It's now the time of year when I'm often in cafes hearing random American tourists in bitching about stuff they didn't expect in Europe. So, as a public service here is The Ultimate Guide For Americans Visiting Europe.

1. Buy a cheap pay as you go cell phone when you get to Europe. More likely than not your American cell phone won't work here. And, if it does, your phone company is going to rape you on charges for using it. You can get a pay as you go phone for like 25 Euros. Put 25 euros worth of credit on it and it will last you through a two week vacation.

2. Go to Radioshack at home and buy American to Euro converters for your iPod charger, laptop, whatever. They cost like five bucks each at a reliable American electronics store. But, if you wait until you get here they will charge you much more, because they know that only tourists with money to burn are buying the things.

3. Pack a four pack of your toilet paper of choice. You will not like euro toilet paper, trust me on this one.

4. Practice speaking at about half your normal volume.

5. Do not bring travelers checks or American dollars. You'll get ripped off on the exchange rate and charged a bunch of fees. Instead, you can use your debit card at any ATM here and get a better exchange rate even factoring in the ATM fee.

6. Speaking of which, only take out enough cash for the stuff you need to pay cash for. You can use your bank card to pay for most everything. Do so. Europe has many, many more pickpockets than America, so don't have a wallet full of Euros.

7. Due to weird International copyright laws you probably won't be able to download anything to your Kindle or iPod here. So, download that stuff before you leave America. (Seriously, it's actually a crime to download stuff from the Amazon UK Kindle Store to an American Kindle and Amazon can wipe out the memory of your entire Kindle for doing so.)

8. Fanny packs scream "please mug me."

9. In Europe the word "fanny" does not mean what it means in America. Best to avoid this word.

10. If you are in your hotel bar and a woman who would seem normally out of your league is hitting on you, understand that she'll expect payment in the morning if you take her to your hotel room. 22 year old beautiful women are not really "traveling on business" and looking to meet 45 year old guys in hotel bars.

11. Vaginas are much more likely to come equipped with pubic hair. Deal with it.

12. Penises are much more likely to come equipped with foreskin. Deal with it.

13. Tip. Sure your guidebook will tell you that tipping isn't obligatory. But, waiters and bartenders know Americans are used to tipping and if an American doesn't tip will think that you are just trying to take advantage of being in Europe and get pissed off.

14. Don't expect pubs to be the interactive experiences they are in America. They are a place for drinking and talking to your friends and will lack the bells and whistles you are used to.

15. If you are thinking about visiting multiple countries, check out the EasyJet and RyanAir websites. They will often be cheaper than trains.

16. Nobody wants to hear a lecture about how "if it wasn't for America you people would be speaking German."

17. If you are thinking about starting any conversation beginning with "well, in America we...." stop it.

18. Don't ask people what they do for a living. That's considered extremely rude.

19. Learn how to say "emergency contraception" in the language of the country you are visiting. You never know when you might need that phrase and emergency contraception is much cheaper here than in America so there is no point in bringing shit with you.

20. Remember that most things other than bars and restaurants are closed on Sundays and plan accordingly.