What are the most common things you need to know when you travel to a new country? Of course, phrases like “hello” and “thank you” are extremely useful. But, an 80-year old Siberian grandmother probably knows these. So let’s learn something a bit more challenging! Below, there are 10 questions for you to ask that will help you have a smooth trip to the UK.
Best phrases for when you’re new in the UK
What’s the wifi password?
What did we do before wifi on holiday? How did we know where to go? How did we instantly make our friends jealous with our amazing photos? The wifi password is essential when you check into a new hotel or go to a new café, so use this question to ask for it.
Where can I recycle this?
We should all be conscious of the environment, even when travelling. And one of the easiest ways to be eco-friendly on holiday is by recycling. The trouble is, different countries have different recycling practices. So before you pop your bottle into the wrong coloured bin, or throw something away that can be returned, ask someone, “Where can I recycle this?”.
Can I use my reusable cup?
This question addresses similar concerns as the recycling question above. When you’re in a coffee shop or buying a delicious drink of strong British tea with milk to take away, you should be able to use your reusable cup. Just ask the server.
Do you have vegan food?
Eating vegan on the road can be difficult, but with this little phrase you can make sure you’ll be able to eat more than just chips when you visit a restaurant.
Can we split the bill?
If you’re on holiday with friends or simply trying to keep your financial independence, you’re probably going to want to split the bill in a restaurant. Rather than going home and trying to find exactly £32.78 to give to your friend, leave it to your waiter by asking: “Can we split the bill?”. Tell the waiter how much you want to pay and it’ll be much easier.
Can I charge my phone here?
Running around taking pictures all morning will quickly drain your phone battery. So, use this phrase when you stop for lunch to ask if you can recharge ready to be snap happy all afternoon.
Do you have a plug adapter?
Those pesky UK plugs with three prongs puzzle many visitors to the UK. If you’re travelling from most other countries, you’re going to need an adapter to plug your devices into the mains electricity. Luckily, most hotels know that travellers often forget these basic (and boring) things when they’re packing. They keep a stash of plug adapters at reception, so ask if you can borrow one.
How can I buy a travel pass?
Most visitors to the UK will want to use public transport to get around. Public transport is not only good for the environment, but it’s also often the fastest way to move around cities. The tube or trams miss the traffic altogether, and there are usually separate lanes for buses. And, good news, it’s fairly cheap to do if you buy a travel pass. So wherever you are in the UK, ask, “How can I buy a travel pass?”.
Can I drink the tap water?
In most of the UK, the answer is going to be yes. But it’s always worth checking, especially in more remote places where the water might not come from the mains. Should you drink the tap water in the UK? Absolutely. It’s very clean and it saves you using lots of plastic bottles during your trip.
Is there a second-hand shop near here?
This might seem like an odd one, but second-hand shops in the UK are treasure troves. They’re often full of unique pieces of clothing and many of those have hardly been worn if you’re in an upmarket area. They also have lots and lots of books for sale really cheaply, so if you want to pick up a novel to practice your English, a second-hand shop is the place.
So next time you arrive in the UK, use these phrases to help you have an easier and more enjoyable trip.