England is and has been for a long time one of the most popular tourist destinations with the capital city of London as one of the most visited destinations. The UK draws tourists in with its charm, history, pubs and people. London is not the only lovely place in the UK however. There are many smaller cities like Bath and Oxford that have a lot of to offer curious tourists and one of the extra advantages of visiting smaller cities is – smaller crowds.
UK has more than urban tourism to offer. The countryside is filled with natural beauty and fascinating estates from various time periods. In any case, England while being one of the more popular tourist destinations in Europe it is also one of the most expensive. This is why it’s important to know how to save money. Also remember that once you leave London, prices drop dramatically. That being said, here are 5 tips that will prove useful while traveling in the UK.
1. Cost Reducing Tips:
The basic costs of traveling are accomodation, food, transportationa and activities and all of them can be used to reduce the total cost of your trip. Take accomodations for example; hostels in the UK cost in average £20-£25 per night with free internet, breakfast, tv, common room and laudry facilities. Budget hotels and apartments generally go for around £50 per night. Food can cost a fortune while traveling. A night out at a restaurant can very well cost up to £22 per meal while eating Indian or Asian foods can cost about £6 and eating some fish and chips or a kebab on the go will be ever cheaper. Transportation in the UK can be reduced simply by using Megabus (we suggest booking at least 1 month in advance)or by securing your National Rail service tickes with over a week in advance. Activities in the UK are generally cheap; museum tickets are free and tickets to castles or other activities tend to cost around £10. Daily activities like cycling, wine tours and stuff like this tends to cost a bit more however.
2. Saving Money While Traveling:
As mentioned before, the UK is not the cheapest country to visit, not even by far but there are ways to save money and here are a few ideas:
• Destination Ideas. Entry to museums in the UK is free of charge in every city throught the UK. It’s both entertaining and informative and a good way to immerse yourself in the history of the UK. Visiting cathedrals is also a good way to see the country as entry to cathedrals is free. This is a nice way to get a glimpse of England’s 15th – 19th century architecture.
• “Get a Taste of UK Card”and “Camp in My Garden”. The taste of the UK card offers discounts of up to 50$ and 2 for 1 deals at certain restaurants. Best of all, you don’t have to be a UK residents to get one. Camp in My Garden is a program which allows travelers to set up their tents in someone’s backyard for a very small fee, 2 or 3 pounds. It’s a very popular practice in the UK and is a nice way to get to know the people of England.
• Eating Out in the UK. It can be expensive to eat in restaurants in England but you can find cheap and filling meals in local pubs. It can cost around £9.3 to eat in a pub and it’s a nice way to meet people. Lunch specials is another way to cut on costs. Restaurants usually offer specials with multi-course meals for up to £10. A good way is to have your lunch like this and cook your own dinner if your accomodation allows it.
3. Tipping Customs:
While not exactly a money saving tip, knowing what the tipping customs in the place you’re visiting can be important. For example in the UK tipping is not always expected as it is in the United States or Canada. In the UK all employers must pay their employees at least the minimum wage. Employers are not allowed to use tips to top up wages to the legal minimum. As a general rule in the UK you leave a tip when the service is above standard. Also it is not required to tip taxis but you can round up to a full pound when the situation calls for it. Also if you’re taking a cab to the airport and the driver is nice enough to help you with your luggage you way want to consider a 2-3 pound tip. Tipping for food delieveries is also not mandatory but every delivery driver will appreciate a 1 pound tip so it’s up to you. Tipping when picking up food at a restaurant is innapropriate. Don’t do it. Also no tipping in fast foods or coffee shops in general.
As mentioned above there are a few ways to get around in UK but public transportation such as the National Rail Service and even Megabus can be expensive if you don’t get tickets ahead of time. Another alternative is to visit by car. If you have the oportunity to bring your car with you that’s one of the best and most flexible ways to travel. You may think that taking your car with you can be more of a hindrance than a benefit. What if it breaks down. Yes that can happen but there are solutions. In the UK but especially in London there are many car recovery and towing services that can be used to pick your car up and fix it for a very low cost. Car rentals is also an alternative if budget is not an issue.
Hopefuly our tips can help you save some cash if you’re travling in the UK and also allow you to see the country from a different perspective. We wish you safe and pleasant travels.