It can often be stressful for people when they prepare to travel. This applies whether they’re moving abroad or simply going on holiday. Traveling in the United Kingdom can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be daunting if you’re not familiar with the area.
In this article, we’ll provide some essential tips and tricks to help make your journey a bit smoother.
What’s In The UK?
This is how the United Kingdom is made up: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Each country has its own capital city: London (England), Cardiff (Wales), Edinburgh (Scotland) and Belfast (Northern Ireland). The weather in the UK can be unpredictable – it’s been said that you can experience four seasons in one day – so be sure to pack your clothes accordingly!
There is plenty to do for all ages such as visiting museums or parks, trying different foods at a restaurant or market, or enjoying the famous nightlife in cities like Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. In terms of traditional food, there’s anything from fish and chips to a classic full English breakfast. Also check out things like bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for Sunday lunch.
You’ll usually find that train stations are located in the city centres. London has many different train lines running through it from outside sources (e.g. Gatwick Airport or Heathrow Airport). However, smaller towns might not be quite as convenient with their station locations. Train travel is easy and convenient to plan with the National Rail Enquiries website. If you’re looking for trains anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales this site can help. It has information about departure times and more for different destinations across these three countries.
It’s worth booking your seats in advance and getting reserved seats when they’re on offer. Some people like splitting train tickets (buying two or more) rather than buying one for the entire journey. Whilst you have the same seats, trains and journey, the costs can be up to 90% cheaper.
Taxis And Uber
They are often the most convenient way to travel around London. Although they can be expensive, they will save you time and effort as taxis offer door-to-door service. Black taxis can drive in bus lanes and have a meter which means that they charge by time rather than distance traveled. You don’t need to book them – simply hail one on the street or go to taxi ranks found at airports, train stations and other busy locations (e.g. shopping centres). The fare is displayed on a sign inside the cab so you know what your journey should cost before you get out of the car.
Uber is also a great way to get around London and the UK. uberX is an affordable option, while uberEXEC offers luxury travel for those who want to splash out. You can use the uber app to book your journey and track the driver’s location so you know when they will arrive. As with black taxis, there’s no need to worry about finding a parking space or paying for fuel – all of that is taken care of. The only downside is that prices can go up if there is high demand, but this usually isn’t a problem during off-peak hours.
Renting A Car
If you’re coming from the US, car rentals will be a bit different for you. In America, car rentals include unlimited mileage and insurance. However, car rental companies in the UK operate differently so check this out.
If you decide to rent a car (and are okay if driving on the opposite side of the road) make sure the rental company gives you unlimited miles. Some companies charge on a per-mile basis which can get very expensive over time. If they don’t offer unlimited mileage ask them how much it would cost before booking anything, so there are no surprises later on.
If you’re looking to save money on your journeys around the UK, bus travel is a great option. Buses are available throughout the country and can take you to many different destinations. Here are some helpful tips:
- Make sure you plan your route in advance. There’s no need to wander around aimlessly trying to find your bus stop – just use Google Maps or another online route planner.
- Know what time your vehicle is scheduled to depart. This will help you avoid missing your ride, and it’ll also give you an idea of how long you have to explore each destination.
- Bring a local map with you. This can be really helpful if you’re not familiar with the area.
- Have your bus ticket ready when you board. This will help keep things moving quickly and avoid any delays.
- Keep an eye on your belongings. It’s always a good idea to keep your valuables close by, especially when traveling in a busy place like London.
- If you’re in a major city there are probably bus tours you can go on. If the weather’s hot and sunny, there’s nothing more pleasant than viewing the sights from an open-topped vehicle.
Plane travel can be an enjoyable experience when you know what to expect and how to prepare. Here are some useful tips:
- Don’t forget your passport and any other necessary forms of ID. Some airlines may require more than one form of identification before allowing passengers onto their plane.
- Luggage restrictions mean that plane passengers often have to sacrifice some items when packing for a trip, so it’s important to plan ahead and know what you can take on the plane with you.
- Always use a reliable source such as Airports London (airportslondon.org) when looking up information online.
- You may want to consider taking out insurance to cover things like cancellations or lost/damaged luggage.
Hopefully, this discussion about the various options has empowered you to take the next steps. If you act wisely, your means of transport will be a vital tool for getting you around, and ensuring that you enjoy your trip to the max.