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Five Things to Know About Moving to the USA

Oct 14. 2021

If you’re planning a move to the USA, there’ll be a lot to take into consideration about adapting to the American way of life and to planning the move itself. We’ve pulled together a few interesting facts about living in the United States of America.

Time zones

As a vast continent, the USA consists of different time zones. These are:

EST (Eastern Standard Time) = GMT minus 5 hours

MST (Mountain Standard Time = GMT minus 7 hours                                                                                                                                           

CST (Central Standard Time) = GMT minus 6 hours

PST (Pacific Standard Time) = GMT minus 8 hours

Alaska = GMT minus 9 hours

Hawaii is GMT minus 10 hours

Working culture

They work hard in the states. The working week is often around 40 hours, but overtime is commonly expected on top of that. Equally, annual leave allowances in the states are often less than other countries. So when it comes to accepting a job in the USA make sure that you’re aware of how many days holiday you are entitled to and also speak to your employer about health insurance and pension plans etc as part of your benefits package. Equally, it is standard practice for American employers to give their employees a contract of employment.

Holidays

Americans mark the ‘holidays;’ be this Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween etc in a big way. There is a lot of focus on these seasonal events. Whereas in the UK, dates like Halloween are marked in a more low-key way, in America its full scale!
The UK has adopted a few traditions from the USA, such as high school proms and in more recent years ‘baby showers.’ Over in the US, these too are marked in a big way with full on decorations, cakes and gifts galore.

Portion size

Home to the super-sized portions, the States really embrace large portions of food. Be prepared for big meals and many restaurants will offer free drinks refills. Eating out and ordering takeaways is a large part of life in America. It’s not so much once in a while, but more part of day to day life.
Convenience foods and food on the go is also big business in the states, which has caused the proliferation of such brands as Starbucks throughout the USA.

Be prepared to tip

It’s not so much of an expectation in the UK to tip but in the states it’s goes without saying. Taxi drivers and waiting staff are often on very low salaries so the tipping makes up a lot of their income. You’re not absolutely obliged to tip, but it is customary and typically it’s expected that the tip is around 15-20% of the bill.

Our friendly and experienced international moving experts are on hand to help advise you on moving household effects and/or vehicles to the USA if you’re planning a move there. If you would like to arrange a free, no-obligation pre-move survey, please contact 01902 714555 or sales@burkebros.co.uk.

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