Tips for Brits Traveling 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 about to set foot in the U.S., these tips should make blending in with the locals so much easier:
Be ready with your host’s complete street address. – you need to write it down for the immigration paperwork. Even if you have a friend or family member waiting for you at the airport, you still have to give authorities your address for the whole period of your visit. Keep in mind that it must be complete.
If you’re visiting during summer, be sure to use some sunscreen when you’re outdoors. It can get very hot in the U.S., especially in certainly places. Even in Chicago, which is in the north, the lattitude is 42N (to help yo upicture it out, Leeds is 53.7 N).
It’s best to avoid starting a discussion on delicate topics such as religion and politics. Brits can argue with anyone and later have a beer with their debate opponent, but not Americans, especially if they hardly know the person.
There are so many Brits out there who just don’t see how expensive medical treatment in America 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.
Forget about packing some toiletries – you can buy them in the U.S. too. Besides, they can be heavy and you don’t want to waste your baggage allowance on them. Your host will have readied some toiletries for your use anyway.
When you go shopping, don’t assume that the visible price is all you need 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, leave enough space in your suitcase for all the new clothes you’ll be buying. Most Brits go wild shopping in the U.S. because everything is much cheaper compared tothe U.K.
Lastly, when you go shopping at the grocery store, don’t bag your own goods. Nobody expects you to, generally speaking, and you may even cause a bit of a fuss if you attempt. Simply stand and wait for the checkout person to do the task. There will be exceptions and you’ll have to trust your common sense for this. If you see the other customers bagging their stuff, that’s your cue.