30 Ways To Spot An American Abroad

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It’s hard to miss Americans when traveling to different countries. They often have unique characteristics that make them stand out. From the way they talk to their sense of style, there are several clues that can give away their nationality. Here, we will explore common traits that can help you spot an American tourist abroad!


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Americans tend to speak at a higher volume than locals, often being more expressive and enthusiastic in their conversations. Their loudness may draw attention in quieter settings or among cultures where reserved speech is the norm.


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American travelers often wear casual and comfortable clothes such as sneakers, T-shirts, and shorts. This relaxed style may stand out in places where formal or traditional attire is more common, making them recognizable at first glance.


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The American accent, whether it be from the East Coast, Midwest, Southern states, or West Coast, can easily identify an American abroad. The distinctive pronunciation of some words and vowels can be a giveaway, even in multilingual settings!


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Americans are used to tipping for services, so leaving extra money at restaurants, cafes, or for tour guides can be a telltale sign of an American. Their generosity in tipping may not always align with local customs and will make them identifiable in such situations.

Personal Space

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Americans are known for their friendly and outgoing personality, often being more inclined towards physical touch and maintaining a larger personal space radius. Their comfort with close interactions can contrast with cultures that value more reserved or distant interactions.

Beverage Preferences

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Ordering beverages with ice or specifically asking for iced water is a common trait among Americans. In regions where cold drinks are not customary, this preference can make them easily recognizable as Americans.

Portion Sizes

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Americans are used to big meal portions compared to many other countries around the world. Their surprise or confusion at smaller portion sizes at local eateries can indicate their nationality while dining out.

Conversation Topics

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Americans sometimes bring up topics such as politics, personal achievements, or career discussions in casual conversations. Their openness about such subjects can distinguish them from travelers who prefer lighter or more neutral discussion topics.

Sports Obsession

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American sports culture is prominent worldwide, and American travelers may showcase their passion through sports-themed clothing or engaging in sports-related conversations. Their enthusiasm for teams and games can be a giveaway of their nationality.

Flag Apparel

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Some American tourists proudly display their patriotism by wearing clothing adorned with the American flag or other national symbols. This outward display of nationalism can easily identify them as Americans in a foreign setting.

Eye Contact

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Americans typically maintain strong eye contact during conversations as a sign of attentiveness and respect. This direct gaze can be noticeable in cultures where eye contact norms differ, marking them as American travelers.


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Americans are generally known for their warm and welcoming personalities, often initiating conversations with strangers and exuding approachability. Their eagerness to connect with others can set them apart in more reserved or formal social environments.

Dietary Preferences

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Dietary restrictions or preferences, such as vegetarianism, veganism, or gluten-free diets, are common among Americans. Their specific food requests or choices can hint at their nationality when eating out in other countries.


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Americans place a high value on punctuality and often arrive on time or slightly early for appointments or gatherings. Their adherence to schedules can contrast with more relaxed or flexible time cultures.

Personal Hygiene

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Americans often uphold daily grooming habits and personal hygiene standards, such as frequent showers and clean clothes. Their emphasis on cleanliness and self-care may differ from local practices, hinting at their American background.

Personal Stories

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Many Americans love to share personal stories and experiences with others, showing their openness and willingness to connect. This expressive nature can be quite distinct compared to more reserved cultures, where personal anecdotes may not be shared as freely.


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Americans are known for their friendly and affectionate greetings, which may involve handshakes, hugs, or even kisses on the cheek. This warm and outgoing behavior in greeting others may stand out in cultures where such physical gestures are less common.


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American people are recognized for their frequent smiles, showing their positive and approachable attitude. In cultures where smiling is not as common, an American’s constant display of smiles can easily make them noticeable in a crowd.

Talking Loudly

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Americans are often perceived as speaking loudly because of their enthusiastic and expressive communication style. Their volume level can be distinctive, especially in quieter environments or among cultures where reserved speech is the norm.

Food Preferences

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When traveling abroad, Americans may seek out familiar foods from back home, such as visiting fast food chains or American-style restaurants. Their preference for familiar cuisine can be a clue to identifying them as American travelers.

Emphasis on Customer Service

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Americans are accustomed to a high level of customer service in their home country, so they may have higher expectations when interacting with service providers abroad. Their emphasis on attentive customer service can make them stand out from other people.

Slang and Expressions

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American travelers often use specific slang and expressions that are unique to their culture. These linguistic quirks can give them away as Americans when engaging in conversations with locals.

Cultural Knowledge

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Americans are often curious about the local culture and customs of the places they visit. They may ask questions and engage in conversations to learn more about the traditions and practices of the destination, showcasing their interest in cultural knowledge.


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Americans tend to take numerous photos and selfies at tourist attractions and landmarks during their travels. Their enthusiasm for capturing memories through photography is a common trait that sets them apart as American tourists.

Personal Gadgets

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American travelers often carry multiple electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and cameras, during their journeys. Their reliance on gadgets and tech-savvy behavior can be a giveaway of their nationality.

Small Talk

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Americans often start small talk with strangers or acquaintances as a way to initiate or maintain conversation. This friendly and casual approach to social interaction, discussing topics like weather, hobbies, or current events, can be distinctive in cultures where more reserved or formal communication is customary.


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American travelers may use distinguishing hand gestures or body language that reflects their cultural background. These unique gestures can be a subtle indicator of their American identity in a foreign country.


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Americans sometimes prefer to explore new places independently and navigate unfamiliar territories alone. Their self-reliance and adventure set them apart from those who rely on guided tours or local assistance, making them easily distinguishable from American travelers.

Drive-Thru Obsession

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Even while traveling abroad, Americans may look for drive-thru options for food, coffee, or banking services. Their preference for convenience and familiarity with drive-thru facilities can hint at their American origins.

Local Cuisine Exploration

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Some American travelers may actively seek out and be curious about trying traditional local dishes and delicacies when visiting a new destination. Their willingness to explore and try local cuisine can showcase their openness to new experiences and appreciation for different cultures.