Traveling anywhere for the first time can be very stressful if you don’t know much about the country, so it always helps to be prepared. The UK is such a diverse country and it’s a great place to visit any time of the year. With hundreds of cities to explore and lots of castles to see, there is a list of reasons why you must visit the UK as soon as possible.
Doing a little bit of research before booking your flight is the easiest way to plan, and be prepared for things like needing a visa or not or any other specific thing about the country you’re visiting. So, check out this quick guide to make sure you enjoy your trip.
The first thing you should prepare is the documentation you’ll need to visit the UK. Find out whether you are on the list of countries that are not required to have a visa, and can stay up to six months. Remember to check for the latest regulations, and ensure your passport is up-to-date.
In the case you need a visa, it depends on the type whether it’s for work, study, visit or to join the family. Bear in mind that you might need certified translation services for important documents like birth certificates, transcripts, and more. Institutions usually take these things seriously, so you don’t want to risk a visa rejection that can ruin your planned trip.
Although travel insurance is a must anywhere you go, in the UK you won’t probably need it for medical cover, since the treatment is free with the NHS. You might need it for compensation due to unexpected travel problems like cancellation and lost or damaged luggage.
Remember to do your research right before purchasing travel insurance depending on the activities you’ll be doing and what you’re taking with you, especially nowadays with plenty of Covid-19 regulations. There are many things to consider before you leave for the UK, so check for new information regularly.
Keep in mind that the UK, unlike the rest of Europe, has refused to use the euro as currency, and kept their British pounds. You might be able to find stores that accept euros, but you will get your change in pounds. Also, bear in mind that when you get money out of an ATM they will be in pounds, and you’ll be charged a foreign transaction fee which will cost about 3%.
If you want to avoid extra charges, call your bank before leaving for the UK, so you can operate with your credit/debit cards. So, make sure to check everything about this before going to the UK.
If you decide to travel around a certain town, the cheapest way is to use public transportation like buses, trains, metros, and more. Getting to know the public transport system in a new country can be quite challenging and yet useful.
The payment system varies throughout the country from contactless mobile phones to cash payments. Remember that people drive on the left, and when traveling on an escalator always stand on the right. Also, you will probably want to experience a ride in an English cab which now comes in many different colors instead of the traditional black.
Other things to bear in mind
Remember that everyone in England takes queuing very seriously. For example, sometimes you will need to take a ticket as proof that you have a place in a queue. It is extremely offensive cutting in a line, so make sure you read about the rules of common behavior in public before visiting the UK.
Don’t talk loud
This is just a suggestion, but in a restaurant try to keep the conversation with your companions between yourselves, and not share it with the entire restaurant. In pubs, the situation is a bit different since there is music and a more relaxed atmosphere.
Brits usually like to talk about the weather a lot, and especially when it has bigger changes. They like to talk about the relentless rain or beautiful and rare sunshine. Most people feel comfortable complaining about the weather conditions before checking an app to inform them of the weather conditions for the upcoming week.
There are plenty of other interesting things to know when planning your trip to the UK, so remember to do your deep research so you won’t get caught in unwanted situations. If you are heading to England anytime soon, hopefully, these tips can help you prepare better. And don’t forget to drink a lot of tea!