What to Know Before Travelling to the UK as a Foreigner
Even though it may seem like the pandemic is eternal, it will end one day, and we will be able to visit other countries again. And why not go to the UK?
It’s beautiful, and it’s vibrant; it’s modern and traditional at the same time. It offers you plentiful attractions, and the food is delicious. But whatever your reason for wanting to go to the UK, there are some things you need to be prepared for
To make it easier for you, we’ve made a list of the issues you need to be familiar with: legal, financial, cultural. Things to remember and to be aware of; things that will make your visit pleasurable and those which will help you get the most out of this trip.
Take a look at the tips below – and then, when the time for travel comes, you’ll be well-prepared and able to enjoy your best UK experience ever.
When planning the trip, the first thing you need to do is check the current passport and visa requirements. Citizens from many countries don’t need visas to travel to the UK and can stay there for up to six months. Nevertheless, always check this information before traveling, so you don’t get turned back on the border. You also must have a passport valid for at least six months after the departure.
Always stay up-to-date with the latest travel regulations: check them online or consult your travel agency. Don’t forget to follow the rules of the country you’re traveling to. And if anything happens during your trip, don’t hesitate to contact solicitors based in the UK and ask for legal advice.
All You Need Is… Money?
Money is a significant issue when it comes to UK visits. Even by European standards, this area is expensive to travel to, so be prepared to spend a lot. Transportation, accommodation, and food will be the most costly parts of your trip, and you just have to accept this.
It’s always beneficial to have some local cash when you arrive. But if you forgot about it, don’t worry: there are plenty of ATMs in the UK (just make sure to tell your bank you’re using your card overseas). And remind yourself of your pin: it will be necessary for most payments.
While we’re on the topic of payments, let’s cover the tips. Unlike in the US, you don’t have to tip in the UK, but people usually do. 10-15% tips are common for restaurants and taxis, but don’t try to tip in bars – it’ll seem unusual.
While the UK is a generally safe country, you still have to be very cautious. After all, tourists are often a prime target for scams. Look out for beggars, especially at night, watch your credit cards, drink responsibly, and avoid risky city areas. Your safety is, most often, your problem, so make sure to stay alert.
The NHS Is Always There for You
Things happen, and you may need to visit the doctor when you’re in the UK. First of all – don’t worry. The National Health System (NHS) is excellent, and you’ll definitely get all the help you need. The more important question is – how much will you pay for it?
Having adequate travel insurance that covers medical costs is a must wherever you go. Some credit cards also come with travel insurance but make sure to check if yours does, and to what extent will it cover the possible costs. Otherwise, you will spend a fortune if you fall ill in the UK.
If you feel unwell but not so bad, call 111 – an NHS non-emergency number. In an urgent situation, go to the nearest hospital or dial 999.
Getting From Point A to Point B
Public transport is your best friend in the UK – it’s easy to use, and it will get you wherever you want quickly, even during rush hours. Outside London, enjoy the comfortable trains but make sure to book the cross-country rides in advance, as they are quite expensive.
And in London, there’s a whole network of buses, trains, and of course, the Tube. It’s the fastest way of getting around the capital, but you need to be aware of several things. It’s crowded, everyone’s in a hurry, and rush hour can be scary. It’s also a pickpocket dream, so watch your belongings! But don’t be afraid to ask for help, and try to enjoy this experience.
Brexit has happened, but it shouldn’t prevent you from taking a trip to the UK. There are many reasons for traveling there: beautiful scenery, historical sights, numerous modern attractions. Depending on the area you want to visit, you’ll encounter the vibrant UK’s culture in all of its variations, hear different accents, and eat traditional foods.
Of course, like in any trip, there are several things you need to be aware of. Remember about visas and other legal issues, be prepared to spend a lot of money, execute caution, and don’t hesitate to use public transport. And enjoy! Whatever you want to see, wherever you want to go, the UK will answer all your traveling dreams.