Top 35 Tips for First Time UK Travellers

If you’re travelling to the UK for the first time, whether on business or for pleasure, you’ll find it an exciting and enjoyable experience. However, no trip abroad is devoid of potential health and personal risks. While it is important that you learn to enjoy yourself on your trip, you shouldn’t be constantly worrying about what you should or should not be doing. Here are 41 tips that you’ll find invaluable when you plan your trip to the UK for the first time.
Travel Insurance
  1. Take out a comprehensive Travel Insurance well in advance. Your policy should cover medical expenses in the event of illness, accident or hospitalization.
  2. Ensure that apart from medical expenses, you’re covered for cancellation & curtailment, legal expenses, loss of baggage & passport, loss of money and repatriation, sports equipment and personal liability.

Study UK Travel Information

  1. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office ( for information such as incidents of lawlessness, details of political unrest, health advice, natural disasters if any, anti-British demonstrations, epidemics and aircraft for all countries in the UK.
  2. You need a UK CITES permit to bring internationally protected endangered animals and plants and products made out of them to the UK.
  3. If you need to carry prescription medications, find out if you need a license to carry them to all countries in the UK.
  4. Check for restrictions on products you can bring into the UK, such as food and personal items.
  5. Also check for restricted allowances of alcohol, gifts and tobacco that you can bring to the UK. If you’ve not studied this before, speak to a UK Border Agency officer when you land in the UK.
  6. Find out where your country’s embassy offices are in the United Kingdom and register yourself if you plan to spend more than two months in the UK.

Take Precautions With Your Luggage

  1. Always hang on to your luggage in public areas, even in restrooms.
  2. Secure your luggage to prevent tampering by baggage handlers and place identifying markings on them.
  3. Place valuables in your carryon luggage and hang on to it at all times.
  4. If your luggage contains old airline destination tags, remove them before you travel to the UK.
  5. Don’t print your residential address on your luggage tags; that’ll be like telling some crook where your empty house stands. Place your business card instead, both in your luggage tag and within your bag.

Ensure Document Safety

  1. Make sure that you take copies of driver’s license, passport, travel documents, passport, medical documents and visas. Keep a copy with you and leave one with friends back home.
  2. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your expected date of return to your home country.
  3. Obtain all necessary visas, and keep at least two blank pages in your passport. If you don’t have enough blank pages, get a new passport.
  4. Make sure that you fill in the emergency contact information page of your passport before you leave your home country.
  5. Leave your passport in your hotel’s safe when you are out sightseeing. Keep a copy with you for verification if required.
  6. Take copies of the fronts and backs of your credit, debit and prepaid cards and traveler’s checks just in case you lose any of these.

Protect Your Money, Cards And Valuables

  1. Carry only as much cash as you need. Leave the rest of your cash and cards in your hotel’s safe along with your valuables.
  2. Don’t pull out a wad of cash to pay for small items. Carry small denominations with you in different pockets in your outfit.

Stay Safe

  1. Dress conservatively and try to blend in; don’t stand out in a crowd by wearing conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry.
  2. Always stay aware of what is going on around you and try to travel with company.
  3. Avoid using shortcuts, poorly lit streets and narrow alleys. Stick to main roads.
  4. Try to look confident; don’t carry maps and scowl at buildings, looking perplexed. You’ll stand out as a tourist.
  5. Understand the local lingo; a “lorry” is a truck, the “underground” or “tube” is a subway and a “boot” is a car trunk. You’ll stand out more like a tourist if you don’t understand local lingo.

Be Wary With Strangers

  1. Don’t be tempted by special deals thrown out by locals, especially if you have to follow them somewhere.
  2. Always refuse requests from strangers to deliver gifts or packages to their friends and families elsewhere.
  3. If any well-dressed, educated-looking people speaking your language fluently just happen to approach you, your antenna should go up. They could be front people for gangs who’ll try to pull you off the beaten track by offering goods at low prices.
  4. Do not leave your drinks unattended at any pub. Also don’t accept drinks from someone you don’t know well, just in case they’re laced with rape drugs or similar things.
  5. Even if you are used to it, don’t take any drugs or get involved with drug users in any countries. In some countries, drug misuse calls for heavy penalties, including the death penalty. Even if you are caught with a very small amount, you could end up staying in that country for a long time at the government’s expense.

Demonstrate Ethical Behavior

  1. Be honest with UK Border Agencies. Never provide any misleading or fake information; this includes fake documentation and receipts.
  2. Don’t import illegal drugs, counterfeit goods, indecent or obscene material such as pornography and offensive weapons including knives into the UK.
  3. If you are carrying sums of 10,000 Euros or above in any currency, you need to declare it at UK Border Agencies.
  4. Some countries in Europe drive on the left side of the road while some drive on the right. The same rules apply when you take the stairs, escalators or walk down streets.



1 Comment

  1. aimeerichardson, 4 years ago

    Great and Informative Post !! Buying a new Uk local sim would be better option instead of paying high roaming bills. Once I got a chance to visit London. I ordered a Sim card from a site called Prepaymania, the Sim was delivered to my address, the best part was that the SIM card was free, i just got charged £2.50 for shipping :-)

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