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Tips for someone who is traveling to the USA from India for the first time

We all tend to remember our trips to a completely new place, a country with different culture and far away from home.  It is so common to be as thrilled as you are nervous at the same time and we all want to enjoy the journey and make the best of the time.

Embrace the Differences

Anything from food to social interaction, climate, everyday behavior, culture, clothes, medicines, and lifestyle – everything is different over there and that is probably why anyone would enjoy their first trip. So, don’t feel uncomfortable when faced with something pretty distant from Indian style of living. Keep your mind open and prepare yourself to fit into that environment and enjoy.

Do your readying in advance and be yourself

Jama Masjid – largest muslim mosque in India. Delhi, India

USA is a very friendly place, so you do not have to be worried about feeling lonely or feeling like an outsider. But, since you are not a native and are travelling to USA from India first time, there are a few things which you should definitely keep in mind.

  • Always stay polite and use mannerly phrases such as “please”, “excuse me”, “thank you”, in your talks. Good manners will get you a long way when dealing with service staff and officials.
  • Whenever you are greeted even by a stranger, always greet people back
  • Treat everyone with respect & dignity irrespective of their occupation
  • For the digital nomads out there I know how difficult is to pay flight for a every visa. Save money on flight with a fake ticket 🙂
  • When on an escalator, stand on one side (usually to the right), and leave the other available for others to move
  • Give tips for anyone who offers you a service. 15-20% is the norm in restaurants; 10% is reasonable for hotel staff and baggage handlers.
  • Bring a credit card with you as it is essential for renting cars and is often required for other purposes.
  • Americans adore their food and dining out is a way of life. Portions have a tendency to be big throughout the country.
  • Avoid staring and asking other Indians whether they are Indian.
  • Be prepared to buy a lot of ecards for your colleagues! For convenience, you can use an online ecard service (e.g, EcardForest)
  • Pedestrians have the right of way. If you are driving, make sure that you strictly follow lane driving, the speed limits and no random honking unless really needed.
  • People are generally less formal than in Europe. First names are often used after initial introductions and physical contact, such as patting the shoulder or arm, is quite normal. However, don’t stare at other people and do not sit close or touch other men.
  • Always mind your own business and avoid talking too loudly in public
  • Be punctual for any occasion, be it an informal party or a business meeting if you were informed about the time in advance.

Finally, be sure to enjoy your stay and have fun. Memories will not create by themselves.

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