Traveling To Europe? Remember The Rules Of The Road!
International travel is an exciting way to broaden your family’s horizons, learn about new cultures and dive into new cuisines. One of the most popular destinations is Europe, with the United Kingdom being a particular favorite. After all, not only do you and your family get to travel to a new foreign destination, but you can leave the phrasebook at home and easily communicate with the locals. The only problem? The whole “wrong side of the road” thing.
While this charming difference can be interesting at first, it also poses a huge accident risk for tourists with little to no experience with it. Is it possible to explore the UK without getting behind the wheel?
Just Left Of Center
Getting into an accident on vacation because you’re unfamiliar with the local rules of the road is actually more common than you might think. Worldwide, it’s estimated that up to 25,000 people per year are in accidents while traveling abroad on holiday [Source: Advanced Drivers of America]. Getting out and seeing the United Kingdom doesn’t have to impede on your family’s safety. In fact, the transportation system in the UK is actually so robust, many citizens do not even own a car. If you’re looking to get the most out of your visit, looking for alternative transportation is one of the cheapest and safest things you can do.
Book An airport shuttle
As most guidebooks will tell you, hiring a taxi from the airport is extremely expensive in the United Kingdom. Those who are looking to save money and arrive at their hotel safely can look into pre-booked shuttle services which operate from most major UK airports. These can be arranged to take you to nearly anywhere you want to go, even destinations further afield. Additionally, your family can oftentimes take advantage of great discounts when you book on the web. Visiting websites like Shuttle Direct can help answer questions about how to book a shuttle service and schedule for particular areas.
Use “The Tube”
London is home to one of the best, safest and cleanest transportation networks in the world, and learning to use it is actually easy. If you are planning on being in town for a certain length of time, look into purchasing a travel card for the weekend or week, which will allow you to use the Underground network, buses and trains within the zones you purchase it for as much as you like. Ask your hotel or guest residence where the closest tube is, or if there is a particular bus line to use. The kids will surely get a kick out of riding The Tube!
Investigate Trains And Buses Between Cities
Visiting any city in Great Britain is easy, cheap and convenient with their reliable rail network. If you can, look to book your tickets early to find the best family deals. There are even overnight “sleeper trains” that you can take for longer distances to Scotland, as well as trains that can connect you to ferries to take you to Ireland or France.
Check Out Local Transportation Offerings
Every city in the UK, even the smallest and most quaint villages, have some sort of local transportation to get people around. Buses and trains usually run on schedules, so be sure to look for local information before you set off on your journey. Drivers on public buses are generally quite friendly, so don’t be afraid to ask them to let you know when you’ve arrived at your stop.
Hop On A Tour Bus
While you’re visiting Great Britain, getting a tour bus to some of their most famous sites is a great way to meet other travelers and learn more about the countries. A knowledgeable tour guide can tell you everything you need to know about World Herritage sites such as Stonehenge, and open-topped bus tours of London, Liverpool and Edinburgh are even popular with British citizens. Take a look at various tours offered. There’s generally something for everyone in the family, from British beer tours to a closer look at the grand palaces.
With the great transportation options open to your family, why opt for the hassle of driving on the “wrong” side of the road? The UK’s transportation system can get you virtually anywhere, and generally cheaper and faster than by car. Take a step towards safety when you’re traveling around the UK.
Journalist Nadine Swayne is familiar with traveling abroad and shares with readers her tips on successfully getting around the UK. She searched websites like Shuttle Direct to learn more about the benefits of shuttle services. If your family travels to the UK, Nadine says it is best to be a passenger and not a drivers, because the wrong side of the road is the right side in the United Kingdom.
Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/galfred/120631314/