Tips for Brits Traveling to the U.S.
Most Brits living in the U.S. will have some guests coming over from the Mother Country. While expats may already be used to the American life, visitors are naturally not.
If you’re a British traveler setting your sights on the U.S., these tips will help you blend in more easily:
Be ready with your host’s complete street address. – you need to write it down for 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.
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 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.
There are so many Brits out there who just don’t see how expensive medical treatment in America can be. Also remember that you may have to pay from your own pocket and then apply for reimbursement on your trip back home. 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’re heavy and they’ll make you waste your baggage allowance. Your host may have prepared toiletries for you anyway.
When you go shopping, don’t assume that the visible price is all you need to pay. Most states charges a sales tax, which is different for every state, and it won’t appear 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.
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 wait for the checkout person to strut his 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.