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QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU PLAN YOUR UK TRIP

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  • Post last modified:February 18, 2024
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Planning a trip to the United Kingdom (UK) probably seems pretty easy. The language is rarely a problem. The visa requirements are not particularly onerous for vacationers from North and South America, Australasia, or Europe, and there’s a good choice of ways to arrive and get around. And, you know, it probably is as easy as all that. You could pop over to London and take a few day trips in the immediate area, then spend a day or two venturing a bit further afield—to Liverpool or the Cotswolds or Stratford-upon-Avon and, hey presto, what a great vacation you’ve had.
But where do you start? The questions that follow should help keep your vacation planning in sharp focus.

trip to the uk


WHO IS GOING?
Unlike some vacation destinations that are more suitable for couples than families or older than younger people, the United Kingdom has something for everyone. It’s just a question of choosing wisely for your party.
Are you:

  • A couple planning a romantic trip? Think about romantic things to do and see the best places to smooch in Britain, or some very nice spots to pop the question.
  • A family traveling with children? Young and old will enjoy all the treasures on the Harry Potter trail, the fun at Legoland Windsor, the farm holidays, family cycling, and camping trips. The UK has one of the world’s best (and its first) safari parks.
  • A large group? Plan a trip for a sports team, a hiking party, a group of cyclists, a clan reunion, and a class trip by checking out hostels or the new, more glamorous “poshtels.” Or consider large vacation rentals (especially car rentals in London, Liverpool, Manchester, etc.); there are some remarkably luxurious homes suitable for a big family reunion that is good value on a per-person basis.
    HOW MUCH CAN YOU SPEND?
    How much will vacation in the UK cost? No upper limit and minimums depend on the season, the last-minute deals you can find, where you are starting from, and so forth. Consider these prices as approximate guidelines.
    Getting There
    The round trip fare for two people flying to London from an East Coast USA departure point varies from about $1,200 to more than $4,000 depending upon the time of year.
    How to Save: The price of some package tours (including car and hotel) can be less than booking a flight alone. Most big transatlantic operators, including American Airlines, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic, offer good value packages. Before booking a hotel, flight, and car separately, spend some time searching for cheap packages.
    Getting Around
    Car rentals in the UK with a manual transmission will cost between $350-$500 for a couple of weeks. To that, add the cost of gasoline, and you’ll see that renting a car in a country with excellent trains and public transportation may not be such a good idea.
    Accommodations
    The average price of a night in a UK hotel in 2020 was just under £100—but the average cost of acceptable hotel accommodation in most major cities was still above £100, with London and Edinburgh leading at about £200. Check out some of these ideas on how to save on accommodations. And if your aim is London, Manchester, or Liverpool, have a look at some cheaper places to stay just outside the capital.
    WHAT KIND OF ACCOMMODATIONS DO YOU PREFER?
    To some degree, where you decide to stay on your first, or your fiftieth visit to the UK will be a matter of price.
    Hotels
    If you are touring, staying one night here, one night there, a cheap chain hotel might be a good and reliable choice. On the other hand, if you are looking for a luxury or romantic experience, fine dining, bags of charm, a country house hotel might be a choice that provides indulgence for less than you might pay for similar luxury in a city.
    Vacation Home Rentals
    Vacation home rentals are great for independent travelers who like to cook their meals come and go as they please. They’re also a good and money-saving choice for families and groups. And these days, there are a lot of amazing, historic vacation rentals available
    HOW WILL YOU TRAVEL TO THE UK?
    By Air
    If you are flying to the UK—and most non-European visitors do—you have a bigger choice of airports than you might imagine. Most visitors choose Heathrow or Gatwick but, if you can have a flight in one of the UK’s other international airports, you could save money or land more conveniently at your ultimate destination.
    By Sea
    If you are lucky enough to cruise to the UK, you’ll likely arrive at Southampton, Harwich, or the new luxury cruise port in Liverpool. You can give yourself the experience of arriving in the UK by sea and, for example, seeing the White Cliffs of Dover, without the commitment of an ocean cruise. Fly into a European city—Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Dublin, Belfast—and take a ferry.