Even though it does not fit most western tourist’s idea of an ideal travel destination (primarily because it’s very similar to their home country), the United Kingdom is actually a great tourist destination and frequented by many travelers from all corners of the world. If you want to check the UK out as a tourist, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Check if You Need a VISA
When it comes to visiting a country, travelers already know and accept the need to secure a VISA. The UK is an edge case and becomes a source of confusion, mainly because it doesn’t require a VISA provided that you came from an English-speaking country. Additionally, even if you do have a VISA (or are exempted due to your home country), you can only stay for six months as a tourist.
They Have Not Moved Over to the Euro
The United Kingdom’s local currency, the Great British Pound, is so strong so they have not felt the need to move to the euro, unlike the rest of Europe. While some shops do accept euros, your change will still be in GBP. Any money you withdraw from banks or ATMs will be in pounds, and here’s the cincher – you will most likely be charged a foreign transaction fee by your own bank, amounting to around 3 percent. We don’t have any advice about this short of bringing GBP in cash, but it’s something to consider if you want to optimize your spending.
Whether you want to take a ride in one of the famed London black cabs or just want some photo ops in those red double decker buses, if you are going to stay for more than a few days in London, you should get an Oyster Card. You’ll end up saving money as all you have to do is swipe in order to get on the buses and the subway, as opposed to buying a ticket every time you need to get around.
Is the Food Terrible?
Thanks to the Entertainment Industry, the UK has a nasty reputation for bland food. This can’t be further from the truth. While yes, stuff like kidney pies and all of the sorts of things we do with potatos are an acquired taste, foreign tongues attached to open minds will find that they’re pretty tasty, and different pubs will serve different tasting food, so it’s all a matter of finding ones that suit your taste. And many of the local UK pubs has since been acquired by international chains, so you’ll find that food in the UK has since become more friendly to foreign foodies.