Holidays and vacations are the stuff of happy memories. That's why you should archive and photobook your photos. If you're planning a trip to (or in) the United Kingdom, you're in for a treat. Before you can start enjoying your excursion, however, you need to do some organizing. In this article, we'll provide some tips from the experts on how to plan your perfect UK getaway.

Take The Train
If you don't want to do a lot of driving, train travel is often the best option. Trains offer scenic views of the countryside and can be much more relaxing. In addition, train travel is generally faster than driving - there are no traffic queues! If you're not familiar with train routes in the UK, there are a number of websites that can help you plan your journey. For instance, the National Rail website offers detailed information on all train schedules. This will help you figure out which train stations to visit and how long your journies will take.

If you're traveling during busy times like holidays or weekends, it's best to book your tickets as far in advance as possible. There are websites that let you split the cost of your ticket, which could save you up to 90% of the normal fare. Some of these companies are National Rail accredited - making it a quick and easy process, without booking or card fees.

Book In Advance
It's not just your train tickets that you should sort upfront - it’s also wise to book your hotels and flights beforehand. Not only will this ensure that you get the best rates, but it will also help you avoid any potential headaches e.g. if you leave it too late and the travel dates are sold out. Citylink and Megabus offer discounted bus tickets if booked in advance, which is a great option for budget travelers.

Day Trips
If you're looking for a bit more excitement during your visit, there may be plenty of day trips and excursions on offer. They could be anything from a day at Oxford University or exploring beautiful Bath, to a journey on the Harry Potter steam train or visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace. The advantage of booking such things in advance includes:

  • securing your place (you can avoid being turned away)
  • often cheaper prices than if booked on the day
  • you can plan your holiday in more detail
  • you can avoid long queues

Plan Your Itinerary
Google Maps and TripAdvisor are amazing resources for planning your vacation. Google maps give you the distance between cities, as well as a rough idea of how long it’ll take to get there. Once you've planned your route be sure to save it in Google. If anything changes along the way (e.g. road construction/queues), Google will instantly redirect your route.

Tripadvisor can give you ideas on what to do in each city or town that you pass through. It also has a wealth of user-generated reviews to help you find great places to eat and drink, as well as attractions to visit.

Plan Your Rest Breaks
The last thing you want is to be stuck on the motorway with a rumbling stomach and nowhere in sight to stop. There's at least one service station every 20 miles on British motorways. Most have restaurants (usually Subway or McDonald’s), coffee houses (e.g. Costa Coffee), shops for snacks and drinks, and toilets.

If you prefer not to use services stations, consult your map in advance and look for pubs or cafes that you can stop at instead. Rest breaks can be a great opportunity to stop driving, breathe some fresh air and stretch your legs before you resume the journey.

Write A Bucket List
If you're planning a trip to the UK, it's likely that you will have many places in mind that you want to visit. Having said that, it's important not to over-stretch yourself! Do you want sunny beaches or beautiful countryside, lots of travel or a self-catering cottage? The ability to write out your travel plans, whether on paper or on an app like TripIt, can help keep things organized and prioritized.

Some travelers enjoy crossing off each activity once it's been completed. As an example, you may be planning to do lots of outdoor activities during your visit. If that's the case, write a wishlist of everything you want to achieve. This could include:

  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Canoeing/kayaking
  • Golf
  • Sailing
  • Rock climbing
  • Wildlife watching

Find A Place To Stay
There are several different options available, including hotels, bed and breakfast,  self-catering and AirBnB. If you're looking for a traditional hotel experience, there are plenty of choices throughout the country. Be mindful to book early during peak seasons (e.g. the summer school holidays). If you'd prefer a more home-like atmosphere, consider staying in a bed and breakfast. This is a great option if you want to save money on food costs as most B&Bs include breakfast in their rates. If you fill up on a cooked English breakfast, you won't need much to eat at lunchtime!

For those who want more flexibility with their schedule, self-catering might be the way to go. This type of accommodation is typically equipped with a kitchen or cooking area, so you can save money by preparing your own meals instead of eating out all the time. Airbnb is a website and app that allows people to rent out their homes (or just a room) for short-term stays. This can be a great option if you're looking for more of a local experience - you can live like a local, eat like a local, and explore the city like a local!

Hopefully, you've found these trip planning tips from the experts helpful. Once you've done some online research and booked a few things up, you'll begin to feel excited about your visit. By planning upfront you'll be able to get the very most out of all the UK has to offer. Furthermore, you'll be keen to plan a return visit sometime soon!