Travelling is one of the most enriching and exciting experiences any person can have, whether it is just a three-hour drive to another state or a long-haul flight to another continent. However, for first-time travellers heading to a foreign country, there are challenges to be faced.
No need to worry, though. With proper preparation and resolve, you can have a travel experience of a lifetime. If London is your destination, you can make your stay fun and safe. Apart from getting a view of the city from the Shard, you can visit other interesting places here. Here are some travel guidelines you can use for an unforgettable trip.
Check If You Need a UK Visa
After getting a passport, you have to check if you would need a visa to visit London. You can either go to the UK Border Agency Website or check with your local British Embassy. Depending on your purpose of visiting, you should get the correct visa type.
Tips from Heathrow
Say you have already booked your hotel and are on the plane to London. When you get to Heathrow airport, don’t spend too much on your first day by riding a taxi going to your hotel. It would be wise to do your research before you leave and read about the Underground.
A cab fare can be between £50 and £80. Why spend more when you can take the London Underground? Just follow the signs. And if you plan to stay a bit longer, you might want to get your hands on an Oyster card so you can have a more convenient and comfortable time going around the Big Smoke.
Better Bring an Umbrella
If you have been living in London for a while, you would have been used to bringing a brolly all the time, that’s what we, Americans, call an umbrella. It is typical to experience rain in this part of the world.
Get Your Finances Organised
Even if you have brought paper and plastic with you, you might want to check with your local bank if they have accredited banks in the UK in case you need to wire money. And if you need to open a bank account, you might want to be ready with an ID and a proof of address since these are the basic requirements of British banks.
Pack Comfortable Clothes and Footwear
Except for some fashion clothes you might want to wear in the evenings, you can bring clothes you find comfortable. Why would you really care when you are a tourist? And if you plan on wearing high heels, forget it. You will be doing a lot of walking around the city so better prepare your feet. Wear flat shoes or rubber shoes.
Learn Their Culture
When visiting another country, it is ethical and respectful to learn their customs and traditions. In this way, you can act and interact with the locals without feeling awkward. If you have been used to greeting just anyone you meet in the streets and giving them your warm smile, don’t expect to do this there. Brits are more reserved and mostly, they want to keep their personal space. Not that they are not friendly but they prefer keeping their privacy.
Handle the Language Barrier
Even if you know a little English or you can carry a conversation but it is not your first language, you might find it difficult to understand the way they speak. British English is different from American English in some ways like in spelling and in pronunciation. It would help to equip yourself and perhaps take some corsi inglese, that is, English courses. This can help improve your communication skills as well as your articulation and grammar.
If you are looking forward to an adventurous vacation, it would be wise to know when to visit London. By following these guidelines, you are in for an awesome trip.