Tips for British Travelers Headed to the U.S.
Most Brits in the U.S. welcome guests from the Motherland from time to time. While expats may already be used to the American life, visitors are naturally not.
If you’re a British traveler planning on a trip to the U.S., below are tips that can help you blend in more seamlessly with the locals:
Have your host’s full street address in handy because you’ll have to supply it on the immigration paperwork. Even if someone’s meeting you at the airport, you still need to give authorities an address for the entire duration of your stay in the U.S. Take note, it should be complete.
If you’re visiting in the summer, slap on some sunscreen when going outside. It can get extremely hot, especially in some areas. Northern cities like Chicago has a lattitude of 42 N (just to give you an idea, Leeds is 53.7 N.
It’s best to avoid starting a discussion on delicate topics such as religion and politics. Brits can have a heated argument with someone and a beer later on, but that’s generally not true for Americans, especially with people they hardly know.
A lot of Brits don’t realize just how pricey medical treatment in the U.S. can be. Remember as well that you may need to pay wit hyour own cash, and then file for reimbursement when you return home. In short, don’t travel to the U.S. without any liquid funds.
Don’t bother packing toiletries – you’ll find them in the U.S. too. Besides, they’re heavy and they’ll make you waste your baggage allowance. Your host will have readied some toiletries for your use anyway.
When you shop, don’t think that the price you see is all you’ll have to pay. Most states have sales tax and you won’t find it on the tag. And there’s no such thing as a tourist tax refund, like with VAT, though you may not be taxed for shipping back to the U.K.
And speaking of shopping, leave enough space in your suitcase for all the new clothes you’ll be buying. A lot of Brits indulge while they’re in the U.S. where prices can be drastically cheaper compared to back home.
Finally, when you go grocery shopping, avoid bagging your own goods. No one will expect you to, generally speaking, and if you try, you may even end up causing some fuss. Just wait for the checkout person to strut his thing. There are going to be exceptions, and your common sense will tell you when you’re in one. If everyone else is bagging their own stuff, start bagging yours.