The Beginner’s Guide to Vacations
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 about to set foot in the U.S., these tips should make blending in with the locals so much easier:
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.
If you’re coming in the summer, make it a point to use sunscreen when you’re outside. It does get very hot, especially in certain areas. Even in Chicago, which is in the north, the lattitude is 42N (to help yo upicture it out, 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.
Many Brits just don’t see how expensive medical treatment in the U.S. generally is. 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.
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. Most probably, your host has bought some toiletries for you 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. A lot of Brits indulge while they’re in the U.S. where prices can be drastically cheaper compared to back home.
Finally, when you go grocery shopping, avoid bagging your own goods. You’re not expected to in most cases, and you ay even cause a little fuss if you try. Just stand and wait for the checkout person to do their thing. 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.