20 Things American Tourists Do That Confuse Other Countries

20 Things American Tourists Do That Confuse Other Countries

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When you travel from the US to another country,
you mostly try your best to blend in, right? You know, when in Rome, do as the Romans do?
But I can’t tell you how many times my friends abroad tell me about the weird (excuse me)
funny things American tourists do! Now, before you pelt me with rotten lettuce, I’m not
saying every American traveler does these things. They’re just some innocent observations,
and it’s all in good fun! 1. Wearing sandals with socks
Uh-oh! Someone call the fashion police! Americans in general don’t really care much about all
these style “rules” and prefer to wear whatever’s comfortable – even socks with
sandals! (I know, the horror!) And if you think about it, it’s not without its advantages.
You get an extra comfy cushion between the top of your feet and the sandal band, and
your feet don’t get as dirty! Hey, practicality is always trendy in my book! 2. Smiling at strangers
No, the stereotype of Americans constantly walking around smiling ear-to-ear is far from
the truth because that’d just be creepy. But if I hold the door for someone, share
an elevator, or just make brief eye contact with a stranger, I’ll flash a quick grin.
It’s just our way of showing that we’re friendly and mean no harm! Plus, if I’m
abroad, I’m probably on vacation having the time of my life. I sure ain’t gonna
be walking around all sour-faced! And ignoring all rules of good speech. 3. Asking waiters and cashiers how they’re
doing In the US, it’s totally normal to make small
talk with a waiter, cashier, receptionist, anyone really! And either person usually breaks
the ice with a “How are you today?” You can answer with a “Fine, thanks!” even
if you’re not, give your thoughts on last night’s football game, or make a comment
about the weather. No harm, right? But, yeah, I’ve gotten some weird looks after using
this really American greeting while traveling abroad. 4. Waiting to be seated at a restaurant
The whole “restaurant host” thing isn’t as big elsewhere as it is in the US. So some
American tourists will confuse everybody by standing near the entrance and waiting to
be seated. It’s weird for locals and embarrassing for us once we find out we can just take any
available seat! 5. Not understanding metric units
Oh, come on, you can’t judge us too harshly if we ask a local how many miles or feet some
museum is from where we’re standing. The US is one of the few countries in the world
that hasn’t switched to the metric system, so that’s just how our brains are wired.
The same goes for asking someone what the weather is gonna be like. If you tell me “23°C”
I’m not gonna have a clue how hot or cold that is. But that’s what online unit converters
are for! 6. Being amazed by sites that are over 200
years old When I think of historical sites in my country,
I usually imagine something like The Statue of Liberty or Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
But this 266-year-old building isn’t really all-that “historical” when you compare
it to, say, the Colosseum in Rome or the Taj Mahal in India. Those places are ancient,
and we don’t have anything like them. So, yeah, it’s amazing! 7. Talking really loud
“You know ‘em before you see ‘em” is how one of my European friends described
American tourists. People from other countries usually prefer to speak in a hushed voice,
at least in public places. That’s why talking loud is really a thing that makes Americans
stand out in a crowd. What really gets me is when tourists speak louder and louder when
a local doesn’t understand them. Because, ya know, increased volume breaks down language
barriers! Uuuh-huh… 8. Wearing funny shirts
I see a lot of bizarre graphic tees here in the US, so I’m sure some Americans walk
around in the same thing when traveling. And it’s no surprise they stick out like a sore
thumb donning shirts with cartoon characters, hilarious phrases, or huge logos on display
for everyone to see. Hey, some of them are pretty funny and creative – ya gotta appreciate
the humor! 9. Thinking in dollars no matter where they
go You can’t help but think in the currency
you’re familiar with, but I could see how asking a cashier in Japan how many dollars
something costs would be a little bizarre. I imagine a lot of American tourists forget
that the whole world doesn’t use dollars. Again, a good online currency converter is
the best preventative measure against awkward situations like this! 10. Thinking everyone speaks English. (They
don’t?!) Just like with dollars, there are those American
tourists that assume everyone speaks fluent English. Lucky for us, most people do! But
I still think we could try a little harder at learning some local words and phrases.
That’s one of the biggest joys of traveling, right? Well, that and the giggles you get
when locals hear your American accent in their language! Oui Oui Mon-sewer. Or “Donkey-shawn!” 11. Asking for tap water at a restaurant
While in the US it’s common to ask for just a glass of water from the tap when you’re
eating out, people in other countries prefer bottled water to make sure it’s clean, safe,
and tastes good. So if you’re an American on vacation, keep in mind that asking for
tap water reveals your tourist status right away! 12. Getting easily excited about everything
If we like something or are blown away (by the Taj Mahal, for instance!), most of us
can’t hide our overwhelming emotions. And when you’re on vacation, you just happen
to have a lot of cool experiences. Locals might consider it a bit of an overreaction,
but we’re just so amazed by your culture! 13. Over-packing huge suitcases
I’ve seen my fellow American travelers lugging massive suitcases around, but I’d say this
point isn’t specific to us alone. And I get it, you wanna be prepared for any type
of weather you might encounter or you’d like to have a variety of clothes to wear
for any occasion while you’re abroad. But here’s a pro tip: pack lightly if you wanna
breeze through the airport without any hitches! I’m willing to bet you don’t need as many
outfits as you think you do! 14. Wearing shorts no matter what season it
is This one’s pretty amusing because it makes
people think that Americans are immune to the cold or something. Maybe those Yankees
you see in shorts on a chilly day are just really set in “vacation mode” and they’re
gonna dress for the beach no matter what the weather’s like! (Or maybe they took my suitcase
advice a little too seriously and didn’t pack any pants! Oops!) 15. Wearing sneakers everywhere
Naturally, you want your feet to be as comfortable as possible while exploring new places, hence,
why we Americans tend to prefer sneakers or tennis shoes. But some tourists don’t have
a problem with wearing them to, say, a historic museum or some prestigious palace. We really
mean no disrespect – a casual laid-back style is just our thing! 16. Clapping at everything
Whether it’s the end of a really good movie at the cinema or even just a great joke, we
do like to clap when we’re having a good time…at least a lot of us. Must have to
do with that “not being able to hold back your emotions” thing I mentioned earlier.
So if you see a tourist clapping at a parade, they could be a redneck – I mean an American!
… Or just someone really enjoying the show! 17. Saying what state or city they’re from
instead of their country This Americanism is confusing for foreigners
given that they might not know exactly where Cincinnati or Ohio is located. But it’s
a gut reaction since that’s how we talk to each other when we meet people in our own
country. I guess we just sometimes forget that not everyone in the world has all 50
states or American cities memorized by heart. Really? But to be fair, states can vary drastically,
so saying you’re from “America” just doesn’t seem to cut it, either! I just tell
people I live on top of the Golden Gate Bridge. They all seem to know where that is, and are
always impressed. I don’t really, but it’s a good story. 18. Walking while eating and drinking
While most Europeans choose to enjoy their food in some café with a nice view, especially
if they’re on vacation, Americans eat and drink on the go, even if we’re on a sightseeing
tour! We do it here in the States too. Walk down any street, and most people will have
a cup of coffee or a sandwich or something in their hands. Hey, we value our time, and
sometimes that means my lunch needs to come with me when I’m on my way to some place!
Hey, I’m Multitasking with Multigrains. It’s a two-fer! 19. Tipping everyone
Yes, American tourists can forget that tipping is a culture that totally depends on the country.
We tip waiters, cab drivers, hairdressers, and so on as a way to show appreciation for
good service. But that would be a major faux pas in, say, Japan, because tipping is considered
really rude there! Just a tip in case you’re going there. 20. Drinking everything with ice
Americans abroad get really surprised when they order a Coke or glass of water, and the
drink doesn’t have any ice in it. (The worst is when it’s not even refrigerated!) So,
yeah, asking for ice when you order a drink at a restaurant is a dead giveaway that your
American! I guess blending in is a lot harder than it seems! What strange things do tourists from your
country do while traveling? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something
new today, then give this video a like and share it with a friend.
But – hey! – don’t go anywhere just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you
to check out. All you have to do is pick the left or right video, click on it, and enjoy!
Stay on the Bright Side of life!

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100 Comments

  1. TIMESTAMPS:

    Wearing sandals with socks 0:32
    Smiling at strangers 1:07
    Asking waiters and cashiers how they鈥檙e doing 1:49
    Waiting to be seated at a restaurant 2:23
    Not understanding metric units 2:47
    Being amazed by sites that are over 200 years old 3:23
    Talking really loud 3:54
    Wearing funny shirts 4:27
    Thinking in dollars no matter where they go 4:55
    Thinking everyone speaks English 5:26
    Asking for tap water at a restaurant 5:59
    Getting easily excited about everything 6:27
    Over-packing huge suitcases 6:54
    Wearing shorts no matter what season it is 7:30
    Wearing sneakers everywhere 7:59
    Clapping at everything 8:28
    Saying what state or city they鈥檙e from instead of their country 8:57
    Walking while eating and drinking 9:47
    Tipping everyone 10:26
    Drinking everything with ice 10:53

  2. Im from Sweden! How many here knows Swedens existence?
    馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜馃嚫馃嚜

  3. how to make a thumbnail take one photo copy it and place it on side of first photo and title it as restaurant and musem

  4. Ima sound REAL racist…but is it just me or did anyone else imagine him as a caucasian man馃槼馃ぃ

  5. I am from Canada and we can tell American tourists a mile away just by the way they talk: mannerisms; and of course asking for directions in miles and using Fahrenheit: So annoying but Americans are our closet cousins after all 馃槢

  6. If you're in the UK tap water and Ice is very common, if you're visiting a European country, avoid tap water because they don't usually have a good filtration system, the same water gets frozen into ice cubes, avoid asking for tap and ice in restaurants unless you want explosive **

  7. A lot Americans call themselve "Canadians" on holiday. At least, they understand that the rest of the world don't like them.

  8. Most of yhe world walks and eats with the few exceptions, unless you're rich enough to fine at a restaurant

  9. Excuse meh!? I'm an American and tbh some of them are really true.. and others .. NO!!馃槕馃槕

  10. having lived in Germany for almost 10 years then returning to the US i was surprised at my culture shock things were so different =) but it was enjoyable to relearn my American ways again

  11. The funniest thing is people from other countries do take pictures of our historical things that we think it not a big deal. We do the same in other countries too.

  12. #14 Wearing shorts.
    After my 20 day vacation at home in Michigan for Christmas and New Years. Temp was around 0 F. or -18 C. (Not including wind chill)
    I had to lay over in Dubai for a couple of days before getting a flight back to work.
    Ski Dubai had just opened and I wanted to check it out. Inside Temp was 32 F/ 0 C. (No wind)
    I had already done all the skiing and sledding I wanted in MI. Just wanted to walk around take some photos and check it out.
    So I skipped renting their long black snow parka, and boots.
    Walking in with shorts, Tshirt, and sneakers.
    The light chill didn't bother me at all.
    All the Local people who never been in the real cold and only knew Dubai's 100F /38 C plus weather, thought I was crazy.
    The looks I got were hilarious.
    A nice 32/0 degree day like that in MI. after a long winter. We'd have the BBQ grills out.

  13. I always ask for no ice, ivw nwver left the us but if i did i wouldnt have to ask for no ice in my drink

  14. Americans in general are more extroverted than people from Europe. Being loud and aggressive is the norm for us even when we don't even realize what we're doing. I guess it ties into the whole independent-I-do-things-my-way mentality.

    That's probably why we're known for dressing more casually and not following strict fashion rules that europeans tend to follow. We don't like being restricted. It goes back to that "I like it MY way" attitude.

    That's probably why Southeast Asian countries tend to have less issues with Americans than Europeans. Asians are more passive and love to cater to foreigners. Europeans are more defensive of their collective way of life.

  15. Americans wear socks with sandals? And this is supposted to be comfortable? 馃槺 It is comfortable if you can have free feet!

  16. You lost me for the start with 'socks with sandals' because that is more of a German thing that an American one.

  17. the ice thing is a really big deal! when Europeans come to America and get ice in a drink they order they get upset about it because they aren't used to most drinks being cold and ice takes away from the volume of the drink

  18. 5:45 who ever typed that I as not paying too much attention for those who don't know it's in Hindi and the matras ( the tiny curve things on the top ) are not supposed to be hovering they're supposed to be on the lines or it's just nonsense

  19. Wait, what? Whenever I visit the USA I literally NEVER ask for tap water when I want water at a restaurant, I'll ask for bottled water to make sure it is clean.
    I took a test of the tap water at one of the hotels I stayed at in the US, it came out to 130 something maybe, while the bottled water came out as 13 or something, and you'll want the lowest number possible on this test, as the lower the number the purer the water is.
    Here at home in Norway, my tap water is somewhere between 5 – 10, so while in Norway, I wouldn't mind asking for tap water.

  20. It's funny you mentioned footwear … some places like the Coliseum in Rome have banned certain footwear like heels because they can damage the older architecture

  21. American exceptionalism is nothing to be proud off, and should be questioned a lot more. #19 stated tipping is done to show appreciation for good service. No, it's done because you live in a crony capitalist society, and don't pay a living wage to workers. I'm really trying hard to be nice here, and not convey my true feelings, as Americans don't take criticism well, but I could go on and on. Perhaps my best advice for American tourists is, no one cares that you're an American, they've got their own lives to live. If someone is making a buck off of you, they'll pretend to care. Curb the USA USA USA chest beating when travelling, ok? You've been taught since being a toddler that you're the greatest nation on earth – it just ain't so. I'd peg you at a hesitant number 17.

  22. Metric for Dummies – at least for basic temperatures. First, stop converting metric temperatures to oF. Just like you won't learn a new language by translating to English, you won't get to know metric by converting. Try to live in a metric world by learning these basics, and go from there.

    -40oC is the same temp as -40oF

    0oC is the freezing point of water

    20oC is a comfortable room temperature

    40oC is an extremely hot enviroment

    100oC is the boiling point of water

  23. 鈥淲e smile to show we鈥檙e friendly and mean no harm鈥
    Creepy guy: smiles and enters elevator
    Other guy: smiles back
    Creepy guy after doors close: kills them

  24. As an American ice is an automatic must have at least for me. And I know some of you guys are thinking if you have ice you have less of something to drink. Well to fix that most restaurants and fast food places have free refills so we can load up a cup once we are finished.

  25. So I'm Australian and most of these things apply to us as well besides the metric system problem telling people where were from and tipping

  26. Danes clap after a good landing to show the pilots skilles. I believe we are the only country doing so 馃檪

  27. 9:40 I have houses on both sides of the Golden gate bridge! My mom's house on one side, and my dad's on the other.

  28. It is good humor to bash the American. I believe people forget that not all cultures are cookie cutter. When you ask why do Americans do this or why do Americans do that? Your asking the wrong question. What you mean to ask is why isn't american culture more like mine? I think it a type of ignorance to expect every forigner you meet to act and behave just like your culture.

  29. american tourists often eat pizza with their hands in foreign countries instead of using a knife and a fork

  30. Hi, I'm from Canada. And one thing also left out of your list of "weird clothes/shirts" is wearing the college/university sweatshirt, or wearing sweatpants with writing across the bum. A friend of mine also saw in a Paris hotel an American asking for American CNN on the TV. 馃檮

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