What to Bring
Below is a list of suggested items to pack for your trip!
- Passport (Please ensure that your passport is valid for six months beyond the departure date.)
- Refillable Water Bottle
- Rain Jacket/Umbrella
- Comfy shoes
- Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.)
- Phone charger
- Power Plug Adapter (for UK)
- Any medications
- Although IES will take place in the July, classrooms tend to be chilly, so remember to bring a jacket or sweater while in classes.
One drink at the Opening Reception is included in your registration price. So make sure to bring extra cash for use at the bar. Attendees from the US will need to exchange funds to have pound sterling currency.
Tips for those traveling from outside the UK
- In the UK, cars drive on the left side of the road.
- Pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way. To ensure you cross roads safely, only use designated crossings, only cross when the green man is showing and take note of the signs indicating "look right" or "look left" for oncoming traffic.
- Try to avoid walking alone at night. Keep to well-lit main roads.
- The Tube can get pretty packed late at night–which is a perfect time for pickpockets to thrive. Keep any bags zipped up tight and held in front of you, and avoid having valuables in baggy pockets which allow easy access. Never leave your bag unattended in public.
- Record details of your credit cards in case of lost or stolen cards to disable them.
- When using a cash point, check that no one is looking over your shoulder and that the ATM hasn't been tampered. Cover the keypad so no one else can see your PIN number.
Manchester is located in the British Summer Time (BST).
BST is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
VAT is a 20 percent sales tax charged on most goods and services sold in Britain.
Credit cards, debit cards and contactless payment types are widely used throughout Britain and are the easiest way to pay for things. Visa and Mastercard are the most common type of cards, while American Express and Diners Club cards are less commonly accepted but still facilitated.
Some small shops, guesthouses, markets and cafés may not accept cards or have a minimum spend (usually around £5), so always check in advance of your purchase. Cards that are accepted are usually displayed in the windows.
Britain’s national currency is the pound sterling (symbol: £), which is sub-divided into 100 pence (symbol: p). You will receive notes in denominations of £50, £20, £10 and £5, and coins in £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p.
- Please reference the currency calculator to calculate the foreign exchange rate.
There are lots of places you can change money in Britain–bureaux de change on high streets, in airports and major railway stations.
The UK network uses the 900 or 1800 GSM system, so visitors from the United States (where the system is 800 or 1900 MHz band) will need to acquire a tri- or quad-band set if you want to make phone calls. Contact your service provider for specific details.
If you want to make free phone calls or video chat over WiFi, download one of these mobile apps before you go: WhatsApp, Skype, Viber.
- To avoid fees, the person you call or video chat will need to download the same mobile app.
Tipping is not expected in the UK as in other countries. Although it's not necessary to tip, it's always greatly appreciated! If tipping, most people round up their bill to include a 10% service charge. However, some restaurants add this to the bill anyway, so always check the detailed receipt before submitting payment.
The city of Manchester offers free WiFi networks throughout the city.
- WiFi network name on the streets is "_freebee" and on the Metrolink tram network, "MetrolinkWiFi".
You can browse the internet, access services, use social networks and search for local businesses and destinations while on the move.
The RNCM has free public WiFi throughout the building. The network name is "The Cloud" and anyone can connect while attending the event.