News For This Month: Vacations

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 are already used to the American life, but visitors are usually and understandably 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:

Full Address

Have your host’s full street address in handy because you’ll have to supply it on the immigration paperwork. Whether or not you have someone meeting you at the airport, authorities will still ask for the address where you plan to stay for the entire duration of your visit. Keep in mind that it must be complete.

Sizzling Summers

If you’re coming in the summer, make it a point to use sunscreen when you’re outside. 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).

Personal Topics

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 engage in a heated debate one minute and have a beer with their opponent the next, but Americans don’t usually do that, especially with strangers.

Insurance

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.

Toiletries

Don’t bother packing toiletries – you’ll find them in the U.S. too. Besides, they can be heavy and you don’t want to waste your baggage allowance on them. Most probably, your host has bought some toiletries for you anyway.

Shopping Practices

When you go shopping, don’t assume that the visible price is all you need to pay. Sales tax, which applies to most states, won’t appear on the tag. And you don’t get a tourist tax refund (as with VAT), though you probably won’t be taxed 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. A lot of Brits indulge while they’re in the U.S. where prices can be drastically cheaper compared to back home.

Lastly, when you go shopping at the grocery store, don’t bag your own goods. You’re not expected to in most cases, and you ay even cause a little fuss if you try. Simply stand and wait for the checkout person to do the task. There are a few exceptions, and you can rely on your common sense for this one. If other customers are bagging their own goods, maybe you should too.

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