The UK is one of the most touristy destinations in the world. Over the year of 2017, 39.9 million tourists have visited the UK, and the forecasts for 2018 predict this number to grow up to 41.7 million visits.
Great Britain makes a lot of money off tourism. Since 2010 tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK and it is expected to bring to the British economy a whopping amount of 225 billion pounds by 2025.
These facts are supported by the incredible hospitality Great Britain shows all the tourists who are visiting this country, so there’s no wonder why crowds of UK visitors keep growing every year. This is the country where traditions stand strong, where culture is unique and exciting.
However, this is also one of the most expensive countries to visit. It’s impossible to manage to see everything if you’re on a budget and haven’t planned your visit thoroughly.
So here are top 7 hacks for those who want to travel to the UK.
#1. Rent a car upon arrival
The UK has a good, stable-working public transport system, so there will be no problem traveling to different cities and towns. However, if you want to stop at some places that are located far away from main tourist destinations, you might need to consider renting a car.
There are various car rental services, where you can get a car you need, based on whether you’re traveling alone or with a group of people, or to which destinations you are planning to travel. You might be interested in choosing one of the following:
- Hertz: this service offers a very convenient car rental at the major UK airports like Heathrow or Manchester Airport. Prices start from £13 a day. Hertz car rental services also include insurance for your safety.
- AutoEurope: pick up your car at a convenient location and save 30%. The price also includes insurance and there are no hidden fees.
#2. Enjoy the benefits of tourist discount programs
The UK is famous for being a very pricey destination to visit. However, if you do your research, you’ll find out that there are plenty of offers to save money on traveling, including your expenses on public transport.
There’s an option to save time and money with an Oyster Card. The card is free (but there’s small refundable deposit). It offers UK visitors huge traveling discounts. For example, if you take 3 or 4 rides in the London Tube, all the following traveling will be free. It’s very handy if you have only one or two days to visit one city but still want to see everything and not lost a fortune on public transport rides.
#3. Look for a cheaper accommodation
UK hotels are rather expensive, but you still can save some money and get a great service. Thankfully, all cities and towns around the UK offer cheaper accommodations, you just need to know where to look.
There’s no better place than the Internet, where you can find all kinds of suitable offers. Some of the online tools for accommodation search include:
- Booking.com: it’s an international website where you can find cheap accommodation in every part of the world with reviews and possible discounts. “You just type in the city you’re traveling to, dates of your stay, and the website will generate all possible options”, says Amanda Birch, a developer at write-my-essay-for-me.com and an avid traveler. “You can also choose an aim of your visit, whether it’s tourism or business.”
- Trivago.com: a website that is very easy to use. Compare the prices for the hotels and choose the most suitable one after typing the location and check-in check-out dates. This website, as well as the previous one, also include hostels, if you’re traveling on a budget.
#4. Be prepared for any weather
The UK is notorious for its fast-changing weather. There are no massive extreme changes in weather, however, one cannot call British weather settled and consistent.
Check the weather before packing your bags using websites such as Met Office that provide accurate weather reports. Many UK tourists often complain that their visits got spoiled by a sudden change of weather: one minute it’s sunny and warm, and the next thing you know – it’s raining cats and dogs.
#5. Using your mobile phone
When planning a visit to any country in the world, many tourists notify their mobile network provider about their roaming needs. However, everyone knows that roaming can be pretty pricey.
If you want to save some money and still use your mobile phone for calls or Internet, you can buy a UK sim card for cheap. The prices are pretty affordable and the service is impeccable.
#6 Go tax-free shopping
When shopping in the UK, all tourists pay 20% VAT with the exception of food, children’s clothes, and books. However, you can get the money back. When shopping, you can ask the retailer to give you a so-called VAT 407 form. Fill it in, and you’ll get your money back.
BUT: not all the shops provide this option, so if you definitely want to get the money back, ask about this option beforehand. Also, only visitors outside the EU, who are staying for less than three months are eligible.
#7 Save your tips!
The most awesome part of traveling to the UK is that tips are not required. You don’t have to tip your waiter at a restaurant or your taxi driver. No one expects you to do it. However, if you really like the service, you can reward a person with a thank-you tip!
Enjoy your visit
Travelling is about enjoying the journey and the experience it brings. Hopefully, with these tips you stay in the UK will bring you lots of happy memories!
Tom Jager is professional blogger. He works at Awriter. He has degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at G+ or Facebook.