Exploring the UK and Ireland: Tips for First-Time Visitors

Are your clients dreaming of wandering through historic castles, savouring a pint in a cosy Irish pub, or seeing for themselves many of the iconic sights and vistas the UK and Ireland has to offer? Embarking on a journey to these destinations for the first time is an exciting experience filled with anticipation. Having a local DMC, such as Best of Scotland Holidays, create a programme for your clients will certainly make things all the more smooth as they have the local knowledge and all should offer an out-of-hours emergency support service, should an issue arise.

Additionally, we have compiled some tips for sharing with your clients who are visiting for the first time.

1: Travel Documents and Visa Requirements

Before packing your bags, ensure you have all the necessary travel documents in order. Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter the UK and Ireland. Check the visa requirements well in advance and apply accordingly to avoid any last-minute hassles. Republic of Ireland requires a separate visa to that of the UK.

2: Currency and Money Matters

Both the UK and Ireland have their own currencies – pounds sterling (£) in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and euros (€) for the Republic of Ireland. Familiarise yourself with the current exchange rates and consider carrying a mix of cash and cards for convenience. Inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with using your cards abroad. Although cash and cards can both generally be used, there has been a rise in the number of vendors only taking cards, so useful to have access to both methods of payment.    

3. Climate and Packing Essentials

The weather in the UK and Ireland can be unpredictable, so be prepared for the potential of four seasons in one day! Pack layers, waterproof clothing, comfortable shoes for exploring, and don’t forget an umbrella or raincoat. Regardless of the season, it’s always wise to pack an extra sweater or jacket.  When the sun does shine it can be glorious, but also hot, so be prepared with sun protection also. Make sure to bring plug adapters for your electrical devices and a reminder that the UK is 230v.

4. Cultural Etiquette and Customs

The British and Irish are known for their friendliness and hospitality, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with locals wherever you are. If you happen to find yourself on the island of Islay you will find all passing (local) vehicle drivers waving at you! When visiting religious landmarks or some historical sites, observe any rules or guidelines in place. For golfers note there may be a dress code in some of the private clubs, both for playing courses and visiting clubhouses.

5. Getting Around

For many visitors to the UK on a self-drive tour this will mean driving on the left (wrong!) side of the road, however it won’t take you long to get the hang of it. Some key items to remember:

Speed is in mph not km/h.

Make sure you have requested the correct car seats for any infants and children travelling with the party.

The Drink Driving limit in the UK is very low, with Scotland having a zero-tolerance policy.

Additional information can be found here.

6. Health and Safety Precautions

Before travelling, ensure you have adequate travel insurance coverage that includes medical emergencies. Carry any necessary medications in hand luggage, and familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and healthcare facilities in the area. While the UK and Ireland are generally safe destinations, it’s always wise to exercise caution and stay vigilant, especially in crowded tourist areas.

7. Embrace the Adventure

Above all, embrace the spirit of adventure and immerse yourself fully in the unique charm of the UK and Ireland. Whether you’re exploring bustling cities, serene countryside, or rugged coastlines, every moment promises to be an unforgettable experience – so pack your bags and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

Related Blogs