In order to get those lasting memories, broaden your horizons and grow as a person in many ways, when traveling, you will have to get out of your comfort zone. It’s part of the deal, really.

New customs, different lifestyles, and never-before-seen societal norms may indeed feel challenging for you as a visitor, but it’s all worth the stories you will make when traveling abroad. Some cultural differences when traveling are more testing than others, so you want to gather as much information about the country you’re visiting as possible.

Or, ask the locals! This illuminating Ask Reddit thread may also help, as it has non-Americans sharing things they “wish Americans knew before visiting their country.” From not patting koalas in Australia to not buying bottled water in Iceland, there’s a lot to learn from!

#1

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Don't make selfies in front of the memorial of murdered jews in Berlin.

Marnathan , Wikipedia Report

#2

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries If you're outside of your home country, YOU are the one with the accent.

Bizmark_86 , Vidar Nordli-Mathisen Report

Nea
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This! So tired of Americans telling me how I have ‘less thick accent for an Indian’ like its a compliment :-/

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#3

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries We don't tip here. You are making it worse for all of us. The servers get payed according to their skill level, many above the minium wage. But they are startign to get pissy when lockals don't tip them for their mediocre service.

ilikecakemor Report

#4

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Be careful what you're saying in a public place. We all speak English. We all understand you.

anon , LinkedIn Sales Navigator Report

Meilin Kai
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ha. I'm an American in a foreign country, and I'm the one reminding the "locals" who speak to me in English that many of their own people speak English. Besides, gossip just isn't cool in any language.

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#5

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Africa is a *continent*, made up of 54 *different* countries.

aralleraill , Nothing Ahead Report

Den Ver
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Americans have been contacted by enough Nigerian Princes soliciting money that they know Nigeria is a country within the continent of Africa. Also, from age 8+, a standard test question involves naming the continents. If someone wants to claim otherwise, they should provide real data and a source. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Downvoted in 60 seconds! Wow. Somebody really hates credible sources and data -- or they hate people who they think are Americans (or maybe there are a lot of angry Nigerians).

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#6

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries I’m from Kazakhstan.
Eating horse is part of our culture. The same way you do not offend people in France when they eat frogs, they same way please don’t offend Kazakhs when they eat meat. We led a nomadic lifestyle and since in the steppes you could not farm, cattle was the main source of food. During the Great Purge in Kazakhstan cattle was taken away from us , in Russian’s attempt to progress our agriculture. It didn’t work and many tried to migrate, but failed due to dehydration and starvation. Over a million Kazakhs died during that period. That’s 40% of the population, it made as a minority group in our own country up until 1990’s.
You do not have to eat it nor is anyone forcing you to, but making rude remarks on it is uncalled for especially since now the majority of youth understand Russian, Kazakh and English.

witchfromthemoon , I.am_nah Report

Ruby Cat
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Eating a horse is only as weird as eating a pig or a cow.

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#7

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Don't buy bottled water. Well, maybe buy one and then just refill it at literally every bathroom sink you come across and the quality will be just as good. (Iceland)

percyspetgiraffe Report

RezFidel
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same in Germany... actually studies found out that tap water has sometimes more minerals than that bottled high priced stuff...

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#8

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Don't ask why we use the Russian alphabet in Bulgaria - we don't! If anything, the Russians use the Bulgarian alphabet - Cyrillic was invented in medieval Bulgaria centuries before Russia was even on the map.

greinhed , Anton Maksimov 5642.su Report

SCP 4666
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

and cyrillic was derived from the greek alphabet

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#9

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Here, the customer is not always king.

Stockholm-Syndrom , Erik Scheel Report

Kristy Marion
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It’s a faulty saying anyway. Isn’t it more along the lines of “The customer is always right in matters of taste”? Meaning… If I have customer that loves something, I’m not going to disagree with them. But if they call me stupid and expect me to agree with their demand then I’m sorry, but I will not tolerate bad manners and behaviour. I’ve loved being in service for 27 years but no, the customer is not always right.

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#10

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries We speak Portuguese in Brazil, not Spanish.

sadskulll , Vinícius Vieira ft Report

Nea
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This should apply to all international tourists, not only Americans.

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#11

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries if you are visiting East Europe and you are black don't mind the weird looks. People are not racist. They are suprised because some of them haven't ever seen a non-white person

Guacamole_Fucker3000 , Joshua Oluwagbemiga Report

Persephone hates Pomegranate
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a black person who lives in Eurasia, I do get weird looks from people, and brush it off as "some people have never seen somebody who looks like me before." The country is former Soviet, so it makes sense. I just get the ick when people start taking photos of me. True story: I had somebody come up to me, take a selfie without my consent, and leave. Like, no.

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#12

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries To answer for any fellow study abroad kids going to New Zealand, them calling you a "c**t" is endearing, not offensive. I'm tiny so not one to pick a fight with a giant Maori guy calling me a good c**t, but some of my a*****e college cohorts apparently took offense to it and didn't understand the context at all. NZ is the coolest place in the world, to the point where you have to fight to get citizenship there. If a Kiwi is saying "g'daye ya c**t" you're in good standing. I remember having old ladies at gas stations calling me a cheeky c**t, it's a totally different word out in the middle of nowhere.

hey_there_kitty_cat , Bence Kondor Report

#13

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries How the metric system works. We dont sell beer in ounces ffs...

3xp0se , Tembela Bohle Report

#14

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Paris isn't France, France isn't Paris. Don't think you know France if you only went to Paris. Most of the country is really different.

Damaskinox , Chris Molloy Report

#15

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries It's Ed-in-BRUH, not "Ed-in-Burrow"

Also, it's sweet that you are coming to Scotland to 'connect with your ancestors' and stuff, well, I think it is, but a lot of Scots you'll speak to will be thinking *"here we go again"* if you talk about it to them, *especially* if you actually describe yourself as "Scottish". And your "clan tartan" is not really...well, real. Tartans being associated with specific families and clans is a Victorian fabrication, since they loved Romanticising about that era. Don't buy into it that much.

Usidore_ , Wikipedia Report

Dan Padgett
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"My auntie's uncle's twice removed 2nd cousin's parakeet was Scottish, so so am I!" That right aye?

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#16

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Amsterdam =/= Holland =/= the Netherlands.

Get out of Amsterdam, there are many places that are much nicer than that touristic hellhole.
Don't call the country Holland, it's called the Netherlands.

anon , Pixabay Report

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#17

It's nothing personal, but Norwegians aren't as into hugging as you guys. Sometimes you come off a bit molesty to us, clearly without meaning to in any way. We like you. We'll like you better if you vaguely shrug in our general direction, rather than go for actual physical contact. High fives are fine.

HammeredHeretic Report

#18

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Germany is more than just Bratwurst and Lederhosen. That's just f*****g Bavaria.

German culture is so much more...

Retroxyl , Maheshkumar Painam Report

#19

German/Brit in Germany here, assuming that it doesn't just have to be one thing, based on personal experience with Americans here:

1. No, the Second World War is not the first and foremost thing on our minds. Yes, we're grateful for the sacrifice that American soldiers made in WWII. No, we are not grateful to you personally for being vaguely related to one of these soldiers (or just being American), Our gratitude is limited to those who participated in the Omaha Beach raids (anyone old enough to have done that is probably not fit enough to make the trip to Germany these days).
2. Not everyone here speaks English, and of those that do, not everyone speaks enough English to tell you what you what. Speaking slower might help, shouting won't. You'll make a lot of friends simply by making an effort to speak German, even if your pronunication is a bit laughable.
3. We do have freedom of speech for the most part. The only major prior restraint is against public advocacy of National Socialism. If you're going to do that, we don't want you here anyway. We also have a flag code, and it's largely the same as the American one. Freedom of speech doesn't mean that we tolerate assholes. Don't be one.
4. Bielefeld doesn't exist. Don't let anyone else convince you otherwise. If you believe that you happen to be in Bielefeld, you have been subjected to hallucinatory mind control.

anon Report

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#20

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries You can’t do Scottish accents. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen Braveheart, no American has ever been able to do a convincing Scottish accent.

R97R Report

Dan Padgett
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Mel Gibson couldn't even do a Scottish accent. Also, that's a film, not a feckin' documentary.

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#21

England isn’t sunny so don’t complain about the rain

IBTWI Report

#22

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Canadians don’t apologize all the time because we’re afraid of you. We apologize all the time because we’re polite.

Also not all of us say *’aboot’ becuz weer kenaydien, eh*? The people on the East coast only *kind of* sound like that, and only on the East coast. Literally no one here talks like Cheech & Chong.

SableGear , Alesia Kozik Report

#23

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Asking for bull fighting or flamenco dances in Barcelona is like expecting every citizen of Texas to wear Eskimo robes. Yes, same country, but we have no f*****g clue about those things.

korddac , Giovanni Calia Report

Shary Bobbings
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Good for Barcelona! Bull fighting is disgusting and cruel, disguised as "culture"

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#24

I'm from Sweden, please take your shoes off before you enter someones home.

Edit: I've gotten a lot of comments saying that not all Americans do this. I know, but enough do it for me to notice, it doesn't seem all that uncommon.

petitememer Report

Bleble BlebleBla
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's custom also in Eastern Europe. It's actually logical too, you will bring dirt and who knows what other sh*t with you if you step inside my home with your walking shoes. Plus, consider indoor pets, who then lick their cute feets and might get sick...

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#25

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Don't invite someone over / for drinks / for dinner and then expect them not to come. If you make an invitation, it's a promise to keep it as well

Edit: what I mean is that when someone says for example 'let's have drinks on Friday' without actually meaning it.

Where I come from (Finland) if I would say this to someone, we would actually get in touch again later that week or latest on Friday and decide on the time & place. From American perspective, it seems to be just something that is said out of courtesy, without meaning the plan will actually take place

potatofan666 , ELEVATE Report

Tamra
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've never encountered this. Born and raised in US. There's a difference between "Let's get together sometime" and "Let's have lunch on Saturday". The former expresses interest in a future meeting, leaving the planning for a later, more convenient time. The latter is a solid plan that I would definitely show up for.

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#26

I’m from Taiwan and I once met a student from the University of Miami. He’s come here as an exchange student for one year and I took him sightseeing around Taipei. Our first stop was Taipei 101 (one of the tallest buildings in the world) and when we passed by a supermarket, he saw some electric toothbrushes and he said to me: “I didn’t know you’d brush your teeth here.”

I almost forgot, he also gave another Taiwanese student an English name since he didn’t have one. Reminded me of Robinson Crusoe and Friday...

dogmeat92163 Report

#27

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Bali is not the only one that is worth to visit in Indonesia.

keongmanja , Stijn Dijkstra Report

Jaekry
Community Member
3 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Bali was actually the least interesting place to us. I did like the locals trying to maintain their culture, but tourisme is getting too much. We adored Yogyakarta, eastern Java, Bromo. Lombok took some time to appreciate, we happened to visit during Ramadan, and after Hinduism in Bali, it took some time to adjust. I'm reeally hoping Bali is not becoming, the next Pai (Thailand) or Tulum (Mexico) filled with smoothie bars, coffee shops and 'retreats'...

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#28

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries MADAGASCAR IS AN INHABITED ISLAND WITH ACTUAL HUMANS...not just fricken lemurs. We're kinda like the opposite of Australia in the sense we still have very unique animals but most of them are not deadly.

Edit: can't English despite it being my first language

Edit: my bad for making the stigma about Australia. Just like Madagascar, there's a lot more to it than its animals, who btw aren't all dangerous.

mintyisland , Tamara Velazquez Report

Henrik Schmidt
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In fact, the parts of Madagascar with all the wildlife has been reduced to a tiny fraction of the island, specifically because of humans. People going there expecting it to be a jungle will be terribly disappointed.

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#29

Portugal is NOT Spain

Edit: Thank you, kind stranger, for the silver!

BeSuperb Report

Henrik Schmidt
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why would you include a random "edit" from a reddit post?

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#30

Non-Americans Share 30 Annoying Things Most American Tourists Do But Shouldn't When Visiting Their Countries Romania is not Dracula. Dracula is an invented story!

_calm_bomb_ , Sam Dan Truong Report

Henrik Schmidt
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

...based on a very real, Romanian guy called Vlad Tepes.

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