British vs American traveling ―which is more intriguing?

If you’re not native but speak English well, you could effortlessly travel to the US or the UK. Despite a few places where accents are impossible to understand (people who have visited the east coast of England understand), there isn’t much of a difference between these locations as a foreigner.

However, citizens from both places consider there are major contrasts between the British and American lifestyles, from the cuisine to traveling conditions. Indeed, the cultural backgrounds evolved separately, and traditions were influenced by several factors, explaining the stereotypes. British people are considered more reserved, while Americans tend to be labeled negatively as lacking cultural awareness.

Beyond these patterns, we’re all humans and should accept ourselves and others more often. But if you’re interested in noticing these discrepancies more, you might want to travel to the US and the UK to see them with your own eyes. So, here are some note-worthy details about the differences in traveling between these two regions.

Stratford Upon Avon, UK - Historic half-timbered houses situated Downtown of Stratford Upon Avon, UK.

Being a foreigner in terms of language is easier in the UK

Visiting the UK as a foreigner is easier because many British citizens can carry out a conversation in another language. As people are learning either French, Spanish or German in high school, you’ll be able to get along with people pretty well.

At the same time, many ethnic minorities live in the UK, including Polish, Indian, and German people, so you might be surprised to hear your native language somewhere in a random coffee shop. On the other hand, Americans are less open to learning new languages as they’re often considered true nationalists, so they might expect you to be proficient in English.

Still, you might be unlucky in both countries and need support. Since you might not afford a translator, relying on the internet is always a good solution, so getting an eSIM for travel to UK will come in handy when looking for directions or asking someone a question.

Driving for prolonged hours is normalized in the US

If you’re in the US and don’t own a car, it might be challenging to get around, which can be annoying for someone outside the country. However, this is entirely explainable as the size of the US wouldn’t make walking efficient from one point to another, especially considering the wide nature spots.

Here, driving for a few hours for a quick trip is normal, while in the UK, this would mean crossing the country from Shetland Isle to Pednathise Head. So, you must rent a car or buy a plane ticket in the US to travel properly and be time-efficient. The truth is that you don’t have much of a choice since the railway isn’t developed like in Europe, and walking is immediately a no-no.

What you should be wary of when traveling in the US is your internet connection’s state. In some areas, you won’t be able to access the internet, especially around remote zones, so it’s best to get an eSIM that provides reliable internet.

Packing for travel in the US is a whole event

Many of us are guilty of overpacking ―whether we’re anxious about being in new environments and need something familiar around us or are simply too comfortable ―this practice can sometimes be hefty to handle, and Americans know what we’re talking about.

This might have to do with consumerism, as the American lifestyle received massive and fast expansion after World War II since people wanted to live modern lives and own all types of machinery, from TVs to washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and more. The American dream transformed into a spending society slowly burdening their houses with numerous objects.

However, this is only a supposition about why Americans pack so much. After all, we’re all humans. Still, you can easily spot an American at the airport by the numerous suitcases around them, so you might want to pack everything to always be comfortable wherever you are.

Immersing yourself in the British pub culture

While the American culture is all about cars and overpacking, the British traditions include pubs. There have been a few centuries since British pubs became essential establishments in the country, where people could engage, drink, and even play games to pass the time.

According to Statista, there were around 46,800 functional pubs in the UK in 2020, but we can see a descending trend since the 2000s since the indoor smoking ban was introduced and alcohol prices rose. The COVID-19 pandemic also influenced the pub culture to decline among young people, but the culture stands strong. While you can have a soft drink if you don’t want alcohol, trying the best beer here, such as lager, ale, bitter, and spirits, are best. You’ll typically be served a whole pint.

As there are so many pubs around the UK, you’ll find that some are special for distinct activities. While most are appreciated for the drinks, others have unique music genres playing or quiz nights. Some frequent pubs are for people who love watching football, so they’re pretty noisy but fun.

If you want a truly unique pub experience, you could visit some of the oldest ones and get an idea of how pub culture looked like two centuries ago at the following locations:

  • The Old Ferry Boat Inn is considered the oldest pub in England and is affordable to drink at;
  • The Highway Inn was modernized and can be quite pricey, but it has served people for over 500 years ago;
  • Ye Olde Man & Scythe has the liveliest music and strong cider and is rumored to be haunted;

Which country do you think is better for traveling?

The US and the UK can be similar from certain perspectives, but if we consider traveling, they’re entirely different. The US thrives on the vehicle industry, while public transport is preferred in the UK. Americans tend to overpack, while British people are more prudent. Finally, the cherry on top is the pub culture in the UK that will amaze you.

Author

  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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