Land of fast food and flags. Fist pumps and beer pong. Hip-hop and Hollywood. Big guns and fast cars. Where most don’t travel but we’re all up in every country’s affairs. This is ‘Murica.
Of course I’m being sarcastic about my own country. A little. Some of those are true to an extent, but most are stereotypes about the United States and Americans based off of what people see in our movies and on TV. When you travel as an American, you realize that most of the world thinks that’s all we’ve got. Most people I meet abroad comment or ask me about one of those stereotypes listed above, occasionally with a negative tone towards America.
I’ll be honest with you — I haven’t been everywhere, but I’ve been around. To a lot of cities I mean. It took until I was 20 to snap out of my daze and start exploring, and though I haven’t seen most of the states extensively, I’ve traveled enough the United States it to have an idea of what you should see and do.
I’ve driven across the United States twice, taken buses through it, and traveled by train across it 5 times. And leaving the United States showed me that I really do love my country — one needs to leave their country and return to see it through different eyes. Right? So here is my not-so-standard guide to traveling around the United States, and I hope that some of it will break down a few of the stereotypes or broaden the selection of cities most foreign travelers stick to.
Here is my not-so-standard guide to traveling around the United States.
CAPITAL: Washington D.C.
CURRENCY: US Dollar
TIPPING: Yes, 15%-20%
VISA: 90 Days (more info)
GREETING: Hello, Hey, How’s it going?
BEST SIM: T-Mobile
ATM FEES: $2-$5
DRINKING AGE: 21
SMOKING AGE: 18
TRAIN LINE: Amtrak
BUSES: Greyhound, Megabus
AIRLINES: US Airways, United, Virgin America, Delta
RENTAL CARS: Budget, Avis, Alamo, Enterprise
– DON’T think all Americans are like what they show on TV.
– DO tip in restaurants and bars.
– DON’T drink in public areas.
– DO use AirBnB and Couchsurfing.
– DON’T expect many hostels.
– DO ask for help or directions from strangers.
– DON’T talk about politics, religion, guns, immigration, etc unless brought up. Can get heated.
– DO visit the National Parks.
– DON’T Camp anywhere, look up sites.
– DO visit museums and exhibits, plenty are free.
– DON’T just go to tourist attractions.
– DO get a local’s advice for what to eat.
– DON’T hang out too long in a restaurant, waiters only make tips.
– DO try American craft beers.
– DON’T think drinking at bars is cheap.
IT’S NOT JUST NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES! People always tell me they are doing the trifecta of New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles. It kills me when I hear that! There are plenty of awesome cities besides those. Hit Cleveland for the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. How about Pittsburg for the history and burghs. Chicago for the deep dish and skyline. Albuquerque for the stark desert and hot air balloon festival. And so many more.
Top 3 Favorite Cities
Get to know the USA
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More articles and guides will be coming in the future from my adventures around the United States, but if you have a specific questions or would like to see a city featured more, give me a shout below!