ESTA Travel Blogs

05 Jan

A tourist’s guide to blending in during a US adventure

ESTA Information
Across the world, many of us think we are already familiar with US culture and traditions due to media exposure. The one thing you can be sure of is you will need to apply for ESTA online before traveling, everything else is totally heterogeneous!

Due to the vast geographical extent of the United States, the eclectic mixture of peoples and multiple waves of immigration, it’s impossible to have a unified and consistent opinion of what US culture is. Nevertheless, there are certain things that can help tourists to blend in, or more importantly, to get along with US citizens and to not offend!

Overall, US citizens are kind, direct and full of humor, and, above all, they are not afraid of self-mockery! They don’t beat around the bush and are honest. As a visitor, it’s good to express yourself clearly and be sure of yourself when having a conversation; too much hesitation makes you appear a little suspicious - when you are entering the USA as a tourist, you are likely to be asked a fair few questions in customs. Although you will you have ordered your ESTA online, itis up to the customs agents whether to grant you entry into the country, so it ’s a good idea to bear in mind these points! Be friendly and polite when presenting your passport and ESTA information, and avoid any jokes just yet.

Due to the very nature of the USA and its founding, discussing cultural differences can go a long way, and can be very interesting. Discuss openly and without judgment, everyone has their own ways and customs, and it is fascinating to learn how others live.

There are plenty of conversation topics that will be well received, such as sport (bonus points if you can discuss American football or basketball), work, family and children. Avoid more controversial topics until you know your hosts well enough, such as politics, religion, the death penalty, homosexual rights, abortion, firearms, etc.

Essentially, show your interest and be polite when talking with your US hosts, and don’t be afraid to greet strangers. A handshake is a great standard greeting, or even just a ‘hello’. Be ready to answer questions about your own culture and lifestyle, as, like all humans, Americans are curious!

Don’t forget to apply for your ESTA online before traveling. It can be done in a matter of minutes, and you will be alerted as to its approval via email within 24 hours.