Tips for British Travelers Headed to the U.S.
Most Brits in the U.S. welcome guests from the Motherland from time to time. Expats may already be accustomed to life in America, but understandably, visitors are 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:
Be ready with your host’s complete street address. – you need to write it down for 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 does get very hot, especially in certain areas. Northern cities like Chicago has a lattitude of 42 N (just to give you an idea, Leeds is 53.7 N.
When you’re in the U.S., it may be best to avoid talking about sensitive issues like guns or religion or 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.
Many Brits just don’t see how expensive medical treatment in the U.S. generally is. Note too that you may have to use your own money and then file for reimbursement when you go back to the U.K. In other words, prepare liquid funds when coming to the U.S.
Don’t pack all those toiletries – they sell them in the U.S. too. Besides, they weigh a ton and you’ll only end up wasting baggage allowance. Your host may have prepared toiletries for you 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 tourist tax refund as with VAT, though you may not have to pay tax if you’re shipping back to the U.K.
And speaking of shopping, be sure to leave ample room in your suitcase for that new wardrobe you’ll be buying. Most Brits go wild shopping in the U.S. because everything is much cheaper compared tothe U.K.
Finally, when you shop for food and other items at the grocery store, don’t bag your own stuff. No one will expect you to, generally speaking, and if you try, you may even end up causing some fuss. Just stand and wait for the checkout person to do their thing. There are a few exceptions, and you can rely on your common sense for this one. If everyone else is bagging their own stuff, start bagging yours.