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Tips for British Travelers Headed 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 planning on a trip to the U.S., below are tips that can help you blend in more seamlessly with the locals:

Your Address

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. Remember, it has to be complete.

Sizzling Summers

If you’re coming in the summer, make it a point to use sunscreen when you’re outside. It can get extremely hot, especially in some areas. 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 the U.S., it may be best to avoid talking about sensitive issues like guns or religion or politics. Brits can have a heated argument with someone and a beer later on, but that’s generally not true for Americans, especially with people they hardly know.

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

Forget about packing some toiletries – you can buy 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 Expectations

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 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. A lot of Brits indulge while they’re in the U.S. where prices can be drastically cheaper compared to back home.

Lastly, when you go shopping at the grocery store, don’t bag 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 everyone else is bagging their own stuff, start bagging yours.

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