 answers
75k 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 ...
user11743's user avatar
  • 2,057
203 votes
8 answers
47k views

Why prohibit engine braking?

When I learned driving in The Netherlands (in a car with a manual gearbox), I learned that on a down slope¹, I should switch to low gear and use the engine to brake, thus reducing the wear on the ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 57k
152 votes
4 answers
24k views

Immigration officer that stopped me at the airport is texting me. What do I do?

Yesterday my cousin arrived to Chicago from Mexico, she is visiting family there to spend the holidays, this is not the first time she visits. She was stopped by immigration, because they thought it ...
DiegoJ's user avatar
  • 1,283
141 votes
3 answers
28k views

Canadian citizen, on US no-fly list. What can I do in order to be allowed on flights which go through US airspace?

My father and I, both Canadian citizens, were denied to board a direct Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Toronto non-stop without any prior warning or information. Literally, at the gate, we ...
Aras Celik's user avatar
130 votes
8 answers
35k views

How can I find restaurants in the USA where tipping is not expected?

I am uncomfortable with tipping and would much rather eat at sit-down restaurants in the United States that pay their employees fairly without expecting customers to supplement with tips (as occurs in ...
Thunderforge's user avatar
  • 2,692
110 votes
2 answers
8k views

How does President Trump's travel ban affect nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen coming to the US for tourism/transit/etc?

President Trump has signed an executive order which bans nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from traveling to the US for at least 90 days. Does this ban only include ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 82.6k
106 votes
17 answers
20k views

Is it rude to ask if the food contains pork or alcohol?

Some years ago, I was invited to a friend's place. The home-cooked food contained alcohol, and I don't eat or drink anything that contains alcohol (religious reasons). I was shy enough to eat it to ...
Nean Der Thal's user avatar
102 votes
14 answers
17k views

Considerations for very fragile and expensive (> $100,000) items in carry-on luggage

Background: I am a part of a university student team building a CubeSat due to be launched this September. Around mid-June, we will need to transport the CubeSat from its current location in Ohio to ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 821
87 votes
7 answers
23k views

How to avoid hotels with bellhops in the USA

Many guides to tipping in the USA include a specification to tip a "bellhop" at a hotel, which is apparently an employee who expects to be paid separately for the "service" of accompanying the guest ...
hmakholm left over Monica's user avatar
85 votes
7 answers
90k 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 ...
alx9r's user avatar
  • 3,737
79 votes
6 answers
33k views

My hotel "blocked" 5,000 dollars when I arrived and now is taking again the money

I'm staying in San Francisco for 2 weeks. When I arrived I gave my European debit card to the hotel, and they (at least, I thought so) withdrew the 5,000 dollars I owed them for the whole stay. ...
Fez Vrasta's user avatar
73 votes
14 answers
20k views

Is crime an issue in the US countryside, especially for a cyclist?

I have a dream of one day cycling from one coast of the USA to the other. I am aware that cycling on the road can be dangerous, but I've done a lot of it. I know how to stay safe, and I'm not ...
Ne Mo's user avatar
  • 1,269
73 votes
1 answer
19k views

No Facebook account, will I be able to visit the US?

I heard that the US immigration is asking people for their Facebook or any other social media logins, or at least are planning to do so. I value my privacy so I don't even have a Facebook account and ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 653
72 votes
10 answers
23k views

How to avoid accidental trespassing while exploring rural US?

I am planning a road trip through some rural locations in Tennessee and North Carolina, US. The intention is to visit some places of particular interest (e.g. filming locations of certain movies). ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 2,010
72 votes
4 answers
50k views

What happens if you declare more than $10,000 at the US border?

Let's say I need to bring over $10,000 into the US and decide to use cash to save on transfer fees. What would happen at the border when I declare all that cash? Would CBP briefly question me on the ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 82.6k
70 votes
3 answers
19k views

I've been warned to leave the US within 10 days as I will "overstay" my visa, but I have legally left the country by plane months ago. What can I do?

So this year I went to Florida with my family for 2 weeks. We were all tourists and we go to the US almost every year and have no administrative problems usually. This time, however, I recently ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 579
70 votes
2 answers
325k views

Do I need a US visa to transit (or layover) through 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 ...
Grzenio's user avatar
  • 16.5k
69 votes
6 answers
233k views

Why do public toilets in the US have large gaps (no privacy)?

Most public toilets in the US are very low in privacy, the bottom gap in the door is so big (around 15-20% of the door), the side gaps are too big as well. This will make the toilet experience so ...
Nean Der Thal's user avatar
68 votes
4 answers
18k views

Can I return to the United States as a tourist after being there illegally for most of my life, as a minor?

I was born in Brazil and came to the United States at the age of 7, in 2007. I no longer need to live in the United States because I have found success in investing and no longer depend on having a ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 581
67 votes
11 answers
24k views

Texas, USA speed ticket as a European citizen, already left the country

I had an interesting experience in the US while speeding. I'll put the full scenario in quotes, as I'm not sure if the whole story really adds to the question. We are unsure of what to do with the ...
Summer's user avatar
  • 3,587
66 votes
6 answers
28k views

Do I have to hide anything related to the swastika while travelling to the USA?

Swastika is religious symbol in India and many countries don't find it offensive but due to Nazi connections, will a traveler will get in trouble if he carries anything with the swastika symbol in the ...
Ankit Sharma's user avatar
66 votes
5 answers
11k views

How much 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 ...
DavGin's user avatar
  • 10.8k
65 votes
6 answers
94k views

In US hotels, what happens if you skip checkout and just leave the hotel?

Every time I check out of a hotel, they ask me if my stay went fine, let me review my incidental charges and ask if they should charge the credit card used to check in. But what if I simply walk out ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 82.6k
64 votes
11 answers
22k views

How do I insist that American hotels accept my employer's credit card for payment, instead of asking for personal credit card upon check-in?

I work for a state government body in the United States. As a part of my work, I occasionally have multi-day travel. My hotel stays are paid by my employer and are tax-exempt. I frequently run into a ...
indigochild's user avatar
  • 1,161
63 votes
16 answers
50k views

Can a tourist shoot a gun in the USA?

We're planning a holiday to the USA. In our country (UK) guns are strongly controlled so I wondered if we would be able to easily visit a range to have the experience of shooting and interacting with ...
Mr. Boy's user avatar
  • 657
63 votes
2 answers
12k views

Is it okay for a ticket seller in the USA to refuse to give you your change, keep it for themselves and claim it's a tip?

Some years ago (2014) my friends and I did a trip to New York City, during which we were having meals in many restaurants and giving tips to the waiters, the way it's done in the USA. However, later ...
Aritz's user avatar
  • 741
62 votes
1 answer
9k views

When an individual enters the United States, can they have an attorney present when going through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection?

When an individual enters the United States, can they have an immigration attorney present (physically or remotely via phone) when going through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)? E.g., to ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
61 votes
5 answers
15k views

Can Customs make me go back to return my electronic equipment or is it a scam?

My fiance just returned home from Nigeria and he has been detained 4 days at Reagan International airport because he returned with electronic sonar hardware he used for his job. Customs has detained ...
Dianne Cruey's user avatar
60 votes
3 answers
42k views

In US museums, why are backpacks only allowed to be carried on one shoulder?

Many US museums permit backpacks only when they are carried on one shoulder. Here are some examples: Philadelphia Museum of Art: Backpacks and large bags must be checked. Smaller bags may be ...
bers's user avatar
  • 688
59 votes
8 answers
138k views

Can I travel to the USA while working remotely for my non-US employer?

I would like to travel in the USA for a period of 3 - 6 months. But I want to spend some time working for my employer (remote work) and getting paid by the employer. Is this possible under a tourist ...
Ruch's user avatar
  • 693
59 votes
8 answers
11k views

Giving First Aid in the USA

I am a qualified first-aider in the UK and as such would automatically stop to give aid to any accidents and emergencies I saw. I was watching a US show on the TV the other night where someone was ...
Magpie13's user avatar
  • 633
58 votes
10 answers
13k views

How much cash can I safely carry into the USA and avoid civil forfeiture?

I'm planning a trip to the USA soon (from Germany). I'd like to know how much cash I can bring in without problems. Just to clarify, I am not talking about the $10000-or-file-a-form limit. I'm ...
Jennifer's user avatar
  • 955
57 votes
8 answers
16k views

Traffic light fails to give a green to one's movement even after several cycles -- what can a driver do?

In some cases, when a traffic light has an inductive loop sensor, it is possible to approach a traffic light prepared to make a movement (through or turning), only to find yourself sitting at a red ...
UnrecognizedFallingObject's user avatar
57 votes
8 answers
51k views

What is the tipping process in restaurants in the US?

I'm supposed to write down something on the bill I get? Do I hand the waiter my credit card after doing so? Since I need a receipt, do I wait for the waiter to bring things back? What's the process, ...
US Tourist's user avatar
56 votes
9 answers
21k views

Is it OK for an openly Muslim person to travel to the United States post-2017?

My friend and I are planning our first overseas trip together and we're trying to decide on where to go. We're from Malaysia and my friend is a Muslim who wears a hijab. We're considering going to the ...
Muou's user avatar
  • 345
56 votes
9 answers
16k 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 ...
Algon Janer's user avatar
56 votes
6 answers
14k views

Can two persons sharing a name travel one-way each on a return ticket?

I would like to know if my brother can fly by United Airlines from USA to El Salvador, and my father, from El Salvador to USA using the same round trip ticket, both of them have the same name.
douglas flores's user avatar
55 votes
3 answers
32k views

Duty Free in the USA. Why do I have to be given my purchase as I board the plane?

I am not one for buying things in airports but recently my wife asked me to get her an alcoholic beverage while flying from the USA to Ireland (JFK-DUB). I made the purchase in JFK and was surprised ...
medina's user avatar
  • 8,099
55 votes
3 answers
12k views

Traveled on an invalid ESTA due to prior N Korea trip. How screwed am I?

So long story short: I went to North Korea for a week as a tourist in 2013. I received an ESTA in 2018. In early August 2019, people who have visited North Korea were no longer eligible for the VWP. ...
estafool324's user avatar
55 votes
4 answers
18k views

Can I travel with cremated remains (father's ashes) from USA to India?

Recently our beloved father passed away in the USA. We have already performed his cremation, and now we are planning to take the cremated remains to India. We don't know anything regarding the ...
SheetalManish's user avatar
54 votes
6 answers
27k 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 ...
user avatar
54 votes
4 answers
12k views

Does declining housekeeping deny housekeepers of their income?

Whenever I stay in US hotels I typically decline housekeeping, as I don't want to cause them to have to do extra unnecessary work. But today I wonder whether by denying them the opportunity to clean ...
Jorge Rodriguez's user avatar
54 votes
2 answers
20k views

Navigating the layers of American hotel beds: where are you actually supposed to sleep?

Silly question perhaps but I'm a bit puzzled. The bed has a mattress, mattress pad, sheet 1, sheet 2, a thin white blanket, sheet 3, duvet with a removable cover and some more decorative stuff. In ...
Hilmar's user avatar
  • 102k
53 votes
12 answers
111k 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. ...
Alessandro Da Rugna's user avatar
52 votes
3 answers
14k views

Can I voluntarily exit from the US after a 20 year overstay, or could I be detained at the airport?

Is one allowed to travel back to one's country of origin using a valid passport issued by the consular office in the US? Would that trigger detention in the airport? Overstayed over 2 decades and ...
KnightM55's user avatar
  • 623
52 votes
6 answers
16k views

Is it normal to walk around an (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 ...
Shokhet's user avatar
  • 1,293
52 votes
1 answer
18k views

I just entered the USA without passport control at Atlanta airport

I'm a Canadian NEXUS holder, and I landed at Atlanta airport earlier this morning on a Delta flight. Exiting from the plane, the security (or an airport worker) guided me to an exit through the hall. ...
Jun Lee's user avatar
  • 521
51 votes
10 answers
11k 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 ...
Saif60's user avatar
  • 657
51 votes
5 answers
145k 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 ...
Mark Mayo's user avatar
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