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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:

Full Address

Have your host’s full street address in handy because you’ll have to supply it on the immigration paperwork. Even if you have a friend or family member waiting for you at the airport, you still have to give authorities your address for the whole period of your visit. Take note, it should be complete.

Hot 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. Northern cities like Chicago has a lattitude of 42 N (just to give you an idea, 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

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, don’t come to the U.S. without liquid funds.

Toiletries

Don’t pack all those toiletries – they sell them in the U.S. too. Besides, they can be heavy and you don’t want to waste your baggage allowance on them. Your host will have readied some toiletries for your use anyway.

Shopping Nuances

When shopping, don’t assume that the price you see is exactly what you’ll pay. Sales tax, which applies to most states, won’t appear on the tag. And there’s no such thing as a tourist tax refund, like with VAT, though you may not be taxed for shipping back to the U.K.

And speaking of shopping, make sure you leave enough space in your suitcase for an entire new wardrobe you’ll be getting. 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. 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 you see the other customers bagging their stuff, that’s your cue.

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