- Stand on the right of the escalator
- The right is for standing, the left is for moving.
- Don’t be the asshole who stands on the left.
- Don’t talk to, make eye contact with, or in any way acknowledge other tube passengers
- Don’t crowd the doors of the train, spread out
- Don’t take the Tube when you can walk there faster
- The Tube is an elaborate underground system and sometimes the crowds and effort needed to reach your destination isn’t the best use of your time when you walking is faster.
- Don’t insult the Tube, Londoners will defend it fiercely
- Break the ice with the weather always
- Don’t under any circumstances compare to the U.S.
- Avoid talking about the Royals, they aren’t always that big of a deal to locals
- Don’t talk loudly – it’s consider uncouth
- You aren’t expected to answer “How do you do?” It’s just a formality, so don’t expect an answer either.
- Don’t brag or speak of yourself unless asked.
- British will always be modest of accomplishments, “I’m not bad at…”
- Don’t mention money unless you are very very close with a person
- Don’t say there is “no good food” in England; that won’t end well
- Don’t ask locals if they know the Queen
- “Do you know Barack Obama?” Uh, no.
- Bathroom = Loo
- Elevator = Lift
- Line = Queue
- Drunk = Pissed
- French fries = Chips
- Friend = Mate
- British ladies cross their legs at the ankles, not the knees
- While eating, keep the knife and fork in hand until complete
- Keep the fork prongs down when taking a bite
- Place fork and knife to the right side of the plate to signal completion
- Don’t smile too much
- A sign of a lack of control, education, breeding, etc
- Don’t use the reverse peace sign
- That’s insulting, means the opposite
- Keep emails formal, never casual
- Don’t go to the Natural History Museum during school holidays
- Always check prices online beforehand to find discounts, free alternatives, and package deals to save money
- Don’t spend more than 5-6 Euros on fish and chips
- Go to the local “chippy” instead of the tourist spots that will charge you 10+ Euros for the meal
- Avoid the tourist traps and find the local shopping and restaurants
- Better prices and actual local, quality merchandise
- Avoid Oxford and Regent Street
- Don’t drive or shop
- Has all the standard name brands you’ll find anywhere, nothing special
- Get cocktails only during Happy Hour or your budget will take a huge hit
- Avoid shops with “bespoke” suits and shoes
- Avoid shopping sprees in general to save your budget
- Don’t bother with high tea
- Don’t attempt to over-pack your schedule
- You can’t possibly see everything in only a few days, so plan accordingly
- All airports are a distance from the city center, plan accordingly
Restaurants: The expected tip is 10-15%, but check your bill for a service charge, added in some places at around 12%, to avoid tipping twice. It might also be appropriate to ask the waiter if they will receive the tip or the company (especially when paying with card).
Bars/Pubs: You don’t tip in bars and pubs.
Staff in Hotels: Leave tips for the staff at your own discretion.
Taxi drivers: For regular service, round up to the nearest Euro and tell them to keep the change. For black cabs, 10-15% is typical. For longer trips and assistance with luggage/packages, tipping up to 5 Euros is recommended.
- Flashy handbags, jewelry, or hats are welcome
- Consider a sweater (jumper), nice pair of pants, blazer, trench coat, and a little black dress for the ladies on the town
- Do NOT wear shorts and tennis shoes, portable plastic rain coats, or “survival gear” to avoid attracting negative attention