Whether you love or hate it, there’s no place like the United States in the entire world. As one of the most-visited countries, the U.S. welcomes millions of tourists annually, and most can’t help but compare America to their home nations. Recently, travelers worldwide converged in an online discussion to uncover wholly-American things they love when visiting and, conversely, things they aren’t crazy about!
1. LIKE: Free Refills
From water to soda to coffee, having access to free refills of non-alcoholic beverages is a uniquely American amenity. This practice doesn’t exist in most other countries, and many travelers express delight when they realize they aren’t being charged for refills of their drinks while dining out!
2. DISLIKE: Tipping
I can see why European travelers don’t like the American tipping system in bars and restaurants. In their eyes, it’s an excuse for employers to pay employees less – and I agree with that sentiment.
“Why the heck do I need to be partly responsible for a proper salary for these people?” wonders one traveler. “Calculating the tip every time is annoying because the listed prices are almost exclusively without tax.”
3. LIKE: The Friendly People
Although Americans are far from perfect, they are generally known as friendly people. Travelers constantly remark how nice it is to have easy conversations with strangers in America, which doesn’t hold true in many European countries. But, it’s true, Americans will talk your ear off – maybe even to a fault!
4. DISLIKE: The Lack of Metric Measurements
One thing is sure regarding the metric system; the United States would rather sell Florida to another country than convert to it. Travelers worldwide have countless stories about how much of a headache it is to visit a nation seemingly behind the rest of the world regarding measurements. I see their point – why can’t America join the rest of the world in measurement harmony?
5. LIKE: Nature
There’s nothing quite like the different locales in America, from breathtaking beaches to majestic mountains – and everything in between.
World travelers often express awe over America’s beauty. “I love the parts of America that are raw, wild, untouched, and – most of all – vast,” reports one European traveler. “The sheer vastness and variety of nature and pure wilderness here is definitely unmatched in Europe.”
6. DISLIKE: Breakfast
Although most travelers have no problem finding delicious food in the United States for lunch and dinner, breakfast is an entirely different story. “Almost everything contains sugar,” laments one European. “Breakfast is never with fresh bread and fresh good meats and cheese. In fact, American cheese is awful, but maybe I’m spoiled living in cheese country.”
7. LIKE: To-Go Boxes at Restaurants
It’s true; you’ll most likely be served too much food at American restaurants. Luckily, you can request a to-go box to take your leftovers home.
Travelers are amazed at this specific tradition, as they’re used to eating their entire meal and saving plenty of room for dessert at the end of it! Nevertheless, tourists confess they love the concept of the to-go box, despite it not existing in their home countries.
8. DISLIKE: Too Much Plastic
America’s reputation for being wasteful shows in the amount of plastic still part of many people’s lives. “The amount of plastic (and styrofoam or other disposable material) used in the United States is bizarre,” reports one man.
“I also find it odd that at every hotel breakfast, it’s all disposable cutlery and plates. You never see this in Europe, not even in the cheapest hotels.” There’s some silver lining, however: The U.S. is slowly but surely moving away from plastics in many areas of life.
9. LIKE: Varied Cuisine
Europe is home to plenty of delicious food, but options are usually limited by country, as non-local cuisine can be hard to find. Conversely, the United States is a literal melting pot of people from different ethnic backgrounds, meaning that it’s easy to find specific food in most modern cities. European travelers confess this is one of the best parts of visiting!
10. DISLIKE: American Transit Systems
While it’s generally easy to get around from large city to large city in the United States via airplane, the American transit system pales compared to the well-oiled machine found overseas. For example, in Europe, officials in most countries prioritized public transportation – the same cannot be said about public transit in the United States.
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