Planning a British vacation can be exciting, but it can also be confusing. For many people, this will be their dream vacation that they have saved long and hard for or that will celebrate an important event like a wedding or anniversary. So it really does pay to plan carefully and do your research to make sure that your trip is perfect.
Before you start booking flights and hotels, first think about what type of traveler you are. Do you want to have all the details planned and take care of in advance by an expert so that you don’t have to worry about it or would you prefer to plan your British vacation in great detail by yourself.? Or maybe you are somewhere in between?
The type of vacation that you choose depends on a few different things:
- Do you you want to plan your own itinerary or want an expert to plan it for you based on your criteria?
- Do you want the services of a professional, local guide during your trip or you would prefer to explore on your own?
- How much money have you budgeted for your trip?
If you want everything planned out for you and you would like to have the services of a professional guide with local knowledge, you should opt for an Escorted Tour. Hotels, flights and transport during your vacation will be arranged and booked in advance. With some tour operators, you can even create a custom itinerary to suit your party. The tour operator will provide a guide who will be available for the entire duration of your trip to give advice, ideas and assistance. There are also themed tours available. You may prefer to take a history themed tour or a golf themed tour. You can even take a Harry Potter themed vacation. This is the most expensive option so its is perfect for special occasions and for the traveler who wants plenty of luxury and all the bells and whistles!
If you are on a budget, the best choice is to book a flight hotel package. Many of the major online travel sites offer these packages for much less than booking separately and you can usually include a rental car (although I would not recommend a car for a London trip. Public transport is easier and faster than driving in London). You will have to plan your own itinerary and arrange your own transport., including transfers from the airport to your hotel. Large hotels close to the airport may offer a complimentary airport shuttle service. There is plenty of information available on the web to help you plan which attractions you will visit and how you will get there, both before you leave and during your trip. Try [http://www.visitbritain.us] as a starting point.
For independent minded and adventurous travelers, you can decide to just book a flight and your first night accommodation and make further arrangements when you arrive. This allows you to be completely flexible and explore wherever the mood takes you. Many people prefer the peace of mind in knowing where they will lay their head each night before they go, but this can be a very rewarding way to travel, especially for single travelers and couples. There are tourist information offices in all major towns and cities in Britain and also in smaller places that are popular with tourists. They can offer advice on everything from directions, to hotel book services, restaurant recommendations and information on local attractions.
Always use the internet to do your research when you are planning a British vacation. That way, you can be sure that you know what places you want to visit before you go so you don’t miss anything. Britain has so much to offer visitors that it will be tough to choose!
Us citizens don’t need much paperwork to travel to Britain on vacation. Although everyone who does not have the right to reside in the UK requires a visa to enter the country, for US citizens, this simple means getting a stamp in your passport at immigration in the airport when you arrive. You will be asked a few questions at immigration about the purpose of your stay and for most people this will take less than minute. Make sure that you know the name and address of your hotel in case the officer asks you where you will be staying. The stamp lasts for six months or until you leave the UK to return home. Don’t forget to make sure that your US passport is up to date and will not expire before you trip. If you need to renew or apply for a passport, its safest and cheapest to apply 2 months in advance. You can pay for expedited processing but it can be expensive.
Although the weather in Britain is not as terrible as it’s reputation suggests, you should still pack a couple of sweaters, some light waterproofs and an umbrella, even for summer visits. Hopefully you won’t need them but it always pays to be prepared! You should also make sure that you purchase travel and trip cancellation insurance. Britain does not have many natural disasters that can interrupt a vacation, but you or a member of your party may become ill or some other unforeseen event could keep you from traveling and you could lose most of the cost of your vacation. Travel insurance should also cover your medical expenses should you be ill or have an accident while you are in the UK. Emergency treatment is free for everyone, but non-emergency treatment must be paid for if you are not a UK citizen.