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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. Expats may already be accustomed to life in America, but understandably, visitors are not.

If you’re a British traveler setting your sights on the U.S., these tips will help you blend in more easily:

Full Address

Be ready with your host’s complete street address. – you need to write it down for 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.

Sizzling Summers

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).

Personal Topics

It’s best to avoid starting a discussion on delicate topics such as religion and 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.

Medical 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 short, don’t travel to the U.S. without any liquid funds.

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. Most probably, your host has bought some toiletries for you anyway.

Shopping Nuances

When shopping, don’t assume that the price you see is exactly what you’ll pay. Most states charges a sales tax, which is different for every state, and it won’t appear 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, 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 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 will be exceptions and you’ll have to trust your common sense for this. If everyone else is bagging their own stuff, start bagging yours.

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