Essentials When Traveling in the UK

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England and even the whole United Kingdom are considered to be one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world, and rightfully so. A lot of people fly to London and don’t care about any other location in the UK, but the truth is, there is a lot more this beautiful country has to offer. If your plan is to travel around in the United Kingdom, then you should prepare for this adventure as it can get quite confusing if you are not a native.

Here are some of the things you need to know when you are traveling in the UK.

How long should your visa last?

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If you are coming from a country where the English language is not your official and native language, then you will probably need a visa to visit this beautiful country. You will have to consider how much time you are going to spend traveling in the UK, so you can get the right visa. Obviously, getting a visa for just a few days is much cheaper and easier to obtain than a visa that gives you more than a few months of stay.

If you plan on doing a short weekend in London, then sure, you should get a six or seven-day visa, but if you are planning on traveling from city to city, from village to village, then you will need to make sure that your visa will not expire. If you get to the airport with an expired one, there is a good chance that you might be detained and get yourself in legal trouble. Safety first.

How much money should you take?

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This is a hard question to answer as it heavily depends on how much time you are going to spend in this country and the places you are going to visit. The official currency in the United Kingdom is the Pound Sterling which is worth a bit more than a Euro and almost 50 percent more than a US dollar. In other words, the UK is definitely not one of the cheaper places to visit.

However, with the right traveling plan and well-thought-out budget, you won’t have to be spending thousands of dollars on basic things such as rooms, food, and entertainment. It is best that you convert your planned budget for this vacation to the nearest exchange office that offers the lowest exchange fees.

If you do not feel like carrying loads of cash in your back pocket or leaving it into your room every time you go out, we advise you to bring either a credit or a debit card with you. Make sure you inform your bank about your future spending abroad before you fly to the UK, so they don’t block your card thinking that it is stolen.

Take note of the distance

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If you expect to stay inside your budget during your whole vacation, you should take note of the distance you are going to travel along the roads of the United Kingdom. While public transport or gas is not as expensive as other luxuries you can find in most cities in England, constantly traveling back and forth can accumulate to a lot of money.

Before you set sail for your adventure, we recommend that you research all the cities you want to visit, all those tourist attractions or natural wonders. After you have finally decided which are the places you must visit you can use one of the many online websites that allow you to calculate the distance from point A to point B such as UKdistance. This type of website can even show you how much gas you would spend during that travel or the planes you could take.

Use the London tube to your benefit

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If you are going to visit London (who doesn’t when in the UK?) we recommend that you forget about all the other ways of transportation while in the inner city and learn everything you can about the London Tube. Not only is the Tube a great way to move around the city, but it is also a must-visit attraction since it is one of the oldest underground railway networks and has tracks that accumulate more than four hundred kilometers (250 miles). This railway with over 250 stations is truly an amazing machine that works day, night and does not stop for anything.

Try avoiding using the Tube during the rush hours as it can get pretty packed or sometimes even impossible to get inside of the carriages. We recommend that you spend a couple of minutes outside walking around the city until the crowd clears up a bit.

When traveling with a carriage you have the option of using the old ticket system (yes, it still works) or the more convenient option is to just get a daily or weekly access card. So, instead of carrying a bunch of tickets in your pocket and risking losing them, with the card you can just easily punch in the system and board.

Pack enough clothes

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If you plan to visit the United Kingdom during the cold winter days, then you should pack properly as it can get a bit cold. Get yourself a nice coat, a scarf and a beanie hat to keep you warm during your travels along with this beautiful country.

Keep in mind, if you first plan on visiting cities such as London, Brighton or Bristol, the weather there can be quite warmer than the cities in the northern parts of the UK. If you plan on traveling huge distances north and reach cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland then you should definitely pack a bit of extra clothing.

If your plan is to visit during the spring or summer days, then you shouldn’t worry too much about bringing coats or jackets as the weather can be quite nice or bearable if it gets cold. Worst case scenario, you can get a cheap jacket at a thrift shop for a couple of pounds to keep you warm during your vacation.