Skip to content Skip to footer

First Visit to the US? Here Are 10 Essential Things You Need to Know

There are many people who believe that traveling is necessary for every human. Their logic follows that exposure to diversity helps people rethink differences they might otherwise discriminate against. 

Regardless of whether you agree or not, the differences are always there. The United States is one of the most visited countries in the world. Thanks to its incredible blend of characters and nationalities, it also provides an eye-opening experience for first-time visitors.

This article outlines some of the things you should expect and know when visiting for the first time.


The United States is blessed with a rich tapestry of cultures. Regardless of how you try to parse that statement, it is very true. The country houses many races and nationalities. In many cases, this has led to the incorporation of varying cultural elements.

It is present in cuisine, attitudes, and interaction with outsiders. Even experiencing the same thing can vary depending on whether you do so in a rural or urban setting. If you plan on visiting many locations and settings, be prepared.

Vibrant Cities and Iconic Landmarks 

Every city arguably has an identity of its own. For instance, the hustle and bustle of New York is different from the laid-back, relaxing nature of San Francisco. You have to experience them to understand.

Part of the reason for the differences might be in the landmarks. All cities in the United States have landmarks worth visiting. Don’t miss the opportunity to do so.

NYC by night

Natural Wonders 

It might be a sophisticated and developed technological powerhouse, but the United States is not all man-made beauty. When you visit, be sure to delve into the natural wonders of the landscapes. From the Rocky Mountains to the Florida Keys, there is no shortage of wonders to impress you.

Festivals and Theme Parks 

The United States houses some of the most amazing theme parks in the world. The most popular is arguably Disneyland. However, the country’s cultural diversity also means there are always festivals to enthrall visitors. Research the areas you’re visiting for festivals or theme parks to enhance your experience.

Non-Uniform Laws 

The United States is one of those countries where states have a say in what’s legal and illegal within them. As such, what you think you know from Hollywood might not be applicable where you visit.

For instance, not all states are like Las Vegas, and it might be illegal to bet and gamble where you visit. As such, before you do anything online or offline, try familiarizing yourself with local laws. 

Although, if you certainly must, you can use a VPN for sites like DraftKings. However, know that you may face access restrictions to such platforms in many states.

A casino in Las Vegas

Rich Sports Culture 

Sports are important to American Culture. The three big sports (Baseball, Basketball, and Football) are just some of many. The country loves sports, and there are large turnouts for everything from Ice Hockey to Golf. Do not visit without attending a sports event. It is an essential experience you do not want to miss.

Variability in Weather 

Before you start packing heavy coats or light summer shirts, know that the weather isn’t the same everywhere in the United States. It’s a very big country, and the weather can differ significantly depending on the location. Check the weather forecasts of the locations you wish to visit beforehand.

Culinary Wonders Unlike Any Other 

Thanks to the sheer diversity of the country and the distribution of people, you’re in for a culinary treat. The food in America is representative of the different cultures in the country.

The prices are similarly representative of people’s different economic realities. Furthermore, competition means quality isn’t an issue. So, be sure to patronize food trucks and restaurants of as many nationalities as possible. You’d thank us later.

USA hot dog

Tipping Culture 

In the United States, it is not almost customary to tip service workers. When you visit restaurants, hotels, etc., be ready to tip. In most cases, 10-20% of the bill is a standard tipping rule.

In order to facilitate your tipping habit, it might be prudent to exchange your currency from a local bank in your country. It’s usually cheaper and devoid of the charges you might accrue in the States.

Transportation Options 

There is no fixed way to get anywhere. Additionally, certain transportation options provide different experiences and comforts. The costs also vary. So, when planning your trip, research your transportation options and make a decision according to your needs and wallet. If you want convenience, fly; if you want to experience the terrain, you might opt for a few road trips.


The United States is a beautiful place to visit. Our little list above exists to help you experience as much of its beauty. Make sure to keep an open mind as you interact with the diverse cultures in the country. Lastly, keep a list of emergency contacts nearby: this is an important tip when visiting a new country.

Leave a Comment