The United Kingdom is not one of the 75 largest countries in terms of area, but the UK is still one of the most notable countries in the world. Very few countries have the type of history that the United Kingdom does, which is why so many people want to visit. On a yearly basis, the UK is one of the world’s most-visited countries with around 36 million people making their way there.
Because of the number of tourists packed into such a small country, visiting the United Kingdom can get rather expensive, and that has caused a lot of people to not live out their dream of visiting. However, there are plenty of ways to save big on your UK trip. Let’s take a look at five essential tips for visiting the UK on a budget that can make your dream of visiting come true.
Choosing The Right Flight
There are over 40 airports in total throughout the United Kingdom, though some of them are going to be much cheaper than others. If you want the absolute cheapest flight, London Gatwick is going to be your best bet while Manchester and London Heathrow are the other two airports where you’ll spend less than $1,000 on average with a roundtrip ticket from the United States.
Out of all of the European countries to visit with a direct flight from the United States, the UK has the most options. New York City, Atlanta, and Chicago all of course fly directly to London, while other surprising cities like Raleigh (North Carolina), Orlando, and Las Vegas are also part of the list. To save the most money, try to visit the United Kingdom in February or March when prices are the cheapest of the year.
Use The Great Public Transportation
The United Kingdom offers plenty of great public transportation options whether you’re looking to stay in London or visit the entirety of the UK. London alone has underground (The Tube) and overground train options to go along with double-decker buses that are world famous. Fares are quite cheap, and you can either pay as you go or obtain a prepaid Travelcard that gets you around the city.
You won’t have to rent a car to get from one city to another, as well. The United Kingdom has one of the best railway systems in the world that connects all of the major cities while also stopping in some lesser-known towns. Getting from England to Wales and Scotland is a breeze thanks to the railway system. The furthest you can end up traveling is around 24 hours if you’re going from Georgemas at the northernmost point to Penzance at the southwesternmost point.
One of the biggest reasons why a lot of us want to visit the United Kingdom is because of its rich history. The UK has plenty of museums and attractions dedicated to its history, and offers passes for some of the more popular locations. One of these is the English Heritage Pass, which gives you access to more than 100 locations throughout the UK including Stonehenge and Dover Castle.
You can get a nine or 16-day pass with one adult costing £45-53 depending on the number of days. Two adults top out at £90 while an entire family costs just £100 for a 16-day full access pass. Other tremendous passes include the Scotland Explorer Pass which gives you access to Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, and the National Trust Touring Pass which gets you into plenty of great locations like Ham House, Castle Drogo, and Belton House to name a few.
Avoid The Fancy Restaurants
While the United Kingdom doesn’t get as much love for its cuisine compared to some of its European counterparts like Greece, Italy, or Spain, some of the best restaurants in the world are located in England. The super-expensive restaurants in cities like London will be easy to spot, and they tend to lure in tourists before hitting them with a massive bill.
When trying to save money on food, try to stick to ethnic restaurants that tend to have lower prices or even street food in the larger cities. Supermarket prices in the United Kingdom are comparable to those in the United States, so you can live like you normally would if you plan on staying for a while.
Have Fun At The Pubs
Outside of history, one of the big reasons why people like to go to the United Kingdom is to experience the culture, and the pub culture is big there. While certain pubs in London can end up costing an arm and a leg, more local pubs that don’t cater to tourists can end up being incredibly cheap.
British people aren’t likely to strike up a conversation with foreigners but can be very friendly after a few pints. Those local pubs can be a great way to learn peoples’ stories in the United Kingdom and have fun while not costing a fortune.