a VirtualTourist member from West Chester
I am planning on visiting someone who resides in Cheltenham, England around March. I live in the United States and have never traveled before. I was wondering what I would need for the trip and any other possible information you have to offer. What will UK cumstoms be like? What to do about converting money? ...anything! Thanks in advance
You will need an American passport - that's about it. Customs is simple. If you have nothing to declare, one just walks out after handing in a form given out on the plane, passing through immigration and collecting luggage. It's best not to bring too much British money along - just what you'll need for a day or so, transportation etc. It's easiest just to use the ATM machines. Beware.. the UK is very expensive and everything will cost a lot more than it does in the States.
Your friend may have already told you but there is a big horse race meeting at Cheltenham in March - during the week starting 13th I think. During this week Cheltenham is likely to be very busy both with people traveling to it and people staying there so if you are planing on booking a hotel I suggest you do it early.
I agree, you don't need to bring a lot of cash. There are plenty of ATM's where you can use a card with a Maesto logo and credit cards are widely accepted in shops and restaurants.
Customs shouldn't be a problem. Nor will transport, if you're being collected by your friend. If not, train times and fares are on www.nationalrail.co.uk and coaches on www.nationalexpress.com. Advice about money is correct, though you will need some cash too. The UK is expensive, so don't be too surprised at costs!Weather will be variable, so bring clothes you can layer and a good waterproof jacket. It can still be frosty in March, although it can also be quite mild, so pack clothes you can layer along with hat/ gloves/ scarf. There is some lovely countryside around Cheltenham, so pack walking shoes/ boots if you're keen. Hope you enjoy your visit.