The wide variety of national origins and the USA’s relatively short history has resulted in numerous cultural and traditional customs living alongside each other. In large cities, people of the same ethnic background often live within defined communities. Shaking hands is the usual form of greeting.
-A relaxed and informal atmosphere is usually the norm. As long as the fundamental rules of courtesy are observed, there need be no fear of offending anyone of any background.
-Americans are renowned for their openness and friendliness to visitors. Gifts are appreciated if one is invited to a private home.
-As a rule, dress tends to be casual and quite informal.
-Smart restaurants, hotels and clubs insist on suits and ties or long dresses.
-Smoking is becoming increasingly unpopular in the US and is often considered offensive; it is essential to ask permission from all present before lighting up. Smoking is forbidden on city transport and often restricted or forbidden in public buildings. There will usually be a notice where no smoking is requested and most restaurants have smoking and non-smoking sections. Smoking is banned in all restaurants in California and New York City.
Tipping: widely practiced, as service charges are not usually included in the bill and waiters depend heavily on tips for their income. Waiters generally expect 15 to 20 per cent, as do taxi drivers and hairdressers. It should be noted that a cover charge is for admission to an establishment, not a tip for service. Porters generally expect US$1 per bag.
-Do get a U.S.A cell phone rental so you can stay in touch and coveniently get important information during your stay.