What Do You Need to Know If You’re Moving to America?

(Photo: Tim Pearce)

Redditor Sammod123 is moving to the United States from the United Kingdom. He asks his fellow redditors what he needs to know about the place.

I have not travelled abroad widely, nor recently, but I can think of two things right away:

  • Tipping. There are some people that you should tip unless you get bad service: waiters, cabbies, pizza delivery drivers. There are people that you don’t tip: teachers, librarians, your future mother-in-law. The amount varies, but 15% is probably fine. When in doubt, ask a few Americans.
  • Cars. Unless you live in a very large city, you’ll need one. If you want to get out and see the country beyond these cities, you will definitely need one.

Several redditors mention sales tax. Most of the goods that you purchase will have an additional charge at the register, usually about 4-10%, depending on the locality. We Americans are used to just mentally calculating it as we shop.

Neatoramanauts, what would you add?

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Sigh...you still don't know what you are talking about. I wasn't offended, I was irritated. The law has always been the same. Trust me, if it were as easy as calling up the DoL and being compensated, everyone would, but it's not. It's one of those laws that seems great but the process of enforcing it is far too complicated. One of those complications is the fact that by the time the DoL has followed up on your complaint, your place of employment will have found a reason to fire you. Service industry employees are highly disposable/replaceable so it is better for them to get rid of those who cause trouble for them. And please don'y start whining about wrongful termination b/c in this industry, it is very easy to find reasons to get rid of people you don't want on staff (it's horrible, I know, but that's just how it is). You're right, it should be that simple, but it's not. I still bartend part time because I love it so much, but I am also the Senior Executive Development Manager for a multi-million dollar company. I am not saying that to brag but merely to illustrate that I am well-versed in this industry and not just some know-it-all bartender, or someone like you who googles things and then thinks you know what you are talking about. It doesn't matter which state's minimum wage it is, if it is higher than the federal, that is the one employers must follow. I spent most of my life in a state with no minimum wage (only federal) so in that moment of being so irritated by your comment, I forgot that the minimum wage we follow is the state's which has increased recently as did the MW of most states. I know you mean well, but please just let this one go. Luckily, it is unlikely that anyone will read your ill-advised post again as this thread is old. For those reading this, the important thing is that service employees make their living from your tips, not from their hourly wages and are usually responsible for paying out a percentage of your bill including tip-outs and taxes. So just tip! Please! The more we educate the internationals on this, the less groaning they will receive when they sit down to be served. People fight over who has to take care of internationals because they expect to have to work for free. Thanks!
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Yeah, you hear about tourists who want to see two things: The Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon. In the same day.

The distance from London to New York is 3,462 miles. The distance from New York to the Grand Canyon is 2,382 miles. Tell that to someone who just got off a long flight from Europe, and watch their eyes pop.
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Please see my post above. Having traveled to England three months ago, I respectfully disagree. No British Ale was over 4% alcohol. No American beer (unless it is labeled as "light") is under 4%. Restaurant food porotions were quite a bit larger. Specifically, they trypically served an amount of fires three times what we get in the States. The meat or fish portion was double.
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