While we may share a common language (though even that is debatable at times), the United States and the United Kingdom differ a lot. In addition to our currencies, time zones, and the side of the road we drive on, there are plenty of subtle customs, expectations, and beliefs that prove just how large the divide is between our two nations. So keep these differences in mind before you head across the pond, or you may find yourself bruised, broke, or even behind bars!
Minimal maternity leave
Alarmingly, the United States is one of the only developed nations in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave for new mothers. The 12 weeks that mothers are entitled to are all unpaid. UK mothers are entitled to 52 weeks of maternity leave, with 39 of them being paid to varying extents.
As a nation of tea connoisseurs, the British pride themselves on making tea the traditional way, namely by boiling water using a kettle. Americans, on the other hand, typically warm their tea in a microwave — an act that their British counterparts would view as blasphemy!
In the UK, the price see you on an item is the price you pay — but not in the US! With each US state determining its own sales tax rate, the price tags you see in stores display the price of the product before tax, not after like in the UK. An important fact for tourists to know when budgeting their next trip to America!
If there's one thing that confuses the British the most, it's when Americans refer to winning sports teams as "world champions" when they only compete within the US. For example, Major League Baseball's championship is the World Series, yet only teams from the US (and one from Canada) can qualify!