In its entirety, the United Kingdom is about 94,000 square miles in size. Compared to Oregon, which is just under 96,000 square miles or Wyoming, just over 93,000 square miles, suffice to say, it’s small. But even with less ground to cover, it pays to be tech and financially savvy as a student, so we have put together our top five recommendations on travel sites to get you from Point A to B, or C and D and E, depending on your budget!
TripAdvisor UK is more like the US version of Yelp than the US version of TripAdvisor. It’s robust with over 500 million users searching 200 plus websites to get you the best hotel, food and activity deals out there. Reviews are honest, brutally so at times, but when you are on a student budget and a short time frame, you don’t want to be wasting valuable time and energy researching places when you could be out exploring them.
As their tag line suggests, it’s the ‘The Ultimate Transport App’. In London, the app gives you real time updates of bus lines, the Tube, the Overground trains, ferries and even bicycle share availability throughout the city. Manchester and Birmingham, the UK’s other biggest cities, are also covered as are major European cities like Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona and Berlin. There are a few North American cities too like Boston and Toronto if you want to test it before going abroad.
Uber (or any other ride sharing app)
While we always suggest walking, or taking public transit in the UK as the most sensible financial option and best way to get to know your new town or city, sometimes you just can’t be bothered (the British version of ‘I can’t even’). Getting a 5am discounted airline flight for £10 to Madrid but you have 2 bags and can’t be bothered to take the train? Get an Uber. Mom and Dad are visiting for the weekend and you aren’t entirely sure how many transfers on the train, or bus, or ferry, it will be to get them to their hotel? Get an Uber. Since it’s the same app as we have in North America, test it a few times before going abroad and you’ll be zipping around the UK like a proper local.
TimeOut is the best way to find out what’s going on for art and entertainment, food and drink, film, travel and more in your city. With versions worldwide, you can make the most of your weekend in Athens or Milan or week long holiday in Prague, or better yet, sign up for your local daily email to see what is happening in your own backyard for free or very low cost. Maximizing every minute of your time abroad is key when making the financial commitment to go abroad, so do yourself a favour, and do it up right!
After living and visiting London more than anywhere else in the world, there are times I look up while on a long city stroll and realize I’m lost, or say ‘hang on, didn’t this used to be a pub and now there are flats?’. Places like London and other major UK cities are literally reinventing themselves all the time. With little land to expand or develop, the Brits have gotten really good at using what they’ve got. If a shopping mall isn’t working out, it’ll get converted to apartments. If a pub goes under, a grocery store takes its place. And when the Olympics came through a few years ago, they built an entire village which is now luxury apartments and a free, public access swimming pool! The point is, don’t be ashamed you don’t know a city like the back of your hand, that’s the point of going abroad, to learn! So, carry a map, physical or on your phone, and don’t be afraid to ask for directions.
Now you have the apps and sites you need to venture abroad in the UK, it’s time to get your application set up! Make the most of Across The Pond’s free expert help by filling out our simple form here.