Travel Tips for Choir Geeks – UK Edition!
On this page, you will find organized and sectioned information that will prepare you for the upcoming trip abroad. Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a seasoned pro, we recommend that you check this page before departing for the trip. This page is tailored to the traveling chorister, so please consult this page as you pack and prepare to depart.
Drop-Dead List (TL;DR)
- Vaccination Card
- A couple COVID self-tests and a few masks
- Sheet music (in your CARRY-ON! Don’t want to lose this if your luggage is MIA!)
- Concert Attire (in your CARRY-ON! Don’t want to lose this if your luggage is MIA!)
- A little bit of research ahead of time goes a long way. Know a bit about what you are walking into when you arrive at a new location.
- Trains, Planes and Automobiles wait for nobody! DO NOT BE LATE!
PLEASE read this entire document carefully, as it will answer many of your future questions!
Before you leave for the trip you will want to check with your carrier about their international plan options. Cell service and data connection is good throughout Europe but it can cost an arm and a leg if you aren’t careful and don’t plan ahead. Some carriers charge by the day, some have a monthly plan, others charge by the MB of data or number of minutes used. Some carriers will automatically sign you up for their (expensive) roaming plans if you don’t sort it out ahead of time. If you have an unlocked phone that will accept a SIM chip, you can buy a temporary European SIM at the airport. There are a ton of different plans at different price points that mix and match the number of texts, minutes of calls, and MB of data that you have. If you go the the SIM route, the store clerk can help you set up your phone too.
Here are a few apps we find to be super helpful. Be sure to download content where possible so they work offline.
- XE – Will convert between USDollar, and GBP so you don’t have to math!
- Google Translate – Probably not needed for this trip, but always handy to have!
- Google Maps – Download the cities we will be visiting it works offline!
- WhatsApp – Critical for this trip for last-minute updates and contact! Like Zoom but you keep your phone number and can call internationally using Wifi or data instead of international minutes.
- Your airline apps – ALL of them! (Be sure to check codeshare flights operating the actual flight. (e.g. British Airways connecting to American Airlines)
The weather in the UK will be fair to moderate. Average temperature for our first week is around 77℉. Be mindful of this when thinking of your day-to-day packed clothing.
- Bring a little WINDBREAKER or WARM LAYER. One that folds into a little pouch is great!
- Bring a little UMBRELLA or RAINJACKET / HOODIE too!
- A waterproof simple light BACKPACK/DRAWSTRING that either works as a carry-on bag OR you can put into your checked bag is great for when you’re out and about!
- Comfortable, lightweight WALKING SHOES. Sneakers are great!
- CONCERT ATTIRE and REPERTOIRE (again, in your carry-on!)
- A University of Delaware shirt for the Parade of Nations!
- UK POWER ADAPTERS (Plug Type G!) Note that these are DIFFERENT from European adapters. Your adapters for Croatia/Germany last year likely won’t work here, unless they are universal!
- SUNGLASSES! It’s sunny!
- SUNSCREEN! You’re less likely to get burnt in the UK than in Rovinj, but good to be safe regardless!
- Your own SHAMPOO/CONDITIONER, TOWEL, and other TOILETRIES, especially if you are in the Youth Hostel!
- REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE. See this article from Carol about hydration and travel. It’s a big deal!
- Liquid IV – again, hydration is important! (this was helpful when I got off the plane and felt as dehydrated as SpongeBob in that one episode – Sarah)
- Your own medicinal needs – Ibuprofen/Advil, Tums/Pepto Bismol, band-aids, Covid tests and masks, or any prescribed medications. We will not be providing these, so please be smart about your individual needs!
GBP, or the Great British Pound, is the currency that is accepted in the UK. The best way to get local currency (GBP) is to use an ATM connected to a local bank branch or post office. Don’t go to a US bank ahead of your departure, they will charge you an arm and a leg to get foreign currency. Don’t go to a money exchange with cash in the airport once you land, they also charge conversion fees. It’s best to go to an ATM connected to a local bank branch or post office (during business hours) so if the machine swallows your card, there will be a human there who will be able to help.