The Ultimate UK Expat Guide to Moving, Living and Working in the UK | Expats Working in the UK

Updated: Apr 18


Table of content:
  • Introduction


Section 1 - SETTLING IN
  • The Right to Live and Work in the UK | UK Immigration | Home Office

  • How to Apply for NI - National Insurance Number

  • National Health Services | NHS| How NHS works | Private Healthcare Insurance

  • Finding Your Local GP | General Practitioner/Doctor | Dentist | Prescriptions

  • Emergency Services in the UK | Police, Fire and Rescue and Medical Services

  • Renting and Buying Properties in the UK

  • How to Open a UK Bank Account and What is Credit Score?

  • UK Mobile Networks


Section 2 - GETTING A JOB | YOUR RIGHTS AND ENTITLEMENTS
  • Employees Rights | Employment Law/Rights | ACAS | HMRC | Citizens Advice Bureau | Trade Unions

  • Looking for a Job | Recruitment Agencies vs Direct Applying | Asking for Work Experience | Competency Based Interviews | Average Salary in the UK | Income Tax and Personal Allowances | Salary/Pay After Tax (Net Pay)

  • Working in the UK | Office and Business Environment

  • Statutory Annual Leave

  • Statutory Maternity Leave and Pay

  • Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay

  • Shared Parental Leave and Pay

  • Parental Unpaid Leave

  • Statutory Sick Leave and Pay

  • Pensions

  • Jobcentre Plus


Section 3 - YOUR LEISURE TIME
  • British Culture and Humor

  • Supermarkets and High Street Shopping | Pubs and Restaurants

  • Public Transport


INTRODUCTION

So you have finally decided to look into moving and living in the UK or you have already moved but not sure where to start from. Look no further, this is a great starting place to get you thinking, organised and take action from someone who has been in this situation, although mine was back in 2009. May I start by saying I love living in the UK. I did not always feel this way and had ups and downs which is normal when you leave your home country but I do feel at home.


The UK is known for its gorgeous scenery, urban destinations, and cultured lifestyle. It is a home to many world’s best museums, restaurants, sports teams, and universities. It is not a surprise that moving to the UK to work, study and live is a common goals shared by many.


I moved to England/UK in 2009 and now 10 years later I think I have had enough of life and practical every day living experience here to share tips, tools, support and lessons learnt so you do not have to go through it on your own or wait 10 years like I did. You can find more information as to why I decided to move to England in my About page (2 min read). However, in a nutshell, I moved to live with my English boyfriend, husband now. I graduated from a law school in 2008 and moved to England in 2009 when my life and career journey has begun in the UK.


I guess many of you will have different personal stories, backgrounds and aspirations as to why you would like to move to the UK and what you hope to achieve here. This blog is a comprehensive guide to just about everything you need to know at the beginning of your life journey in the UK and beyond or if you have been around for quite some time but looking for relevant updates. My aspiration is to help you as much as I can and sign post to relevant/up to date information and make things a bit easier for you. I do find UK very user friendly as a country and I find repeating this whenever I have a conversation about living in the UK. UK Government websites are easy to follow, easy to understand and use with clear step by step processes explained with little to no queuing at all to get information at a local authority/Council. The UK has certainly embraced and acted on a digital transformation and carries on to do the same. I do not think I have ever had to queue at a local office for anything here, most things are dealt with online and by post.


The current population of the United Kingdom is 66,903,143 as of Friday, May 10, 2019, based on the latest United Nations estimates. You can find more information HERE.

Capitals within the UK are Cardiff (Wales), Edinburgh (Scotland), London (England), and Belfast (Northern Ireland).





First things first...


RIGHT TO LIVE AND WORK IN THE UK | UK IMMIGRATION | HOME OFFICE

First of all, as an expat in the UK you have to have the right to live and work in the UK. There is no way avoiding this. Home Office is a body that regulates the UK immigration, applies relevant rules and legislation. You may have had to deal with Home Office before so this will not be entirely new to you. EU citizens have the right to live and work here so they probably are not fully aware of Home Office, although due to Brexit (UK Leaving the EU) they have to start dealing with it now. The latest changes are that if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you will get either settled or pre-settled status. It is free to apply. It is almost watch this space what happens further with Brexit as we are not sure in the UK either.


Depending on your entry or current visa status, your approach may be different. However, here you go my example. I came here on a settled visa (UK spouse visa) with a Serbian passport, however, I was not entitled to work straight away as Serbia is not in the EU. I obtained my work permit in 2010. I was given Leave to Remain valid for 2 years. I then applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain in 2012 (which is technically your permanent residency). However, please note that even thought it says indefinite leave to remain, your card will have an end date when it has to be renewed by. I obtained a British citizenship in 2014 when my son was born as I wanted us to have the same nationality and last name so when I travel with him on my own we do not have any issues at borders.


There was a lot of paperwork for all these applications and I did it all by myself by reading relevant information on the Home Office website. I did not need an immigration lawyer and to be honest I have never tried to contact anyone for help. However, I fully understand that some of you may need additional legal assistance dependant upon your personal situation and background. If you, as an expat in the UK, do need an immigration lawyer/adviser, make sure they are accredited and credible. By law, immigration advisers must be registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner ('OISC') or a member of an approved professional body, for example the Law Society. Links to relevant law societies are attached below.


The Law Society if you live in England or Wales The Law Society of Scotland for Scotland and The Law Society of Northern Ireland for Northern Ireland.


HOW TO APPLY FOR NI - NATIONAL INSURANCE NUMBER

National Insurance number is super important to obtain as soon as you can, as you will need it for work, pension, tax, you name it. It is your personal number and keep it safe. You can find out more information and how to apply HERE.




NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE | NHS | HOW NHS WORKS | PRIVATE HEALTHCARE INSURANCE

NHS was established in 1948 which provides healthcare for all UK citizens and residents based on their need for healthcare rather than their ability to pay for it. It is funded by taxes, i.e. NI - national insurance. Your payslip should confirm how much you are contributing to it. You can find out more about the NHS structure in England and who does what by visiting the NHS website. The King’s Fund has also produced a series of structure diagrams and a  short animation about the NHS.


You are not required to have a private healthcare insurance like you in most other countries. If you wish to explore private healthcare insurance in addition to NHS, I suggest that you check BUPA, AVIVA, AXA as one of the well known names in the UK. There are of course other less known organisations that offer this as well which you can find by googling. Some organisations offer this as part of their benefits and certinaly should be explored as you can get heafty discounts if you have this through your employer rather than directly with an insurance organisation.


Please note that when you have a private healthcare cover in place, this pretty much still means you have to go through your GP for all appointments, however, if your GP is referring you to a specialist for a further examination/check up this means you will not have to wait for several weeks and can go directly to a private hospital through your insurance cover. You do need to let your insurance organisation know what is going on and obtain an approval from them to carry on otherwise they will not reimburse you for any costs. If you are planning to obtain a private healthcare cover or get one offered through your employer make sure you read relevant documents to understand their approval processes so your claims are paid for and approved.


FINDING YOUR LOCAL GP | GENERAL PRACTITIONER/DOCTOR | PRESCRIPTIONS

Most GPs are linked to local communities and have a catchment area. If you are looking for a local GP, please check out Find GP Services - NHS and How to Register with a GP Practice websites. I understand that GP offices tend to operate differently as to how their appointments system work. Our local GP requires us to ring them at 8am on the day we need an appointment, they do not offer advanced booking. They also can confirm how you can access medical services outside your GP hours. You normally have to ring 111 and they can guide you further.


Your GP prescribes you with medication you need which you can take to a local pharmacy or chemist (as it tends to be referred to locally) to buy it. There are certain types of medication that you can get over the counter with no perscription required. However, most will require a prescription. All prescriptions cost £9.00 (cost as at May 2019). More information can be found HERE. Certain groups are not required to pay anything.


How to find a local NHS dentist information can be found HERE. In a nutshell, you can register at your local NHS dentist or find a private dentist. It will depend on your budget and what you can afford. Private dentists normally have better equipment and material they use and of course more options as to what they can do for you. NHS dentists are not free to access like GPs are. However, they are cheaper than private dentists. The above website comments on their fees as well.





EMERGENCY SERVICES IN THE UK | POLICE, FIRE AND RESCUE AND MEDICAL SERVICES

The most frequently used emergency services are police, fire and rescue services and medical services. Most of them will be very active on social media so you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and other relevant accounts and save their websites.


If your matter is non emergency but you would like to speak to someone, please ring 101. In cases of emergency always ring 999.


If you live in London, you can find more information on the Metropolitan Police (the MET) website HERE.


If you live in West Midlands area, you can even use a web chat for non emergency services. WEST MIDLANDS POLICE website link is added HERE.


RENTING AND BUYING PROPERTIES IN THE UK

Right Move seems to dominate the UK market when it comes to renting and buying properties in the UK, there is also Zoopla where you can also check out a lot more information on sold properties, for example how much they were sold for and when/how many times. This is certainly there for most properties, however, you may come across some who do not have any data saved against them.


There are many estate agencies in the UK which specialise in renting and buying properties which you can find by googling local estate agencies. They will also advertise on their websites. More general information about whether to rent or buy - which is the best option for you? can be found HERE. Please note that you will be required to pay a deposit upfront if you are renting and also if you are buying a property (unless you are buying in cash). Most agencies can advise you on your mortgage options as well as your bank.


In terms renting via agency (or letting agent as referred to locally) vs directly with a landlord, I suggest that you rent via agency as it seems a safer option. You are very likely to get a proper tenancy agreement and they are more likely to ensure all legal requirements are met by both the landlord and the tenant. You can find a UK government guide on how to rent and what to do if things go wrong HERE.


I have never had to rent in the UK, however, you can find more information HERE.


Before you decide to sign on a dotted line of your tenancy agreement or contract if you decide to buy a property in the UK, make sure you do also check out crime levels in your preferred area HERE. This website is super easy to use, all you need to type in is your postcode and you will get relevant information on how much crime happens there, crime types, updates etc


BANK ACCOUNT | CREDIT SCORE
How to open a bank account in the UK?

I understand this was quite difficult to do in the past, especially if you are new to the UK and may not have a lot of documents to share. However, I understand that UK banks have simplified this process. I suggest that you contact your preferred bank who will have a list of acceptable documents to prove your address, however, they tend to be following:

  • a tenancy agreement or mortgage statement

  • a recent electricity or gas bill (less than 3 months old)

  • a recent (less than 3 months old) bank or credit card statement that’s not printed off the internet; and/or

  • a current council tax bill

I also understand that it may be possible to open your bank account from abroad/prior to arriving in the UK provided a UK bank has local branches in your country. It is worth double checking this at your local branch and enquiring further.


How to choose a bank in the UK?

There are many banks in the UK, you can do your own research by googling local banks and looking at their products. However, the most known banks are Lloyds, Santander, HSBC, Nationwide, Barclays, RBS/NatWest, Metro. I have been with Lloyds bank since 2009 and I have never had any issues with them. I suggest that you do consider larger banks who tend to be financially stable, but also they will had dealings with internationally and know what to do in order to help you.


I also understand that all banks now issue contactless/wireless bank cards which will allow you to pay up to £30 on average without typing in your pin. You just virtually scan it over the card machine. Most smart phones offer apps/features now where you can register your card and use your phone to pay contactless.


ATM or cash point as it tends to be referred locally in the UK is around and should be easily spotted in most areas. It normally says FREE cash withdrawals, however, in rare cases some may charge a fee but this should be visible enough for you to make a decision as to whether you want to use a cash point that charges a fee.


What is a credit score?

Credit score or credit rating, is a number that reflects the likelihood of you paying your debt back. The higher your credit score, the better your chances of being accepted for credit, at the best rates. Your credit score influences your chances of getting: Credit cards, loans and mortgages. Your credit report is compiled by companies known as credit reference agencies (CRAs). There are 3 CRAs in the UK – Experian, Equifax and Callcredit.


These CRAs are the companies that create, and keep hold of your credit reports. They gather information about your credit history, and put this into a credit report and calculate a score for you based on this information. In turn, lenders will ask one or more of these agencies for information about you before accepting your credit application.


From a personal experience, my husband and I had never had any loans or credit cards prior to 2013. We only realised when it came to buying our first property in 2012/13 that we needed to work on our credit rating as suggested by our bank. We were advised to get a credit card and start using it and by paying back our monthly payments we should demonstrate to our bank how we use and spend money. This helped us build our credit rating and our bank was happy to give us a mortgage. However, at the time this sounded ridiculous to us as we thought it was great not to have been in any debt. I still remember a lady in our bank saying to us: "Well, we do not how you spend your money, do we?!". However, the system unfortunately forces you to get in debt and build your credit score by paying off your debt on time and as agreed with a lender. Your local bank should be able to advise you on your best options as how to build your credit score.


If by any chance you get in any financial difficulties, please discuss it with your bank to assist further. There are also many charities that provide support to people who find themselves in financial difficulties.


UK MOBILE NETWORKS

There are many mobile networks to choose from. The big four are:


EE

O2

Three

Vodafone


I have been with O2 since 2009 with no major issues. Whichever you decide to go with, make sure you understand their international charges and offers. If you decide to get a phone on contract (pay monthly), they will run a credit check. They can explain all this at their local shop.




EMPLOYEES RIGHTS | EMPLOYMENT LAW/RIGHTS | ACAS | HMRC | CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU

When you are offered your first job and you accept it, you should be offered an employment contract and paid via payslips to ensure you pay relevant taxes. You should see on your payslip how much you will pay in tax, NI - national insurance and your tax code. If you have any queries regarding your tax, please discuss with your finance department or organisational accountant and/or HMRC - Her Majesty's Revenue Customs.


Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. You can find relevant information and updates on employment law and upcoming changes. They will support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. However, when things go wrong they can help by providing conciliation to resolve workplace problems. You can always ring them whatever queries you may have about your employment status, issues with your employer, treatment you may be receiving etc. They should be able to assist further. You can also discuss with them if you have are planning to raise any employment tribunal claims. Their services are confidential so you do not have to worry about anything being disclosed to your employer. I understand that you do not have to confirm your name and organisation you work for. They are supposed to provide impartial advice. More information about employment tribunal claims and how to go about them, can also be found HERE.


Citizens Advice Bureau also provides free, confidential and impartial advice and campaign on big issues affecting people’s lives. For example, benefits, work, housing, debt and money, consumer, family, law and courts, immigration and health. They can be found all over the UK and are technically a charity.


Trade Unions do exist in the UK. They do not exist in every organisation. Organisations normally have some agreement in place that confirms they are recognised in that work place. They are made up of members (a membership-based organisation) and its membership must be made up mainly of workers. Their main aims is to protect and advance the interests of its members in the workplace.


Trade unions tend to cover below:

  • negotiate agreements with employers on pay and conditions

  • discuss major changes to the workplace such as large scale redundancy

  • discuss members' concerns with employers

  • accompany members in disciplinary and grievance meetingsprovide members with legal and financial advice

If your workplace have trade unions in place, in order to get their services, you have to pay a monthly membership fee which is normally very small and affordable for most.


LOOKING FOR A JOB | RECRUITMENT AGENCIES VS DIRECT APPLYING | ASKING FOR WORK EXPERIENCE | COMPETENCY BASED INTERVIEWS

I have already written a few blogs about 'how to ask for work experience' and 'how to nail a job in the UK | competency based interview and how to find a job in the UK. Competency based interviews are quite popular in the UK, especially in big and large organisations. However, not all organisations use them and if you are not sure if it is a competency based interview, then I suggest you ask a person who invited you to make sure you understand a structure of the interview process and what you will be assessed against.


Recruitment agencies vs direct applying

I am personally not fond of recruitment agencies, as it is difficult to find a good one that will look after you as a candidate. All of my jobs to date were found as a result of me applying directly to the advert that was advertised by the employing organisation. However, if you see a job advertised and there is an agency name next to it that means they have been instructed by the employing organisation find a suitable candidate. This means this agency will short list CVs and do telephone interviews, sometimes even do face to face interviews or may refer you directly to the organisation for a face to face interview. They are very likely to ask you to sign up with them to be on their candidate database for future opportunities. Many do this, I did this. However, as I said I have never been lucky with them. It is important not to rule them out fully as your experience may be different. Give it a go!


Most popular websites to look for jobs are Total Jobs, CV Library, Reed, LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor. My favourite ones are LinkedIn and Indeed. Before Indeed there was not any online job search platform that collated all the jobs you could find online in one place or anything out there that understood your preferences as a job seeker. However, Google has announced they are launching Google for Jobs (G4J) which I understand will be in direct competition with Indeed. Check them all out!


More information on average salary in the UK can be found HERE.


In terms of how much salary tax (your income rates and personal allowances) you will pay on your UK salary, you can find more information HERE.


If you would like to know how much you will take home (your net pay) after salary tax and NI (national insurance) contributions have been deducted, you can use an online calculator to help you understand how it all works HERE.


WORKING IN THE UK | OFFICE/BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

Office and business environment tends to be formal and polite. Meetings pre organised in your Outlook diary, actions discussed and allocated at meetings. Follow up meetings, catch up meetings, review meetings, telephone meetings, Skype meetings. Every organisation is very likely to have their own culture and how it feels to work there, many organisations do employee engagement surveys, people plans and actions/initiatives, people agenda and development is quite high on many business agendas. Flexibility and agile ways of working are on the rise, this means you can work from anywhere, hours you want, days etc this is normally agreed with your line manager. Your output is more important than you being present in an office from 9-5 which I always pay attention to when applying for jobs. There is a lot of emphasis on diversity and inclusion, work life balance and wellbeing. These are big ticket items that are very important in the UK.


When you work in the UK, please note that there are different types of LEAVE you can claim. However, it is important to note that they all have eligibility entitlement and if you are not eligible (normally liked to your length of service with the employer) then your manager should discuss this further with you and/or your HR department. Always check your contract and relevant HR polices and procedures for your eligibility.


Statutory Annual Leave in the UK amounts to around 28 days or 5.6 weeks' paid holiday per year (which may include 8 bank holidays), some organisations offer more as part of their own benefits (please check your contract of employment) or even lately we have seen some organisation offering unlimited annual leave, for example Virgin. Please check your contract if you have been offered one for more information.


There are many national campaigns and many organisations which promote flexible working arrangements and flexi/agile way of working in the UK. This is very popular for parents with young children, carers and similar. Many organisations promote these offers on their careers websites so make sure you check them out if you are after flexible working arrangements. There are many recruitment agencies that just specialise in flexible/part time jobs and many more champions around who promote this within and outside their organisations. I also suggest that you check out LinkedIn if you have an account for more information there. If you do not have a LinkedIn account, I suggest that you consider creating one as it does have many jobs advertised and opportunities promoted/shared and you can also connect/follow with relevant professionals and industries you would like to learn about. I also understand that LinkedIn offers a career advice option, where you can select on your profile that you are interested in getting career advice from professionals with the specific expertise you are looking for. If this is on, then you should expect to be contacted by a professional who can assist further.


Statutory Maternity Pay and Leave in the UK is offered up to 52 weeks (1 year). You may take less time off than a full year offered depending on your personal circumstances.


Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for eligible employees can be paid for up to 39 weeks, usually as follows:


- the first 6 weeks: 90% of their average weekly earnings (AWE) before tax

- the remaining 33 weeks: £148.68 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower)


Tax and National Insurance need to be deducted.


However, if you are employed, some organisation may offer better maternity pay. Therefore, please check your employment contract and relevant maternity leave polices and contact your Human Resources (HR) department if there is one or enquire as to who deals with HR matters if it is a small to medium size organisation you work for and may not have a big HR department.


Paternity Pay and Leave is normally offered up to 1-2 weeks only.


The statutory weekly rate of Paternity Pay is £148.68, or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).


Any money you get is paid in the same way as your wages, for example monthly or weekly. Some organisation may offer more in terms of pay or just state your weekly pay applies when you book paternity leave to ensure your monthly pay is not impacted. Always check your paternity leave policy and procedure and discuss with your line manager and/or HR department.


Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.


Shared Paternity Pay and Leave was actually offered a few years ago in the UK.


You and your partner may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SSPP) if you are having a baby or adopting a child.


You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you.


You need to share the pay and leave in the first year after your child is born or placed with your family. You can use SPL to take leave in blocks separated by periods of work, or take it all in one go. You can also choose to be off work together or to stagger the leave and pay.


To get SPL and ShPP, you and your partner need to:


meet the eligibility criteria - there’s different criteria for birth parents and adoptive parents and also give notice to your employers.


There is also something called Unpaid Parental Leave in the UK. Parental leave is unpaid as it says in the title. You are entitled to 18 weeks’ leave for each child and adopted child, up to their 18th birthday. If you are employed and interested in taking this type of leave, please discuss with your line manager further and HR department.


Statutory Sick Pay and Leave in the UK. You can get £94.24 (as at May 2019) per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you are too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.


You need to qualify for SSP and have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days).


You cannot get less than the statutory amount. You can get more if your company has a sick pay scheme (or ‘occupational scheme’) - check your employment contract.


Pension in the UK may not always be easy to understand. However, in a nutshell, the UK Government removed the default retirement age in 2011 which means you can now work for as long as you like and your entitlement as to when you can claim your statutory pension will be dependant on your age which seem to be going up every year. I think on average people who are 67 now (as at 2019) can claim their statutory pension. There is an online calculator which can be accessed HERE.


The UK Government also introduced an Automatic Pension Enrolment to encourage people to save for their retirement. This means you will not have to do anything, you will be automatically enrolled into your employer's pension scheme and you will have the right to opt out. If you do decide to opt out, you will be again re-enrolled by default every 3 years if you carry on working for the same employer. If you are not keen to be in your employer's pension, you just have to keep opting out every 3 years. However, pensions' contributions are important for later life so think about this one carefully. If you have more queries about pension, please discuss further with your line manager and/or HR or even a financial adviser if you have one.


Other state benefits (if you need them) can be found here.


Jobcentre Plus is a government-funded employment agency governed by the Department of Work and Pensions. Its purpose is to help people find work through services such as job hunting programmes and external job vacancies, while it also provides financial support to eligible job hunters. This means if you need to claim job seekers allowance or other benefits because you are unable to work, you need to contact your local Jobcentre Plus and discuss this with them further.


I have never had to deal with Jobcentres so I cannot comment from a personal experience or give any further feedback.


NOW you have managed to go through all of the 'must know things/so important to know', we can now move onto British culture, humor, business and professional behaviour, public transport etc which I think you will find a lot more interesting to read :-) However, our every day living would be hugely impacted if we did not have above sorted out and in order.





BRITISH CULTURE AND HUMOR

I think that everyone perceives countries, people, cultures and humor in their own way, based on their own experiences and I do not like to stereotype anything. However, I will openly say that Brits are friendly, witty, funny and easy to make friends with, polite and kind. There is a big pub culture here, especially on a Friday, after work it is quite common to go to a pub for a few drinks whereas I cannot wait to go home and sleep. I am more of a 'can I see you during the day over a coffee girl?', however, a coffee culture is also on the rise in the UK. If you like to party and go out drinking, make sure you have enough to spend as drinking is quite expensive in the UK. Nearly all pubs and restaurants have websites where you can check out their food and drinks menu to see the cost.


British humor often tends to be described as sarcastic, dry and ironic. Most Brits like comedy. However, I will leave this one to you to experience for yourself and arrive at your own conclusions. There are many videos on YouTube that you can watch, my favourite comedian is Michael McIntyre, look him up, he is hilarious and very engaging. I could watch him every day.


SUPERMARKETS AND HIGH STREET SHOPPING | PUBS | RESTAURANTS

Supermarkets that dominate the UK market are ASDA, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Aldi and Lidl, Marks and Spencers and Waitrose. Cost of your weekly shop will of course be dependant on where you shop and for how many. I find that in my example, a family of 3, we can spend £70-80 a week at Morrisons and for the same items £50 at Aldi. I do have to say I love shopping at Aldi, their food is lovely and prices are super competitive. It is great if you live on a budget. Many supermarkets do online orders and next day delivery to your doors.


High Street shopping is always amazing in the UK. My favourites are John Lewis, NEXT, Boots, Zara, New Look with many other shops that are world wide brands.


Online shopping is great too, postal services are amazing in the UK with so many options as to how to send and receive goods in a safe and quick way. Next day delivery is quite common. I have never had any issues with postal services in the UK, either to send or receive.


There are so many pubs and restaurants, I am not sure where to start from. You have chain pubs and restaurants and also quirky pubs and restaurants that are quite unique locally. It is best I leave this one to you to experience for yourself as there is so much to choose from.



PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Let's be honest, there is no perfect public transport in any country. However, there are lots of connections and ways to move around. You have slow trains and fast trains, and the price will vary of course, underground tube, trams, buses. Travelling on a working day (normally Monday-Friday) is usually more expensive than travelling on a weekend.


For example, I live in Birmingham. If I want to go to London on a fast train, it takes an hour and a return ticket will cost me on average £150-200 on a working day (this will be dependant on whether it is a off peak or peak time). If I book a slow train, it will take me 2 hours but I will pay on average £50. If I go to London on a weekend, I am very likely to pay £40-50 pounds, a return ticket on a fast train. A slow train can sometimes cost as low as £12 on a weekend. Most tickets have some restrictions so make sure you understand tickets you are buying. You can find more information on Tube and Rail fares HERE and off-peak, super off peak times HERE.


There are lots of apps to download that can make your every day travelling easy.


Oh and of course the very best tip for the end - make sure you come prepared and say lots of pleases, thank yous, sorry, pardons and buy cards from to time to time. What cards you may be thinking?! Any cards, thank you cards, birthday cards, leaving cards, Xmas cards, sorry you are ill cards, you name it and believe me there is a card for that...there is a big card shop industry here which tells you how much cards are popular in the UK.


Would you like me to add anything else?


I hope this blog helps you, more to follow around this topic. I also offer a range of Upgrade Yourself | Personal Development 1:1 services/programs one of which is to review and draft your CV together and start preparing you for upcoming interviews. You can find out more HERE.


If you have any questions, please sign up as a member/subscribe to my website below and/or send me an email on info@focusyourself.co.uk. You can also find me on Instagram at @yourself.focus, Facebook at @focusyourself and Twitter @YourselfFocus


Best wishes


Sanja


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