Whatever reason you have for traveling to the United States, it’s most likely fun and exciting. The timeless debate whether the Canada is the US’s hat or the US is Canada’s shorts might seem hilarious but the differences between the two countries should be considered nevertheless.
Since the USA seems so close and so similar, many Canadian tourists relax and make unfortunate mistakes. It’s vital to do your homework before visiting another country, even the one, which is in “your backyard”.
Canadian Tourists Make Mistakes in USA
Failing to Read Up on the Driving Laws
Each state has its own driving laws. While they are mostly similar, they can substantially differ from the ones you are used to. If you are getting behind the wheel, make sure you study the laws. Otherwise, you can end up with a hefty ticket.
Using The Metric System
As soon as you pass the border, say hello to miles, pounds, and inches! Many Canadians forget to do it and end up being very surprised at the low speed limit signs. A similar problem is awaiting you at the grocery stores. Keeping a calculator or a conversion app handy can save you from making unfortunate blunders.
Using American Slang
Even if English is your native language, you can find that American English is different. If you think you learned all the cool slang by watching the Hollywood movies, you didn’t. Slang changes at the speed of light. You might accidentally insult someone by using the wrong slang phrase. So stick to the standard language.
Failing To Tip the Waiters
American waiters get paid minimum wage. They earn the most of their pay from the tips. Canadian waiters get a higher rate. That’s why it’s important to leave at least a 10% tip to the waiters at the American restaurants. In some states, including New York, the tip rate is 15 %. If an important holiday is coming up, such as Christmas, the tips are generally higher.
Meanwhile, don’t call out to the waiters when you need to get their attention. Making eye contact is sufficient.
Talking About Politics
Americans tend to be very involved in their country’s politics. However, they don’t appreciate “foreigners” talking about it. Even if an American is ready to talk, you, most likely, don’t know enough to defend your opinion. Conversations about politics often turn into unfortunate arguments.
Interacting With Other People’s Children
Americans are very sensitive when it comes to talking or touching their children. Most of them feel paranoid about pedophiles. It’s better not to interact with kids in order to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
Overstaying A Period Of Admission
Many Canadians travel to the USA on a regular basis and may forget that in 12 months, they can only stay in the country for 182 days. Overstaying this period can lead to denying of entry.
If you aren’t being admitted to the USA due to overstaying, you can apply for the United States Entry Waiver. The US entry waiver application may take up to a year to be processed and approved, so it’s better to follow the rules.