Your flights are booked and your bed-and-breakfast reservations are confirmed for your trip to the United Kingdom. Whether you’ve planned this trip for years or on a whim, you’ll want to make sure that your vacation is covered in the event that something goes wrong — That’s where travel insurance comes in! In the following, we’ll review what travel insurance you may need for your trip as well as the potential cost. Then we’ll give you some of our best travel tips to make sure that you get the most out of your stay in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland!
Travel Insurance for UK Trips
Planning a trip to the UK takes time, preparation, and usually quite a bit of money. Odds are you’ve invested a pretty penny in making sure everything is taken care of. One of the things that most people forget about, though, is trip insurance. Unless you’re a fortune teller, there’s no way you can know whether you’ll encounter problems like a medical emergency or a complete trip cancellation. Your best defense to protect yourself and your travel investment is by getting travel insurance.
Do I Need Insurance to Travel to the UK?
While you don’t need travel insurance to visit the UK, it’s in your best interest to do so, as travel insurance protects you from a variety of situations that you may encounter while you’re abroad.
Unforeseen circumstances can arise before you even leave, forcing you to have to cancel your trip and lose out on a lot of money that you’ve invested with no way of getting it back. Also, if something happens while you’re away and you need to shorten your trip, you’ll need help getting back home, as well as compensation for the parts of your trip you will now miss. And so, your best bet is to purchase travel insurance coverage that’ll back you up when your plans are impacted.
Travel insurance can, of course, cover you in the event of medical emergencies or injuries. And in the case that you need to interrupt your trip and get home quickly due to a covered reason , you’ll thank yourself for having a Plan B in place. You can take the chance that everything will be fine and nothing will happen, but if it does, you’ll be out of luck and paying out of pocket.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for My UK Trip?
The cost of travel insurance for your trip to the United Kingdom depends on the policy you choose and your needs. Estimates can range anywhere from 3-4% of the total cost of your trip for basic coverage and up to 10-15% for premium coverage. There are a variety of variables that you need to take into consideration including trip length, coverage options, age and number of people in your party, and the cost of your trip. If a member of your party has a medical condition that may flare up while you’re away, that is also a consideration.
The cost can vary from provider to provider even with the same coverage options. The best way to make sure you are getting the best deal for travel insurance with the coverage you need is to compare quotes.
You can use our simple comparison tool to analyze quotes from several travel insurance providers and buy the right one for you online. Comparing prices ensures that you find the best possible coverage for your needs at a price that fits your budget. And of course, buying insurance gives you peace of mind, which is absolutely priceless!
Now that you’ve got your travel insurance locked down, it’s time for the fun part, which is planning your UK travel itinerary! We’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind while planning that’ll ensure you get the most out of your trip. From money to packing, to authentic experiences and more, here are some of our top tips to promote a smooth (and fun!) trip from beginning to end.
Money: Currency & Tipping
The official currency of the UK is the Pound Sterling. You should definitely exchange a bit of money before you leave because doing so once you arrive will require some hefty fees. You don’t need too much though, especially if you have an ATM card or credit card. It’s nice to have a bit of cash-on-hand. Most places in the UK take cards with a “chip and pin.”
To prepare, make sure that your card has a chip function and that you know your pin number. It’s also a good idea to let your financial institution know that you’re traveling abroad so that they don’t flag and suspend your account for fraud!
Tipping, unlike in the United States, is customary but discretionary in the UK. Tipping for service after a nice meal at a restaurant is encouraged but not required, and is usually around 10-15%. Check to see if they’ve added gratuity to your bill before you lay down an extra tip, though. Other instances where you should leave a tip are in taxis or mini-cabs. However, note that it’s unusual to tip in bars and pubs.
What to Pack for Your Visit & Weather Conditions
The running joke for a lot of residents in the UK is that you can go through all 4 seasons in the same day! You’ll want to make sure that you pack items that you can layer up for when it gets colder. To give you a general idea, the UK experiences summer weather in May and September, while December through February is cold and rainy. In the months between, you’ll find cool temperatures with a mix of rain and sun. Of course, comfortable walking shoes are always a good idea, especially if you’re in the cities of London or Edinburgh where cobblestone streets can easily trip you up.
When you’re in the United Kingdom, the best way to get the most immersive experience is to do what the locals do. Take the Tube, London’s central transportation system, and make sure you stay to the right when riding up and down the escalators and to “mind the gap.” This refers to the space between the train and the platform which is sometimes very wide due to the age of the stations.
Jump on one of the iconic red double decker buses and travel outside of central London to experience the suburbs and smaller countryside villages. Get Fish and Chips from a street vendor, wrapped in newspaper, or have a proper English tea time with a good cuppa, scones, and clotted cream!
In Wales, head to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the town with the longest name in Europe. Try to learn how to pronounce it while enjoying a welsh cake! When you’re in Scotland and feeling adventurous, try haggis and check out the Highland games. Jump on a quick ferry over the Irish Sea to Belfast, or visit St. George’s Market, which is one of the last Victorian markets in existence that includes over 250 stalls selling goods from generational family businesses. The opportunities are endless, so don’t be afraid to venture outside of your comfort zone!
Popular Destinations in the UK
Planning your travel itinerary to the UK can be daunting because there’s so much to see and do in all four countries. To help you narrow it down, we’ve put together a list of the top most popular destinations in the UK, as well as a few less popular yet spectacular places to visit.
Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in the UK
- London, England
- Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Liverpool, England
- Stonehenge, England
- Cardiff, Wales
- Windsor, England
- Glasgow, Scotland
- Cambridge & Oxford, England
- Stratford-Upon-Avon, England
Top 5 Unique Places to Visit in the UK
- Isle of Man
- Llyn Y Fan Fach, Wales
- Cornwall, England
- Cotswold, England
- Stirling, Scotland