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6 tips for UK Day Trips

Clara McCourt
May 30, 2023

During my first two weeks abroad, I have been loving the fast-paced city life that London has to offer. However, I am also excited to explore the British countryside. England has many must-see spots easily accessible from the train, but actually getting there — and enjoying yourself — takes a bit more effort than just tapping a transit card. Here’s some of my tips for a perfect (and stress-free!) UK day trip.

1. Organize

If you’re like me, you can’t just begin a day with no plans. I’m the type of person to lay out my entire outfit the night before — at the risk of digging through my entire closet at 11 p.m. But even if you aren’t Type A like me, I  definitely recommend going into the day with some form of a plan. Researching your destination is as easy as a five-minute Google search — pick a few spots to visit, find a place to eat, and find pictures to orient yourself before heading off to your new place. It should save you some stress upon arrival, and will also help you have fun in the future.

2. Bring Friends

If you’re going far outside of the city, it can be fun to bring friends along with you. Bringing along someone else can add a whole new perspective to your day — a friend will always know something you don’t or have a new and exciting idea to do something new. One of my best friends from school is also on my Dialogue of Civilizations, and we’ve become great travel buddies beyond Boston. Trips like these bring us closer together, and we have created so many great memories to bring back to Boston. If you need someone to chat with on the train or are more comfortable making a reservation for two, I’d highly recommend bringing a friend (or acquaintance you’d like to know better!)

3. Pack The Essentials

London has it all — there are shops on every corner, but traveling can get costly quickly. I’d recommend packing a small bag with snacks, a drink, and a portable charger. You won’t always want to end up spending five dollars on water or stopping for a quick bite before your train arrives in twenty minutes. While you also don’t want to be weighed down by your load, a few essentials can be your saving grace while walking around on your day trip.

4. Dress For Comfort

People in the UK are sharp dressers, and a good outfit can make you feel confident. It’s easy to want to look good for photos, but I’d advise to dress on the comfortable side. Most importantly, opt for comfortable walking shoes. You will never regret a comfortable sneaker. You WILL regret aching feet after five minutes into your trip. In the UK, I have walked more than I ever had in my life — I average 20,000 steps per day. Stay on the safe side and dress comfortably while also showcasing your unique fashion.

5. Transportation

Figure out how to get to your destination before aimlessly wandering into a train station. The London Underground (and Overground, which functions like a commuter rail) is easy to navigate, and there are resources to make it even easier. Many NU London staff also recommend the app Citymapper — it creates train routes for you for anywhere around and outside of the city. This app has been my lifeline during my travels, and has helped me get my head around transport anywhere I go.

6. Enjoy The Moment

The real souvenir is going to be the memories from your trip. Take your time experiencing each new place you visit!