It is fun to travel to a new country, but it is also a bit stressful. Whether you are there on a short trip or for any other purpose, it is better to know what you can and cannot do, and how you should behave while staying there.
The United Kingdom is one such country that takes certain things very seriously, and the fact that you are a foreigner may not be a good enough excuse if you mess it up.
So without further ado, here are 5 of the most important things you should keep in mind while traveling to the UK.
#1 Check the local weather before going outdoors
The United Kingdom is quite well-known for its wet weather conditions. It rains there so often, that a sunny day is considered somewhat of a vacation day for the locals. For people unaware of the UK’s gloomy weather, plans can go horribly wrong. One bad judgment call and your entire trip can get ruined.
Learn about how the seasons over there work, and during which time of the year you can avoid rainy conditions. Plus, once you reach the UK, check the weather forecasts regularly, especially the day before you have plans to go somewhere.
You can get weather updates from the news or any weather app. ClimaCell's site is very easy to use for this purpose. You can keep yourself updated on the latest forecasts so that you can prepare yourself properly.
Knowing about the weather beforehand will also help you with your packing. And as you can tell from this little discussion so far, a raincoat or an umbrella is a must-carry item.
#2 Drive on the left
In the United Kingdom, people drive on the left side of the road. It is something that has been a part of their traffic system for generations.
People who travel there for the first time are often baffled by this, which is natural. In most countries of the world, including the United States, everyone is used to driving on the right. So when they are exposed to the British way of driving, it is likely that they will be a bit amazed at first.
The steering wheel is also located on the right side of the car. Everything might seem a bit disoriented at first, but you will get over it soon.
Of course, if you do not plan on driving in the first place, you need not worry about it. Public transportation in the UK is very accessible and easy to avail.
#3 Remember, the UK and England are NOT the same
Referring to the UK, England, and Great Britain as the same place is not at all correct. There are major differences between these names, and it is best to be aware of them.
England, Wales, and Scotland are countries that reside on the island of Great Britain. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, is a union. Under it, is Northern Ireland and Great Britain. The Republic of Ireland, however, is a separate country in that region but not part of the UK.
Most importantly, London is the capital of England and not the United Kingdom.
#4 Don’t just stay in London
The capital of England is the center for some of the finest facilities and infrastructures you will ever see. However, London is not a representation of the whole of England or Britain. For a more vivid experience of the UK, you should travel away from the capital.
There are plenty of beautiful places to visit in the UK that are not London. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Lake District are just some of the many wonderful places that you can enjoy visiting. You can also go and visit Stonehenge, which is just around 90 miles west of central London and is quite an affordable trip.
#5 Be polite to everyone you meet
The United Kingdom is the land of the gentlemen. And while they do not roam around dressed in black coats, trousers, and hats, they like to maintain certain politeness in their appearance and attitude. British etiquette is something that you need to be aware of if you plan on visiting the land.
While staying in the UK, you will come across a variety of accents. It is okay if you do not understand certain pronunciations, but do not attempt to mimic them. They might take it as mockery. Besides, it is standard decency to not make fun of a person's accent or appearance. Respect their culture as well. If you do not like anything about it, you should keep it to yourself.
By ensuring all this, you can enjoy a pleasant trip to the United Kingdom with no problem at all.