Visit UK – Text for reading and comprehension
Tips for travelling to the UK
It’s never been easier to travel to other countries. The world has become a global village for jet-setters, who want to discover new places and experience new adventures. But how well do we know the different cultures we visit? What do we understand about their social etiquette?
Perhaps you know the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Whether you visit another country on holiday or travel there for business, it helps to know a few rules before you go. Obeying the rules will help you fit in with the locals.
Here are some tips for travellers to the UK.
- Remember you have to drive on the left. So, be careful when you get into a taxi.
- The British love queuing. When you see a crowd of people in front of a museum, for example, look for the queue. You must join the back of the queue and wait your turn. Pushing in is very rude and unfair to people who have been waiting.
- In business, it is common to shake hands when you meet people. You should look at the person in the face and smile when you shake their hand.
- You shouldn’t use your mobile phone during a conversation with someone – this is impolite. You shouldn’t use your mobile phone at the dinner table either. Meals are a time for chatting with the people at the table.
- While we’re on the topic of meals, you should hold your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right hand. Don’t eat noisily. People will think you are impolite if you make a lot of noise while you eat. And don’t eat too fast. That would seem greedy.
- Enjoying a “cuppa” is very British. In fact, drinking tea is part of British life. You don’t have to drink tea, you can also drink coffee, but afternoon tea – with tea – is a tradition you shouldn’t miss out on. The tea comes in a teapot and you should pour the tea first before you add the milk and sugar. Of course, you don’t have to have sugar! Sandwiches and sweet cakes are usually served with afternoon tea.
- The pub is a great place to meet people after work. You can relax over a drink and get to know people better. You can also enjoy cheap meals at the pub.
- One thing you’ll learn to do very well in Britain is to talk about the weather. The weather is a good way to begin a conversation with a stranger. It’s a safe topic, too, because you don’t offend anyone.
- A taboo topic is money. Don’t talk about the price you paid for things. The British might think you’re bragging. Don’t discuss salaries, either. You mustn’t ask someone how much they earn and you mustn’t discuss how much you earn. This is too personal. However, you could tell someone about a sale that is on at a shop.
- Most people use first names when they talk to each other. Older people still prefer to use Mr or Mrs and the family name. So, you should wait to see how someone greets you first.
By following these rules, you will enjoy your stay in the UK so much more. So, have a pleasant stay!