Whenever you travel to another country you need to understand the etiquette or you might land yourself in trouble. If you're heading to Thailand for example, never sleep with your feet towards the family alter. And did you know that most South Africans avoid eye contact when eating a meal? These are the sorts of things that make a holiday go along a little smoother. Visitors to the UK don't need to worry too much but there are some social queues that need to be adhered to if you're going to spend any time with British folks.
Visiting British homes
There are a number of small but important things to realise when you step foot into a home in the UK. To begin with, you might find it odd that most Brits take their shoes off when they enter the house. Whether you leave your shoes at the door or walk around the home wearing them is up to the homeowner but don't be surprised if you're expected to take them off. Most British homes are carpeted so walking around in shoes isn't necessary and, of course, shoes will bring dirt and grime from the outside into the home so this is something visitors from warmer places whose homes are tiled or have hardwood surfaces don't always understand.
Being on time is really important to British people. If you're invited to someone's house, you'll be expected to arrive on time. There's normally a 10 to 15-minute grace period if you're running late but most Brits expect their guests to be on time, particularly if dinner is being served.
British people tend to be very reserved so they don't talk about their feelings and tend not to answer personal questions. Questions about salaries, political affiliations and religions are best avoided unless you like awkward silences, although Brits are more than happy to debate these subjects theoretically.
How do you do?
There was a time when people would ask each other "How do you do?" and expect the answer "I am fine. How are you?" Today, the question will be posed with slightly different words. Anything ranging from "All right?" to "How are you doing today?" will be asked. The answer is always to respond positively even if you're feeling awful and then ask the question back.