UK Trip 2014 – Planning

going-to-london

I’m so excited that I am planning my trip to UK! I’ve always wanted to visit UK, it feels like a dream becoming true!

First thing first, Matt “educated” me with the Youtube video below on the differences between UK, England and the Great Britain. It turned out that UK = United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The fact that I’m only going to Britain + Scotland + Wales (if I have time), not Ireland, I should really tell people that I’m going to England, not UK. Watch the Youtube video, it’s pretty fun!

1. Hotels

I find booking.com a good source to start with and I booked most of my stays for this trip using this site. I like the fact that booking.com allows me to:

  • add bookings to my ical
  • add bookings to passbook
  • give me directions to the booked locations

booking.com also had a few more choices than expedia.com

Always check with Tripadvisor.com for reviews and “real” photos before make the booking!

To read up on the local area where you are staying, I use Street Check UK (a very useful site).

2. Transport

A few people told me that for long train trips, one must book as early as one can. I booked return train ticket from London to Edinburgh a few weeks before travel date for 80£* – I’ve been told that price was very cheap!

I recommend walking when traveling in London. If needs to, take the iconic double decker bus or get on the Tube. Here is a map for the Tube, it’s easy to use and worry free. Pre-order an Oyster Card can save you time and money when using the Tube.

3. Wifi

I only purchase data packs when I’m overseas and if I need to make phone calls, I would use Skype credits. It’s cheaper too. Most decent accommodations will offer free wifi these days so I can check email, backup photos, make FaceTime or Skype to Skype calls.

I carry a wifi device that connects 5 devices. My wifi device is not locked down to any telecommunication company so any SIM card would work with it, but it also means that I need to update its APN settings when I’m in a different country before I can use it. APN settings for vodafone.co.uk is:
APN : wap.vodafone.co.uk
Username: wap
Password: wap

4.Roaming

I do not use international mobile roaming services but for your information, here are Optus‘s rates for United Arab Emirates (collected at June 2014):

  • calls to Aus = $2.00/min to make & receive,
  • calls within United Arab Emirates = $2.00/min to make & receive,
  • SMS = $1.00 per SMS to send & free to receive, data = $1.00/MB.
  • Check your balance for free: call 555 or SMS ‘Bal’ to 9999.
  • To recharge: call 555. More info at optus.com.au/travel.
  • To stop roaming while overseas free call +61280825678 from an Optus mobile.

Finally, if this is your first time in UK, even though you speak English well, the following might still be helpful:

* how to type £ on Mac? Option + 3 😮

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6 Replies to “UK Trip 2014 – Planning”

  1. Hey Hua,
    Pretty cool. Don’t know if I’m a big fan off the floating twitter and bookface buttons. You’re going to love the UK. Brighton is great. If you are in the mood for Italian check out Donatellos. MM MM yum yum

    Like

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