Traveling to a new country is always exciting, but without the proper plan in action, you can easily miss out on some of the best places a destination has to offer. This is especially true in the UK and Europe, where neighborhoods can change drastically, as they were rebuilt after historical events like WWII. What might start out as a neighborhood you aren’t interested in could end up harboring an ancient Tudor house just around the corner.

You need to know what you are looking for, and you need to learn all this in advance to save yourself unnecessary expenses. To help you plan, follow this guide, and you’ll be all set whether you go straight to London or explore all of the British Isles in one go:

Save Destinations in Advance 

If you want to know about all the secret destinations in advance, then you will need to find them and save them. All digital maps today allow you to not only save places but categorize them. So, look up the top ten sites, then the top gardens, museums, galleries, secret destinations, etc. when planning your trip. You don’t need to create an itinerary just yet, and in fact, you can just go through the UK, making it up as you go, once you have a collection of saved places in your map.

Tip: Remember to save your map for offline use while you still have Wi-Fi.

Always Check What Events are On Before You Go 

Saving places isn’t the only way to plan a great trip. Before you go, it is useful to always look up:

  • Festivals
  • Performances
  • Events

Look Up Great Budget Food Options 

Eating well is a must when you are traveling abroad, but doing so on a budget can be a real challenge; that is, if you don’t prepare. Before you go, always remember to look up:

1. The Best Cheap Eats

Fine dining is excellent, but even those with unlimited budgets will find that they get tired of it over time. That is why it is always fun to look up the best, tastiest cheap eats in each destination. From fan favorites like Neds Noodle Bar Southampton to arcade food halls, there are so many to choose from.

2. Pop Up Restaurants

Another great way to eat well and experience something a bit different is to find a list of pop up restaurants and events in your destination. A pop-up is, in short, a short-lease experiment. It might be a new chef opening a restaurant for a month just to see how successful his menu will be, or it might be a charity event for bakers. The options are limitless.

3. Soft Launches

A soft-launch, on the other hand, is often the day or week a new restaurant opens. To get people in the doors and to generate buzz, there are often great discounts (think 50% off your food bill).

Read Local Guidebooks 

Try to read local guidebooks designed for residents to get to know their city better. This is the best way to avoid the tourist traps and find some unique gems wherever you are. Checking social media and scrolling through posts in each destination might also help you uncover some secret destinations you love.