It’s always fun when your friends come to visit you. You get to show them around, have fun, and generally help them out by taking a huge budget factor out of the equation. If your friend is from America, however, then even with an offer of a couch while they were here isn’t enough to offset the high costs of travel. What you can do, however, is help them plan out everything that they need to make their first visit to the UK a great one:
What They Need to Travel to the UK
Everyone needs a few things when they travel to the UK, and although Americans do not need a visa to enter the UK border, they do need:
1. A Valid Passport
Valid passports are necessary for travel, and in most cases just remembering to bring it with you is all you need to do. If your passport is about to expire, is expired, or you do not have one, however, then you need to plan in advance. This includes saving up for and paying the passport fee and ensuring you do this with enough time to get your passport back to you before your flight. As soon as you two start to plan their visit, you will want to learn more about the process and what they need to do.
2. A Return Plane Ticket
Though not absolutely necessary, it will make things a lot easier at customs if they have a designated time for when they intend to leave the country. This could either be a return plane ticket or a ticket via the Eurostar to see a bit of France before they had back home.
On the landing card, you need to state what your contact address will be in the UK when you are visiting. As they are likely staying with you, you will need to give them your address to write down.
How to Help Them Minimize Costs
To help them minimize costs, there are few strategies to play:
Set Up Alerts for Transportation Deals
It will always be easier for you to find out about, say, train ticket sales. Simply keep an eye out for these sales or set up a specific alert so that when you know, you can let your friend know. Doing this means they can easily hop on over to Paris for £30 each way, improving the quality of the trip and making the flight worth it.
If you plan on traveling to the United States soon, then you two can easily work out a deal where they give you money in American dollars, and you give them the equivalent back in British Pounds. This way you don’t have to waste money on transfer fees or in the exchange rate. If this isn’t an option, then help them find the best way to convert their currency.
Order Them a Pay-As-You-Go SIM
Though Pay-As-You-Go SIM cards can be as easy as heading to the local shop to get, they often aren’t the best deals. By ordering them a SIM card in advance, you can help them stay connected for a very affordable monthly rate.
Traveling overseas is a big deal, so help encourage your friend to come over and help them spend less while doing it by following these steps.