Travel Tips To UK
The following is a list of useful information about travel to the UK.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
In England the dress code is smart casual! Remember, less is more when packing. Packing light is a smart choice. Keep in mind that the weather in the UK can vary day to day. You should bring a variety of sensible layers to add or remove according to the temperature. Some essentials we suggest:
Walking shoes, sneakers or water-resistant hiking boots
Wind and waterproof jacket, hat or cap
Personal medications and prescription eyeglasses
Calculator or currency converter - if you have a smart phone, there’s an app for that
Camera or smart phone with charger, and plugs and converters
Passport and money
A copy of the picture page of your passport – If you're travelling with Tina, she will keep a copy separate from your passport
ALL travelers (regardless of nationality) must carry a passport, valid for at least six (6) months after your intended return date to your home country. Two pages must be available for the entry stamp. If you hold a passport with an expiration date less than six (6) months after your return date, you must renew your passport prior to departure.
If you are not a U.S. Citizen, your National Consulate or Embassy can answer any questions you may have regarding the individual travel documents required. You can find a worldwide index of Embassies for Peru via the web at: http://www.embassyworld.com.
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WILL BE EXTENDING YOUR TRIP TO ANOTHER COUNTRY, YOU SHOULD CHECK WITH THE CONSULATE OF THAT COUNTRY TO ESTABLISH IF A VISA OR ANY ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION WILL BE REQUIRED.
AIRPORT CHECK IN
Strict security measures at the airport may impact your travel plans and cause delays, which is why it is important that you allow plenty of time to get to the airport and check in at least three (3) hours prior to your flight’s departure time. Due to constant changes of flight schedules, it is highly recommended that you confirm your flight’s status before you leave for the airport.
Please take note of the check-in policies, carry-on restrictions and airport security rules that may impact your travel plans. Due to the fact that these security measures change regularly, we suggest that you visit the following website for the most up-to-date information: http://www.tsa.gov.
PLEASE NOTE: THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION REQUIRES AIRLINES TO SOLICIT EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION FOR U.S. PASSENGERS TRAVELING INTERNATIONALLY. PLEASE BE PREPARED TO GIVE AN EMERGENCY CONTACT NAME AND TELEPHONE NUMBER UPON CHECK IN.
You are permitted to carry one item of hand baggage (max 22 lbs. - 22x14x9 in. or 56x3x23 cm) in addition to one small personal item onboard the aircraft. Your personal item (e.g. small handbag or laptop case) must fit comfortably under the seat in front of you.
Passengers with more than one carry-on, plus a personal item will be required to check the additional luggage. Be sure to pack the essentials in your carry-on bag, such as your airline tickets, passport, a light change of clothing, any valuables, medications, toiletries, and perhaps a book or a snack.
Although regulations have recently changed, the TSA still recommends that sharp objects be placed in your checked luggage. It’s not just the obvious items, but includes such innocuous items as razors for shaving, nail files, Swiss army knives, and corkscrews. Lighters and matches, or any type of scissors (e.g., from a sewing kit or first aid kit) should also be packed in your checked luggage.
Additionally, liquids and gels are forbidden as carry-on items unless they are under three (3) ounces and declared by showing them in a plastic, one-quart bag. A few exceptions to this rule apply and include diabetic glucose medications such as insulin, baby formula, and prescription liquid medications labeled with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket. These items must be declared to the transportation security officers at the security checkpoint. Beverages and other items purchased in the secure boarding area may be brought onto the aircraft.
Laptop computers must still be screened separately at the security checkpoint, but will be allowed on board the aircraft.
Usually included in the airfare is 1 pieces of checked baggage (max 50 lbs. or 23kgs per piece) per person at no additional charge. The total circumference (L+H+W) must not exceed 62 in. or 158cm Charges will apply for additional bags. Please check with your carrier regarding their rules for checked baggage. Luggage will be checked through to your final destination airport on the way out. Check when you check in what you need to do when flying back in to the USA
In the event that one of your bags goes astray, you’ll want to file a Baggage Claim Report before passing through customs at the airport.
In September, England will be 5 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time. If it’s 5:00 p.m. on September 20 in UK, it is noon in New York city.
Phone: Private mobile phones can be used in England although reception may vary, and charges may be high. If you plan to use your cell phone be sure to confirm with your wireless provider that you have an international calling plan and advise them that you will be traveling to the UK. We suggest you use FB messaging, email or whatsapp calls to communicate with friends, family and work back home utilizing free Wi-Fi at your place of stay.
(In remote locations (like the farmhouse where you'll stay if you travel with Tina), we don’t encourage downloading/playing video as the connection is not that strong and it will prevent other guests from using basic services.
If family and friends need to contact you during the program you can be reached by calling your mobile in the normal way – but they will also incur international charges.
Internet: There is free Wi-Fi available at the farmhouse and in some public areas when we are traveling to connect laptops, mobile phones, etc. Be aware that reception may be intermittent and internet and Wi-Fi cannot be guaranteed.
In September England will have pleasant but variable weather. September often sees a month of Indian Summer but showers are always possible. Average daily temperatures reach 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit. In the evenings, it can drop to 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Nights can be chilly so pack a sweater or light jacket.
England has 220 volts, (North America operates at 110-120 volts and the electricity is generated at 60 Hertz). Electric appliances use UK-style 3-pin plugs for which an adapter is required. If you need an adapter/converter, please bring your own with you.
Important: If your home supply is 110 volts and your electrical equipment does not have a 110/220 or 110/240 switch on it, you will need to get a voltage converter to step the UK 220 volts down to 110 volts. These are best purchased in your home country as electrical supply stores in UK do not usually sell adapters. You can buy these from the US airport before you leave. Electronics you should check are your phone charger, camera chargers, electric tooth brush, traveling clothes irons, hair curlers, shavers, hair dryers, laptop chargers etc. Many of these devices are “dual” voltage meaning they operate either at 110v or 220/240v. There should be a label on the appliance advising that it is capable of dual voltage, (if not or in doubt don’t use it).
FOOD IN UK
The food in England is varied, natural and delicious! Many vegetarian and Gluten Free options are available on request. Additionally, local baked goods and pastries, cheeses, lamb, British Indian Curry and fish or meat pie and chips are all widely available. Special diets, (e.g. vegetarian) may be accommodated if requested in good time.
WATER SAFETY & DRINKS
Tap water is completely safe in the UK. You may want to take bottled water out with you, especially if you go walking. In the towns there are many cafes who serve tea and coffee. If you’d like ice in your drinks you must ask as drinks don’t usually come with ice. When ordering tea you will be served English Breakfast Tea served hot with milk. Ice tea isn’t generally available (except at McDonalds maybe)
FOR YOUR PROTECTION
Remember, neither the airlines nor the farmhouse will take responsibility for lost or stolen valuables. We suggest that you simply not bring valuables, such as expensive jewelry, with you. If you feel you need to, pack them in your carry-on bag and when you arrive they can be stored in your room’s safely. While touring or shopping leave your passport and the bulk of your money in the room. Take with you only the money you intend to spend. Carry a copy of the picture page of your passport with you as you may need it in case your passport is lost. If traveling on the London Underground, please keep valuables close and gentlemen, please keep wallets in front pockets to avoid pick-pockets.
In England you know the language already but you may get caught out as British English and American English is subtlety different – its part of the charm – but you may not get exactly what you think – Tina will be on hand to guide you if necessary
SHOPPING IN ENGLAND
England has a variety of shops to choose from. Mostly taking credit cards. In the UK they have Chip and Pin – so if you know your pin number that is the preferred way to use the card. If you don’t know your pin number you will be asked to sign. If you have no chip, you will also be asked to sign. Make sure you inform your credit card company the dates you will be in the UK so they know and don’t limit your usage. Credit card and debit cards can also be used in ATM (know as cash points). These are either holes in the wall as you walk along the street or in the actual bank – no drive up. Cash can be withdrawn in this way as you go through your trip. You will be charged the exchange rate applicable on that day.
Shops are open from 9am - 5pm - late night opening is not the norm in the UK. Some shops close on Wednesdays in smaller towns and some don't open Sunday. Independent public houses (pubs) tend to close in the afternoon between lunch and dinner.
Upon Departing for UK: If you have just bought a new and expensive digital camera, camcorder, watch, laptop computer or similar item, it will be worth your while to stop at the Customs Office at your international departure airport and register these items. It usually does not take much time and will save you from the possibility of delays and/or having to pay duty on these items on the return home.
Returning from UK: Per the norm, you will need to declare everything that you may have bought in UK or did not take with you when you left your home country. Of course, how much you will be permitted to bring home under “duty free” status varies by country and is often determined by the length of your trip. For those traveling from outside of the United States, it is wise to confirm details with the Customs personnel at your departure airport or contact your local Consulate prior to your departure.
The official currency of UK is the Pound (GBP), divided into 100 pennies. There are 1, 2, 5,10, 20 and 50 pence and 1 pound coins and 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 banknotes.
Currency Exchange: Currency can be exchanged at banks, and travel currency exchange offices in the airport. It’s advisable to bring some GBP with you if you want to buy refreshments/incidentals as you land or want to pay the driver by cash. Then you have a little money on you for emergencies. Or you can use your debit or credit card and withdraw cash (fees and exchange rates apply) from a ATM - known in the UK as a Cash Point or hole in the wall - are always found on the high street at the bank and in some pubs. You wont find any drive up ATM's in the UK.
Traveler’s Checks: We don’t actually recommend using travelers checks as debit and credit cards can be used.
Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard, Diners Club and American Express credit cards are widely accepted throughout UK at larger shops. Many of the small craft stalls or markets only accept cash. When you receive your monthly credit card statement it will show the converted costs and will reflect the rate of exchange at the time of your purchase. Please be aware that in most cases, an extra fee for converting from foreign currency will be added to your credit card.
PLEASE NOTE: IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW TO TAKE CASH ADVANCES OUT ON YOUR CREDIT CARD PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE.
ATM Transactions: ATM machines can be found adjacent to many banks and near busy public places, such as airports, train stations and in shopping centers. You can withdraw cash using major credit cards or Cirrus, Visa Electron or Plus debit cards with a 4-digit PIN. Banking fees for ATM withdrawals and foreign transactions vary widely, so please check the rates with your bank(s).
Tips vary in UK depending on the level of service rendered and are not expected – only tip if you’ve had good service. 10% is the norm. Gratuities for all of our group meals are included in the package price.
Travel insurance offers coverage for unforeseen problems, from a cancelled flight to a serious illness—or in rare cases, even an act of terrorism or the financial default of a travel supplier. If you miss a travel connection, even for reasons beyond your control, you are NOT necessarily protected from financial loss unless you have travel insurance. In order for us to obtain your travel insurance we will require names and ages of each person travelling. Travel insurance is included and details will be sent to you prior to the trip.
If you have any questions prior to traveling email Tina