Traveling to a new country means opening the door to new experiences sure to excite your senses, from the local attractions to hearing different languages to eating the delectable cuisine. But, going somewhere foreign also brings with it the tricky bit of learning how to navigate that place’s unique systems and conventions, such as how to tip, what behaviors are considered polite or not, and possibly converting between the metric vs. imperial system. Being familiar with all of these things is important when traveling, but the last one in particular can make the literal act of travel a whole lot smoother for you. When it comes to going from A to B, you can do so easily with the help of an imperial to metric converter.
Metric vs. Imperial System
The metric system and the imperial system are both ways to measure units, including length and weight. Despite the similarity in their uses, each system has its own set of measurement units, which don’t always neatly convert from one to the other. Take distances for example. The metric system uses units like centimeters, meters, and kilometers to measure or calculate distances, while the imperial system uses inches, feet, yards, and miles to measure or calculate distances
Countries that Use Imperial vs. Countries that Use Metric System
Interestingly enough, there are only three countries in the world that use the imperial system. These are the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar. Great Britain, the country who originally introduced the imperial system, doesn’t even officially use it today!
Many wonder why such a big player in the world economy as the U.S. doesn’t switch over to the global standard of the metric system. While some may argue that it’s out of stubbornness or a sheer desire to stand out, it all started because it was too expensive for the country to swap over back in the 19th and 20th centuries when the debate first came up. It wouldn’t be cheap to change over all the tools, machinery, and processes that have been built on the imperial system!
Why It’s Necessary to Know Both Systems
If you’re in a country that uses a different measurement system than your own, you may be left scratching your head when looking at a map or left unprepared when it comes to your travel logistics. Neither of which is ideal when you’re in a foreign country!
Say you want to decide if you should walk or drive to an attraction. Knowing how to convert between the miles and kilometers on that map could save you from an exhausting walk, or, on the other hand, could help you save a little bit on gas. Consider another example. Maybe you’re driving around and you’re not sure what the speed limit is. Understanding this conversion can help you make an educated guess based on the environment you’re in so you don’t end up frustrating drivers around you by being too slow, or getting yourself in trouble with the law by being too fast.
Tricks for Converting Distance Measurements Easily
Unfortunately, doing some mental math to convert between metric and imperial units isn’t so easy. All you have to do is look at a couple of comparisons to see: One mile is equal to 1.60934 kilometers while one kilometer is 0.621371 miles. Trying dividing and multiplying in your head with those kinds of decimals!
Instead of giving yourself a headache doing that math, there’s a faster way to get a rough conversion estimate. If you have kilometers and want to know how many miles it is, halve the number and then add that to the quarter of that halve. For example, if you have 100 kilometers, half would be 50 and the quarter of that halve would be 12.5. Put together, that’s 62.5, which is a close estimate to the actual conversion of 62.2372 miles.
Use an Imperial to Metric Converter
You may find it hard to remember this quick conversion trick when you’re in the middle of a situation abroad. Even easier than getting just an estimate with a mental shortcut, an imperial to metric converter can do the work for you and deliver an exact conversion.
Whether you’re converting miles to kilometers or converting inches to centimeters, all you have to do is quickly plug in the number of the imperial unit you have and what metric unit you want it in in the online calculator, and the answer will be at fingertips in no time.
If you’re from a country that uses the imperial system and you’re headed somewhere that uses the metric system or vice versa, be prepared by understanding the conversion between the units. To make things even easier, you can use an imperial to metric converter on you travels for an instant, exact conversion.
Cindy is a freelance writer and editor with previous experience in marketing as well as book publishing. Along with her content writing for a diverse portfolio of clients, Cindy’s work has been featured in Time Out, CultureMap, Livability, and more.