Tips for British Travelers Headed to the U.S.
Every now and then, Brits welcome guests visiting from the Motherland. Expats are already used to the American life, but visitors are usually and understandably 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. Get The Purple Passport here!
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. Get British Travel Advice here!
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.
Don't pack all those toiletries - they sell 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.
When you shop, don't think that the price you see is all you'll have to pay. Most states have sales tax and you won't find it 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. Many Brits splurge in the U.S. because prices are so much cheaper here compared to the U.K.
Finally, when you go grocery shopping, avoid bagging your own goods. No one will expect you to, generally speaking, and if you try, you may even end up causing some fuss. Simply stand and wait for the checkout person to do the task. There are going to be exceptions, and your common sense will tell you when you're in one. If you see the other customers bagging their stuff, that's your cue.