Rules of manners and habits in the USA!


Rules of manners, habits and no gos in the USA!

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Although the American is very similar to the German lifestyle in many ways, there are still some differences that should be considered.

It is really helpful to get informed before a visit, about manners and habits in the USA. Also, you should know about the absolute No Gos, so you do not go into the fuzzy and saves embarrassing situations.

Getting to know each other in the USA is very relaxed and informal. A handshake and a friendly "Hello, how are you" are the norm there.

At first I always thought, why does he ask me how I am? But it's just a welcome phrase that you get with "Fine, thank you" or "Good, thanks. How are you? " This counter-question is usually answered briefly.

Friends or good friends, however, always greet each other very warmly and exuberantly with a hug!

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In the US, it is not common to look for your own places, but one waits for the sign "Please wait to be seated". If there are waiting times, you will be asked if you want to take a drink at the bar or you get a time and come back later. If a table has been cleared, cleaned and freshly set, you will be accompanied by the staff to the table and you get the same menu.

Incidentally, it is not common in the US to be set to other people, you respect the privacy of the guests .

What I already noticed with my daughter-in-law during her visit to Germany and that I considered her to be a habit, is very often seen in the USA. Many Americans cut their food first, then lay the knife aside and then eat the pieces with a fork. The free hand then usually remains under the table on the lap.

In America, it is not common, as with us, to sit longer at the table, but one leaves quickly after paying the table. Otherwise you block the table for new guests and would thus reduce the turnover of the operation. Waiters usually work for a very low base salary and depend on a good tip .

If you do not want to get in trouble with the police, you should start your bikini top on the beach, because Americans are very prudish. Women do not like to share the locker room with a friend because they do not want to show themselves naked in front of others. Even young children are not allowed naked bathing or nudity in public.

For Americans, it is offensive to let children walk around unclothed, as soon as they can walk, they wear bathing suits. If the little ones have to be moved, this always happens behind a bath towel.

By the way, please always leave your bathing suit in the sauna. Men, when they are naked, can even bargain for public nuisance.

On some beaches men are expected not to wear tight, ordinary swimsuits, but to cover swimming shorts!

In the USA, pedestrians are not allowed to cross a road between two intersections, this is called jaywalking. You should always go to the next intersection or to the next zebra crossing and take the traffic light. So you're on the safe side and save $ 25 if you get caught.

I would never think of doing that in traffic in Los Angeles.

We Germans are quite impatient when we have to stand in line, and we like to push forward a bit further. Not so in the US, pushing forward is an absolute no go. No American can be disturbed by queuing up. Everyone waits patiently for their turn. It comes to nice conversations with other people waiting.

I have to admit, I was annoyed when a family with three shopping trolleys in front of me stood in line and I had to queue for thirty minutes!

In Germany, I am used to packing everything immediately into a bag or a basket, but I gave that up after a few attempts in the USA. An employee of the supermarket is always standing right behind the cash register or is called and does this job friendly. The packed bags are then placed in the shopping cart and even brought to the car on request.

The penalties for getting caught in California , for example, range from $ 100 the first time to $ 500.

Never smoke in the car, if minors sit in it and yes throw a butt out of the window. Then comes to smoker go still pollution and even fire hazard added.

Just look closely at his surroundings before lighting a cigarette. Where smoking is prohibited is clearly indicated by signs.

If you are stopped by the police, you should not get out of the car without being asked. Just let your hands on the steering wheel and the hands of the passengers should be visible on the lap.

In no case agitated in the glove compartment or handbag kramen, that could be dangerous or even life-threatening. The police officer could interpret this as looking for a carried weapon and protect himself.

The official checks the papers for completeness and explains which traffic rules have been violated. Then it is up to you whether you get a ticket or just a warning.

By the way, it was a $ 120 ticket for driving too fast.

After that, the policeman wishes you a good ride!

These were some of the many manners and habits in the US, to be continued!

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  • At the beginning I also found it very confusing with the question "Hello, how are you" but after a while I took it over to German somehow. Even though some people first look at me like a car, there has only been a positive feedback so far, as it is very friendly and polite.
    The find is one of the better "rules of behavior" from the US, which one can also take over for themselves. 🙂

    • I believe that, that you are considered strange. With us you do not appreciate this kind of friendliness, you feel attacked or harassed.
      best regards

  • On Thursday, my daughter flies to America to attend school there. She lives with a host family. I'm curious what she tells! So far, we were with the children only once in America, until June, we had an American exchange student live with us. He ate just like your daughter-in-law!
    VG Martina

  • The rules are exciting. I think it's great if you bring the purchase to the car.
    I have to go to the USA.

    LG Jasmine

    • Norbert angle

      Well, Jasmine is not common in the US. I drive for about 30 years on vacation to Florida, California, New York etc.
      So far, I have always carried my purchases to the car myself. But the purchases are packed at the cashier's desk in cart that's normal


      • When I go shopping with my little grandson and the car is full, I am always offered to bring the purchase to the car.
        best regards

  • Very informative, thanks for that.
    What I personally noticed in the US is the traffic behavior at a crossroads without traffic signs. I was very irritated at my "first" time, but I was mistakenly from, left right before. This is done in turn, after the arrival. Very irritating and getting used to.
    Greetings sends, Annette

    • I know that, dear Anette, I felt the same way in the beginning. Was very confusing, not allowed to drive to the traffic lights and especially the right before left, each in turn.
      best regards

  • Dear Sigrid,

    once again an informative contribution from you! The police control I've experienced myself - these controls are really not pleasant ... The food with (cut) I did not know, funny. And that you can not sit down on free seats, was getting used to me. But I think it is very important to adapt as a tourist to the customs. That's what I've always done.

    Greetings from Austria

    • On our first visit we were stopped by the police. I tried to rummage in my purse and my son pointed it out immediately.
      best regards

  • Oh, I did not know about smoking, is there a general smoking ban except at designated places? If so, we have to rethink the holiday with mother-in-law again, because in Japan that was also very exhausting for her. 😉

    • In public, you may only smoke in designated places. In Kalabasas, public smoking is prohibited everywhere, as there are no smoking places.
      best regards

  • I've been over 5 times but have never seen anyone bring the goods to the car, maybe that's the case with the retailer, certainly not in the food supermarket (at least not on the east coast). Earlier (I was there in 1997 for the first time) there were actually 2 people at the cash desk, one cashed the other cleared the goods in the Sackerl (bag), which was meanwhile (angäblich due to the great price pressure exerts mainly Aldi) and In the meantime, all this just makes the cashier more. In the Publix they have a special rotating bag device. At Aldi's there is no such thing, but the cashier puts the goods themselves back in the cart, this one must put his empty then in front of him Sodas he always has an empty car in front of him.

    • For mothers with children this happens very often if you have bought a lot. When I'm traveling with my grandson, I'm almost always offered.
      best regards

  • One is always amazed what it is for customs and "rules" in other countries, especially if it is also a different western country! care is needed - it's great that you've written all the tips together 🙂

    Best regards too,
    ❤ Tina from

    • Thank you dear Tina. Yes, you should be careful so that you do not step into your faux pas.
      best regards

  • Interesting report and really important to know 🙂 I think it's great that you write about it.
    Best regards, Cindy

  • Thank you for this insight into the USA! So the employee to pack my bags in the supermarket ... .this would like to be like this. 🙂 Already a great service!

    best regards

    • Yes I think so, so you would shorten the queue at the checkout.
      best regards

  • === In the USA it is rare that there is a cemetery chapel. One has the service in his regular church and then drives in the convoy to the cemetery. When you see such a convoy, you stop your car out of respect until the convoy is over. Also applies to traffic lights. This is the custom, especially in the South. ====

    === If you see a school bus with the "STOP" sign out, you have to stop immediately, otherwise there are huge penalties. The buses have a camera and report it to the police immediately. ====

    === Do not put any unfranked messages (advertisement, personal notes, etc) in the mailbox. But stuck to the red flag. ====

    === There are no pre-packaged prescription drugs in the drugstore. They are packaged only after the receipt of the recipe. Takes his time. ====

    === Alcohol and cigarette sale only after presentation of a valid ID with photo, zwegs Altersnachweiss. Also in the restaurant you will be asked for the ID, if you order alcohol. ====

    === Shops are also open on public holidays, but they do not sell everything. In some districts there is no alcohol on Sundays z. Example ====

    • Thank you, I did not know that yet. I will discuss with my American daughter-in-law, if that is so I will introduce her to my readers.
      best regards

  • Interesting list of customs in the US - I already know most of them. It only occurred to me that someone would need such a listing not only at the Queen's reception, but possibly even in their own country 😉
    best regards
    Salvia from Liebstöckelschuh

  • What is there.
    Not that stupid I think the nakedness of children in public. I would never put my child anywhere naked on the beach, but I would be too afraid of perverts. No one has to do anything, but if there is already a photo taken for later, that's enough danger for me.
    In the case of the packers, I know it so that they also give tips. at least in Ramstein on the Airbase is like that. They are also not properly employed at the supermarket, respectively, are not paid by the market but only live by tipping. And you also leave the shopping cart, at least in Ramstein at the end of the cash register. On the "other side" there is then a new car in which the Einpacker already admits.
    Best regards,
    Tama <3

    • Very interesting, did not know that it is also in Ramstein. In the US, it is mostly people with a disability, which I think is very good.

  • Thank you for your contribution! If I ever want to fly to America, better to go to the USA, then I definitely take your words! 🙂

    best regards
    Saskia ❤️

  • I can definitely use the tips for my next stay in the USA! Thank you (:

    • Thank you, then you are not so surprised when you take the purchase out of your hands.

  • A very informative and interesting contribution! But packing with the purchases depends on the store? During our shopping during our Floridarundreise I see myself quite the purchases themselves pack =) VlG, Janina

    • That's never happened to me in California. All my attempts to do it myself have failed so far.
      best regards

  • Thanks for the tips, there were really some new ones ... For example, with the purchase-itself-pack I did not know yet 🙂

    All the best, Katii - addicted to ...

    • Gladly, yes, I would also sometimes wish that somebody unpacked me everything packed.
      best regards

  • Again great tips!
    Interesting how different it is in the countries! 🙂
    LG Sarah <3

    • Yes, I always find that very interesting. Every year I learn something new.
      best regards

  • Good inputs for every USA traveler!

  • I really like these posts. It's really good to read everything at a glance. One or the other brings me to smile, I'm looking forward to the sequel!

    Best regards,

    • Glad he likes you. There are still many, just like the phrases.
      best regards

  • Hey you.
    It was absolutely interesting to read how it is in the USA. I do not think it's great to pack that with the bags alone, it would have to be here sometimes. Especially if you shop with four children, this would be a great help many times.

    Dearest greetings,

    • Some things could be very useful with us as well as the general courtesy.
      best regards

  • Since you always think that there are no big differences, but lo and behold, yes. I think what you write is foreign to us. One or the other anyway. I also do not like little naked children, even if this is so common. And those without it are always those who are not so handsome. From me could also pack here one of my shopping. I have nothing against it.

    Greetings, Bea.

    • Packing with the bags is a good idea, only a German market would not hire one for it. Above all, you would not give a disabled person the chance, as it is often done in the US.
      best regards

  • This is really a great informative blog post. I'm thinking about flying to the US in October because I love to spend Halloween there. Did you write a blog post about it?

  • The packaging in the supermarket I found at first totally oblique! 😉 And about that with the tip I had to think about our third visit ... is a bit more than here with us and that was always a miserable calculation (I like mental arithmetic so ^ ^).

    • Laugh, that with the tip we also do mostly with the calculator.
      best regards

  • Such contributions are always so exciting. It's just different everywhere 🙂 I already knew some things, read more about such articles because it's just super interesting. Thanks for your report <3

    Dearest greetings,

  • Some things you get in various TV series, with others, I'm rather surprised. I knew, for example. not that it is not allowed to swim naked, but I would not be the type for it in general.

    I also did not know that with the low base salary.

    All the best,

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