Traveling is one of the most enriching experiences in life. You discover different parts of the world, soak in new cultures, and gain new perspectives that help you become a well-rounded person. After all, you learn about all the similarities and differences your homeland shares with these faraway territories. But at the same time, people over there also observe that you’re far, far away from a local.

To people outside the US, Americans are a recognizable bunch. Apparently, it’s not only the accent that gives them away. Extremely extroverted? Check. Wears shoes inside? Yes, sir. Asks for refills? Spotted in plain sight! And many more similar traits, as Reddit user TheRighteous999 proved when they posted this question, "What are some things American people do that instantly tell you that they're American?"

Sure enough, the thread received an avalanche of responses with typically "American" traits that make them stick out in other countries. We’ve gone through the answers and gathered the ones that bleed blue, white, and red. So if you wish to be a more discreet traveler, scroll down and consider these giveaways for your next trip. Keep reading to also find an in-depth interview with travel blogger Megan Starr. Then let us know which of the replies you agree with most, and be sure to share your own takes in the comments!

#1

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Talks about “freedom” like it’s an exclusive American privilege and not the bare minimum for a good chunk of the world.

rockwoolcreature , Edgar Colomba Report

Ange Marsden
Community Member
1 month ago

Trump called my country a Socialist Hell; We're hoping that puts his family off moving here

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#2

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans "I'm french, italian, spanish, portuguese and serbian"

**Born and raised in Connecticut, never left the state, only speaks english and maybe took a 23andme test**

Or

"You're french ? I'm french too ! My great great ... great grandmother was in Paris one time when she was a toddler !"

Matrozi , Mental Health America (MHA) Report

DrBronxx
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes. Americans claiming to be from another country without any qualifiers is a pet peeve of many around the globe. The first time I met an American while I was traveling abroad, she said "I'm English", and I, assuming she must have moved to the US as a child, said "Oh really? Which part?" Her response was "Oh, I don't know. I just know that my great grandparents came from there." The exchange left me very confused.

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#3

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Assume everyone on the internet is American.

RoombaTheKiller , Josh Johnson Report

Regal Kitten
Community Member
1 month ago

They aren't? ;)

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It’s no secret that citizens of the most powerful country in the world often find themselves in the spotlight. The internet’s fascination with America, from its culture to its politics to its people, seems to be beyond control. It looks like everyone has at least a few opinions to share about the nation, and, news flash! They’re usually far from great.

In reality, not all typically American characteristics are negative. Every culture has peculiar quirks that can tell people around the world what country someone came from, even without asking. But differences between the US and other places can sometimes be so painfully obvious that they make for some amusing moments of confusion whenever pointed out.

To learn more about the subtle and not-so-subtle things American tourists do that immediately out them in other countries, we reached out to a writer and travel blogger Megan Starr who is originally from Virginia, US. She is one of the authors of a blog called Megan & Aram that’s purely dedicated to showcasing the beauty of Scandinavia, the Eastern bloc, and beyond. Living abroad for 12 years now, Megan is an avid traveler that has explored many breathtaking places around the globe and has amassed an arsenal of experiences she’s eager to share with others.

#4

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Smug and overconfident. Especially applies to White American men. I work in engineering consulting and it constantly amazes me how comfortable they are listening to the sound of their own voices and being wrong or inaccurate more than 50% of the time.

Apprenhensive-Sun-236 , Andrew Wise Report

OokiiStaR
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm still amazed and it happens so often here.

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#5

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans They make a huge fuss over your accent.
I was in London and some American tourists asked for directions, I told them and they were like ‘you sound so British!’ and even called his friend over to marvel at my accent. Like, dude you’re *in* England. What do you expect? The people aren’t a f*****g museum attraction

Eli_JMI , Janis Oppliger Report

Mokayokok
Community Member
1 month ago

British and Australian accepts *ARE* sexy as hell, but yes, tourists acting like this is uncalled for.

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#6

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Most Americans I meet are some of the friendliest, polite people. That being said, they are unmistakably loud and over-sharey of personal details.

Also they should know that the customer is not always right, that service industry jobs are respectable occupations, and asking for ketchup is a dead giveaway.

ZealousidealRush2899 , zoetnet Report

Lakota Wolf
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I do NOT over-share personal details! I mean, the ONLY thing you REALLY need to know about me is that I'm 5'5", I have curly hair, I have two cats who are named Kohl and Preacher, and Kohl was named for the mineral stibnite, and Preacher was named for one of my favorite comic book series, and I have a puppy named Stilgar, and I really like pears, and I like pretty much all insects except for earwigs, and I was adopted at birth, and my adopted mother is a toxic narcissist who was physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive towards me my entire life, and I have one adopted sister and two biological sisters, and my adopted dad died last year, and he was an awesome dad and a great guy, and I have this one hair on my chin that grows out all bristly and thick, and we call those "bruja hairs" in my family, and I like parsnips and beets and pretty much all vegetables, and I'm 40 years old, and when I was a kid I had a small speaking part in a TV series so I have an actual IMDB listing, and

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When asked if she could reveal certain things that instantly expose Americans as tourists, she said that extreme confidence is probably the biggest one. "I can always tell an American (especially when abroad) because they walk around with confidence, they speak loudly and clearly (sometimes too much), and they are quick to say hello and be social," she told Bored Panda. "When I am abroad, this is usually how I can spot an American."

While the accent is seemingly their biggest giveaway, body language, behavioral differences, and even fashion choices also help people to recognize that a tourist is from the US. "That and the fact that they are likely wearing a t-shirt from their favorite college or sports team," Megan added.

#7

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Measure everything in eagles per squarefoot

firebullmonkey , Aaron Doucett Report

Nathan Jones
Community Member
1 month ago

Literally nobody has ever done this. We strictly measure in football fields.

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#8

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Based on my personal experience:
“I don’t understand why no one here speaks English” - In a foreign country where actually a lot of people do speak English although not at a native level.
Also “You guys have no customer service” just because Karens in my country don’t get free food.

Poeberry_fields , Clem Onojeghuo Report

Mokayokok
Community Member
1 month ago

Most of us absolutely cringe when we here about Karens doing this - we're really sorry, we want to throat punch them as much as anyone else does.

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#9

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Introduce themselves as their ancestors nationalities lmao

sweatybisexy , Sora Shimazaki Report

Ange Marsden
Community Member
1 month ago

Australians and Kiwis don't do this; You gonna live in the past, better mention all the shifty things your ancestors did too....

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Most of the responses from the community can be considered as clichés that poke fun at American citizens, and as we all know, stereotypes do tend to have a grain of truth in them. However, they may also form a rather negative view of the country for those who have never come into contact with the culture. Since Americans wear their identities proudly, they often become subject to "America vs. the rest of the world" comparisons.

When asked why some people spend so much energy frowning upon the US, Megan believes it has become trendy for some to make "hating Americans" their personality. "I feel bad to say that... but I know many people that have allowed that to become their entire personality. As an American (who has plenty of issues with her home country), I have found many American tourists to be better behaved than other nationalities," the travel blogger said. "I feel like (for the most part), our best people travel abroad."

#10

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Drive from one shop to the next even if it is 50 meter by walk

maldobar4711 , mentatdgt Report

Vector
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

"honey, can you get me the keys? mummy needs to drive to the fridge..."

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#11

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Extremely extroverted and talkative
I've lived in germany for 14 years and I've never seen strangers talk really. when I went to America everyone was so nice and talkative. it was a nice but strange experience

doykjoe , Tim Douglas Report

Latchkey
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm American and still hate it when other American strangers talk to me 😬😬

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#12

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Honestly all the American I saw in my town were particularly cheerful and enthusiasts about things we take for granted. Like walking in a thousand years old street.

I also find them very expansive about their feelings. They don't hesitate to say: "Oh! this guy is so funny, man" in public. whereas in Europe I have the impression that we have lost the habit of communicating together in public.

Nikokab , Jacek Dylag Report

Lakota Wolf
Community Member
1 month ago

Our country is kind of embarrassingly young and we don't have much history/historical culture. So we do tend to be fascinated and awed by the old stuff in other countries :)

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Even if stripes and stars seep through your pores, the chances are that you sometimes want to be a more discreet traveler. Maybe you’re tired of feeling singled out, or perhaps you experienced unfortunate situations only because locals knew you’re a foreigner. Whatever the reason, Alyse, The Invisible Tourist, shared a few tips on how to blend in when traveling.

First, do a bit of research. The odds for you to look more like a local grow significantly if you spend time learning about the culture and etiquette. "Not only will this demonstrate to locals that you respect their heritage, but they’ll also be super appreciative of your efforts," she wrote. Also, learning a few basic phrases in their language can help you find a way out of troubling situations. Then, avoid proudly displaying your camera or selfie stick out in public, as they’ll immediately blow your cover. "Unless you’re a professional photographer, do you really need a flashy camera permanently draped around your neck that makes you look like a tourist?" Alyse asked. Well, that's for you to decide.

#13

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Maybe woosh, but...

If you hold your fork on the left, and cut with the knife in the right, then you would usually keep the fork on the left to eat with.

Very American to cut with the right, then swap the fork to the right to eat that bit, then swap again to cut with the right. Rinse and repeat.

Eldowon , ROMAN ODINTSOV Report

Nadine
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, we're savages.

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#14

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Equating freedom with being able to buy a product or being able to do something really meaningless

nomoreofyourbs , Harry Cunningham Report

Regal Kitten
Community Member
1 month ago

Hey, if I don't have the freedom to waste my time doing something entirely pointless when I feel like it, what even is life worth?

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#15

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Asking for refills, ice, or iced tea has outed me more times than I'd care to admit.

roastedoolong , ROMAN ODINTSOV Report

Bored Person
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't understand this. You pay for one drink, so you get one drink, or at least that's how it works where I'm from

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However, Megan mentioned that trying your best to blend in may take away some joy from your journey. "I think that if you're headed to visit the Colosseum, for example, you are likely not going to give off the vibe that you're a local! I think it is good to remain chilled out and respectful, but I don't see the point in trying to 'blend' in. I have made several friends on the road from simply being a foreigner. But, I am also the first person to throw headphones on and wander about trying to discover the streets on my own terms,” she said.

#16

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans "Do you speak English? DOOO! YOOOU! SPEEEAK! ENNNNGLISH!"

JeffRyan1 , Mimi Thian Report

Regal Kitten
Community Member
1 month ago

I never understand how saying something really loudly and slowly is supposed to make it easier to understand.

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#17

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans BEING LOUD. And I don’t mean intentionally. They can be just talking in a restaurant or a train and it’s the only conversation that can be heard from everywhere.

bobthememequeen , Sebastian Coman Photography Report

StarlightPanda!
Community Member
1 month ago

American here. Most people I talk to here think I talk too loud. So I must talk overly loud as an American. I think it's a me thing though. Lol

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#18

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans “Do you accept American dollars?”

kgold0 , Titouan COLOMB Report

TotallyNotAFox
Community Member
1 month ago

Some american chains (like McDonalds) in Germany do if they are located in an area with a lot of international customers like airports or central trainstations

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If you want to be a great tourist when traveling around the globe, Megan shared one tip that could help you reach your goal. "Asking questions in a non-invasive and judgmental manner," she told us. "You can make friends this way and also learn a lot about culture."

"I also think it is about respecting where you are. If you are in a conservative country as a female, cover up. Simple as that. You may not agree with it, but being respectful goes a long way. Also... don't break stuff. And don't photograph places you shouldn't or fly drones in no-flying zones," the travel blogger concluded.

#19

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Ask about common American chains that are uncommon/nonexistent in other countries. Also assuming that international chains serve the same thing in every country; McDonald’s, for example, has different menu items in, say, China. Assuming the food is prepared the exact same, too—I remember ordering chicken nuggets as a kid in Germany and being shocked they tasted so different. Probably because they were made with real chicken.

_marshmallord_ , Erik Mclean Report

Carole Reid
Community Member
1 month ago

That could be. I was at McDonald's in Germany. They had beer.

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#20

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Uses their shoes inside. Even if there has been raining

TurbulentBarracuda83 , Tenis Amante Report

Michaela
Community Member
1 month ago

American and no shoes allowed in my house.

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#21

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans They start talking to you/always trying to make conversation.

I was at the car wash one time and this guy sat beside me and asked if the truck was mine. I said no politely and hoped he’ll stop talking to me as English is not my first language.

Lo and behold few minutes later he was telling me the story about 9/11 as he was one of the first responders and how he developed an illness because of the said job.

Americans are really interesting people. They really know how to keep a conversation going. I couldn’t do that, Europeans wouldn’t do that, i think lol.

__what-now___ Report

Gionanna
Community Member
1 month ago

When watching American movies/series I'm always amazed and amused at how the characters seem to make friends so easily. So, it's not made quick for the storyline. It's simply how many Americans are :-)

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See Also on Bored Panda
#22

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Not giving a f**k what the rest of the world thinks.

hmmm_thought_pig , Giorgio Trovato Report

Robin DJW
Community Member
1 month ago

Some of us do. We try to improve our image in small quiet ways. It's hard for us to learn unusual (to us) behaviors, but some of us really do try to at least tone it down and learn a few word of the place's language.

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#23

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans I asked for a refill of coke on vacation at a restaurant in Australia. They said I’ve got to be American and had a good laugh.

shreddymcwheat , Lukas Ballier Report

Silly Putty
Community Member
1 month ago

I guess I don't get out much but I've ever once expected, or asked for, a refill.

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#24

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans If they’re a 35+ year old man wearing a large T shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and white sneakers with socks that go halfway up their calves

knightsofgel , Chris Hunkeler Report

Regal Kitten
Community Member
1 month ago

It's like in a video game where everybody gets the default skin, and then you can upgrade, except nobody does

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#25

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Saying "hey how are you/how is it going" without expecting an actual answer. An when you answer and ask how they are, it usually baffles them!

audio_inferno , Jonah Brown Report

Jill Rhodry
Community Member
1 month ago

We have the same greeting but Aussie style - 'owyagoin' - the only appropriate response is 'not bad, yaself?"

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#26

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans It's 10 degrees and you're wearing an oversized sweatshirt with the name of your college, shorts and flip flops.

darienhaha , John Fornander Report

Chucky Cheezburger
Community Member
1 month ago

10 degrees Celsius...thats reasonable...not great but whatever. 10 degrees Fahrenheit, they're gonna be a frozen idiot soon.

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#27

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Wear a baseball cap at an indoor restaurant.

Signed, an American who (ONCE!) wore a baseball cap at an indoor restaurant.

solo_duality , Nathan Dumlao Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

Most recent Prime Minister in Oz who wore a baseball cap instead of an Akubra got annihilated at our recent election. Coincidence? I think not.

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#28

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans We get a lot of American tourists here, why do you all wear the exact same clothes? Ireland t shirt, shorts, socks with sandals or those awful trainers, sunglasses and baseball caps

leopoldsghost29 , Francis Bourgouin Report

Lazy Panda (she/her/hers)
Community Member
1 month ago

These are all making me think that I am positively incognito when I travel. I hope I can at least pass for Canadian, if nothing else.

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#29

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Loud, the way they dress, being overly polite, ask what I do for a living in the first 5 mins of conversation, etc

lioness-2208 , Obi - @pixel6propix Report

Tybalt P.
Community Member
1 month ago

As an American, I’ve never actually noticed the last thing until now, and thinking back on it, holy c**p is it true

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#30

30 Giveaways That Someone Is American, As Described By Non-Americans Eating while walking (eg eating a bagel or breakfast sandwich on the way to work or school)

Fatigued_Otter , Skinny Guy Lover Report

DDmaybeandor
Community Member
1 month ago

How can we eat while walking if we drive everywhere?

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