Hi there, it's Ernest from Trip Astute. As
many of you know, I spent the holidays in the UK. So in this video, I'll be sharing
the top things that I noticed as an American when traveling to England. (Light chiming music) England is a beautiful place to visit,
and for American travelers, fairly easy given the language and lack of visa
I actually visited in December 2017 since Fiona's family lives
just outside of London. We decided to spend the holidays there and also take a
couple of side trips to Barcelona, Lisbon, and Bath. I decided while I was there
that I didn't want to do a traditional destination review on London, simply
because there's so much to show and there are already so many great
destination reviews and channels on the subject. So I decided to focus on things
that I noticed as an American.
In fact, since Fiona is a Brit, I'm always
surprised at what she finds unique and different when were in LA. So this is a
summary of things that were surprising to me as an American traveler. Number
1: Traffic flows. Like a handful of other countries, Brits drive on the left
side of the road.
This was especially disorienting when I first arrived. I also
kept looking for traffic on the wrong side when crossing the road. Parking is
also less structured than in the US. You can park on either side of the road, even
if you're facing the wrong side of traffic.
Lastly, I thought the traffic
lights were really cool. The Brits use the yellow or amber light to not only
signal when the light is turning from green to red, but also from red to green.
Number 2: Plastic notes. I was surprised on my last trip that certain cash bills
were now plastic. While Brits use a lot of coins, which we're definitely not
accustomed to in the US, I found that the plastic money to be pretty awesome.
definitely would love to see the US. Adopt the plastic notes like so many
other countries. Number 3: Gigantic plugs. The plugs in the UK are different
than the rest of Europe, and they are huge.
Seriously, the plugs are gigantic
compared to what we're used to in the US. Also, each outlet has an individual
switch, so don't forget to turn on the switch and make sure that you have power
before charging up your phone at night. Number 4: Interesting foods. It was
really fun being in the UK for the holidays.
The Brits have some really
interesting foods like mince pies, Christmas pudding, and Scotch eggs. What's
interesting is that they're not often what they are named. For example, mince
pies have something called mince meat, but don't actually contain meat.
Christmas pudding is not really what we Americans would call pudding. And
Scotch eggs are, well, those are eggs, but they're surrounded by meat.
But I don't
think they have anything to do with Scotch. Also, there's a whole host of
other foods that just have weird names, and to an American, may be slightly inappropriate. Number 5: Gas stations. Not only is gas or petrol, as the Brits
call it, really expensive, but I found that they use the green handle to
represent regular unleaded gas.
In the US, we typically use the green handles
to designate diesel. So, if you're filling up your tank in the UK, make sure you
read the labels carefully at the pump. Number 6: Mobile payments everywhere. I
was shocked at how prevalent mobile payments were in the UK.
I would say that
90 percent of transactions could be made with Apple Pay, which was super
convenient since I didn't have to deal with the whole chip and signature
process. Since most of the world is using chip and pin, signatures are typically
not required when paying for products unless you're using an American credit
card since most of our cards don't support the technology. Though using
mobile payments allows me to pay without any complications.
Also, it worked on the London Tube, which was a nice bonus. Number 7: Military time
While we typically don't use military time in the US, you'll
notice that most Brits will use it in their daily lives.
I noticed that Fiona's phone in the US. Was set up with military time, but when I
saw that most other phones in the UK. Used it too, I realized it was a normal
thing. Number 8: Tuna and corn sandwiches.
Okay so I love
both of these things, but I never thought of putting them together. When we stopped
at a Marks and Spencer market to pick up a quick lunch, I noticed they had a bunch
of unique seafood options like tuna and corn, prawn, and salmon sandwiches. I opted
for the tuna and corn, and I have to say it was delicious.
Number 9: Tons of accents and dialects. Great Britain is just over half the size
of California, but even within such a small country, there is such a variety of
dialects and accents.
I personally found the accents from Scotland and Wales to
be the most difficult to understand as an American, but even some of the
northern accidents were challenging. Still, I think it's so interesting that a
country so small can retain so much variation in the language. And those are
the top things that I noticed as an American in England. There's actually a
lot of other things like the different terminology and phrases used, but we'll
have to save that for another video.
Have you been to the UK? If so, what
differences did you notice? I'm also curious to hear from Brits who have
visited the United States. I'm sure there are a ton of things that we do that must
be completely nuts to those outside the US. If you enjoyed this video or found it
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Until next time, travel safe and travel smart..