Tips for British Travelers Headed to the U.S.

Every now and then, Brits welcome guests visiting from the Motherland. 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:

Complete Address

Be prepared with your host’s full street address as you will need it 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. Remember, it has to be complete.

Scorching Summers

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).

Sensitive Subjects

When you’re in America, avoid talking about politics, guns, religion and other sensitive topics. Brits can argue with anyone and later have a beer with their debate opponent, but not Americans, especially if they hardly know the person.

Health Insurance

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 other words, prepare liquid funds when coming to the U.S.

Toiletries

Don’t bother packing toiletries – you’ll find 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.

Shopping Nuances

When you shop, don’t think that the price you see is all you’ll have to pay. Most states charges a sales tax, which is different for every state, and it 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, 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. Nobody expects you to, generally speaking, and you may even cause a bit of a fuss if you attempt. 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 other customers are bagging their own goods, maybe you should too.

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