Are you headed to England for the Rugby World Cup 2015? Travelling through eleven cities across the UK this September, the World Cup promises to pack in a lot of exciting matches for Australian Wallaby supporters.
You might be all set for a British adventure, but a little bit extra planning never hurt a savvy traveller. That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of pre departure and on the ground travel tips to help you get the most of your World Cup holiday.
DO connect with the locals: Whether you’re going with your mates or travelling solo, it always helps to connect with locals for a place you’re going to. Let’s face it, they know their hometown better than any travel guide and can help you get the most out of your trip. Thank god for social media, you don’t need to write long letters to strangers or long lost friends. Online travel communities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help you easily connect with like-minded people.
DON’T pack light: No, we’re not saying pack heavy! But at the risk of going against the time tested travel advice for packing light, we’d actually suggest you take everything you’re likely to need because the already expensive English cities will only become more unaffordable at the time of the World Cup. Why pay £50 for that Wallaby jersey at the Birmingham Stadium, which you can get for $20 in Australia? Just not worth it.
DO be travel money wise: Money mishaps can happen so be sure that you’ve got a selection of travel money options including cash, a prepaid travel card or debit card, and a credit card for use while overseas. Save where you can on bank fees by withdrawing larger amounts of cash at ATMs and getting a travel-friendly credit card that doesn’t charge overseas transaction fees on purchases.
DON’T leave travel insurance for the last moment: Once you’ve booked your tickets, don’t be lazy about buying your travel insurance. Going to the UK may be different from going to Brazil for the Football World Cup but you still need to cover yourself for any travel emergencies like tour cancellations, travel delays or lost luggage. If you need to change your travel plans after buying travel insurance, you should be able to make amendments at no extra cost. Also, if you have have a rewards, gold or platinum credit card, you might already have complimentary travel insurance included, which means you could save about $357 dollars for a couple - just check the card’s insurance eligibility conditions.
DO perk up: You already know that your credit card might save you precious money on travel insurance, but did you know that you can also put your credit card to good use for other perks and services when you’re overseas? Check if your card includes a concierge service, which can help you on multiple things like hotel discounts and upgrades, concert tickets or even a bottle of wine at selected restaurants. Many credit card travel insurance also includes car rental excess cover (good to know, in case you’re planning to drive from London to Manchester!).
DON’T be a tourist: Now that you’ve made your local connections, dig out their city’s secrets and live like a local when you’re not in the stadium cheering on the Wallabies. Head to the best local places to eat, drink and party so you’re not stuck at the expensive touristy places that will be crowded with rugby fans from across the world.
DO download travel apps: Gone are the days when you had to stuff your bag with travel documents and bulky tour guides, risking that excess baggage charge. Now, you have your flight tickets, boarding passes, destination maps and photo journals all in your smartphone. But it’s time to go further and download other apps that can get you the lesser known deals and discounts on your holiday. Look up the local Groupon or Scoopon equivalent and find the best deals for restaurants and day trips. Other travel savvy apps for the UK are Kabbee (to book a cab), Wifi Finder (to find the nearest Wifi hotspot) and AroundMe (to look up the nearest ATM machine or petrol station).