The UK is a great place to visit as it offers literally everything. Although an island, it features beautiful mountains and hills, glorious lakes, and plenty of natural wonders complemented by man-made ones.
If you want to explore the UK, there’s no better way than taking a road trip or travelling by train. There are numerous sights that you can travel to and do so at your preferred pace. With a travel budget and a plan, you’re on your way.
Here are our top considerations for planning that cross-country trip.
Choose your Destination
Remember that the “UK” refers to England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland and their political union. Select the principal spots you want to visit and plan your itinerary accordingly. When visiting England, most people will include the capital London. Day train trips will allow you to visit Stonehenge, Bath, Cambridge, and Oxford among others.
If you want to visit typically English villages look to the Cotswolds which include six counties. Cities may include Liverpool, York, or Bristol. Northumberland is another lovely county just to toss some ideas around. You’ll also want to determine where you want to visit in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Choose Your Travel Method
You’ll need to decide if you will be driving cross country and choose the vehicle or if you plan on using public transport or a combination of the two. If you travel in the warmer months, you may want to use a motorbike for the freedom it affords and the fact that parking places are easy to find.
Trains can be expensive if you do your entire trip, but it is possible if you want to enjoy the trip and leave the driving to someone else.
Pack a Light Suitcase
This may be one of the more challenging aspects of a cross-country trip, but you really don’t need everything you’d like to take with you. Clothing, electrical gadgets you can’t do without, and minimal toiletries. Many basic toiletries you’ll find in hotel rooms, or you can pick them up on the way. The same goes for food and snacks. Packing light means you’ll have more room and comfort in a vehicle and less to drag around on a train or bus.
Select the Right Accommodation for Your Needs
Avoid booking all your accommodations before you depart. You may want to book several in specific locations and opt for B&Bs or rooms in private homes along the way. Booking all your lodgings can create problems and ruin your trip if your schedule doesn’t stay on track due to unforeseen circumstances. You may waste money by booking and then not arriving. You should also make sure to do your research to only consider accommodations that are secure and offer fixed camera technology, especially if you need to leave valuables in your car or will be travelling in areas with higher crime rates or busy city centres.
Another consideration is to avoid booking places that are considerably far away from your planned itinerary. If you want to save some money, avoid staying in expensive city centres and opt for more affordably priced options along your travel route.
Respect Your Budget
Travelling in the UK can seem expensive and perhaps challenging when attempting to stay within the confines of your budget. Don’t leave things to chance or you will spend more. Decide your budget for accommodations as well as for visits to attractions. If you are driving remember fuel and toll costs and if you opt for trains, look for a pass rather than paying individual tickets. Allow yourself a margin for spending money. With the proper planning, you will enjoy yourself and not come home to bills.
Even if you have GPS or Google Maps, don’t rely totally on technology. A map in your backpack can save you if connections are lost or unreliable.
Familiarise Yourself with Road Signs and Rules
This is incredibly important if you are not from the UK. Rules are important, so if you will be driving, you need to know them before you begin your journey. You’ll find miles as opposed to kilometres and you may be driving on the other side of the road from what you are used to.
Be Prepared for the Weather
Before you leave, check the weather forecast and make sure you are equipped for inclement weather. Bad weather can complicate your journey especially if you are driving. The weather can also influence your choice of attractions to visit if they are principally outside. You won’t want to be exploring the great outdoors if it’s pouring down rain or worse. Even if the weather is nice when you depart, check what kind of weather is typical for the season and continue checking as you follow your itinerary.
Enjoy Your Cross-Country Adventure
When travelling with a group make sure you are all on the same page regarding how you travel and what you’d like to see. Maintain a certain amount of flexibility because you will not be able to control everything. The weather, traffic jams, accidents, train schedules, and unimaginable events can play havoc with your schedule and your itinerary. You may also discover something that you hadn’t planned on visiting to be intriguing and you may want to stop and visit. Often, it’s the surprises that define the trip. Enjoy!