UK Telephones & Communications Travellers Tips

Telephones & Communications
Telephones & Communications - © Vinicius de Carvalho Venâncio

Technology has facilitated ever more ways travellers can keep in touch whilst they are on their travels. The telecommunications revolution has brought ever more methods of keeping in touch with fiends, family and work colleagues. Travellers to the UK will find a way array telephone and communications options available to keep in touch with your family, friends, emails & work among other things. Travellers should bear in mind the cost of using telephones and other communications technology can vary widely depending on where you use it, for how long etc. The cost of using telephones and communications technology can mount up when on a trip, our UK telephones & communications travellers tips offers practical advice on options available and ways to lower the cost of using communications.

Travellers Tips - UK Telephones & Communications

Before You Begin Your Trip
UK Telephones
UK Internet Access
UK International Dialling Codes
UK Post Offices
Useful Resources & Codes

Before You Begin Your Trip

Research the communication methods you will use i.e. telephone, email, internet and check if the hotel you are staying at offers these facilities and the price they charge. If you are booking your hotel online is best to call the hotel up and double check they currently offer the service advertised online & that the service is working.

If using i.e. the internet on your laptop is important for you and a hotel does not offer internet access consider choosing a hotel that does for your own convenience or research the closest internet cafe you can use if suitable for your needs.

If you are bringing your own mobile phone, check with your provider the international roaming charges for calls and internet. Beware the international roaming charges can be exorbitant and be careful using it or accidentally using any service overseas that can incur large charges.

UK Telephones

There are pay phones all over the UK visitors can use located at many tourist areas, train stations, airports, shops, restaurants etc. Public pay phones offer voice calls and in many cases now a range of extra services such as access to the internet, email and texting. In order to use them you will need coins, usually they accept 10p, 20p, 50p and £1 coins & some accept £2 coins. If your call is going to be short beware of putting in too much to start off with, keep the coins ready and put in smaller denominations to start off with for short calls.

For those with Euros, there are some pay phones that accept Euro coins. Pay phones can usually accommodate major credit/debit cards as an alternative to using coins.

When using pay phones remember to always watch your bags/luggage and valuables and be aware of your surroundings. Do not leave your wallet/purse out in public view when on the phone.

Check with your mobile service provider that your mobile has international roaming and you will be able to use it in the UK.

Another option is to purchase a pay as you go mobile or sim only for use in your mobile phone.

Be careful of telephone charges in hotel rooms, they can be expensive and add a large amount to your hotel bill. If you need to use the telephone consider using a public pay phone, use a pay as you go mobile or sim or purchase a calling card that are available online, or from many supermarkets and newsagents, using these can substantially cut the cost of calls compared to using your hotel room phone. Calling cards are especially good value for those making international calls outside the UK on a regular basis.

UK Internet Access

For laptops from around the world with different electricity voltages to the UK's 240V 50HZ, you will need an adaptor to use your laptop in the UK. Adaptors are widely available at airports and electrical stores.

If you need to access the internet there are several options in the UK, your hotel may provide internet access either using their own machines or provide internet access for you to use on your own laptop. The cost of this can vary, some hotels provide internet access for free, some charge a relatively small fee of a few pounds a day while others are expensive.

You may wish to connect to the internet via an Internet Cafe, the rate is usually around £1 per hour, and they provide fast internet access at reasonable rates. Check with your hotel/hostel, travel provider for the nearest one to you.

If you have a laptop with wireless facility there are public places where you can access the internet for free at wireless hotspots across the UK, for more information please see: Free UK Wireless Hotspots

UK International Dialling Codes

For the UK the international dialling code is +44

For a comprehensive list of international dialling codes from the UK please see: International Dialling Codes

For a comprehensive list of UK dialling codes please see: UK Dialling Codes

UK Post Offices

Post Offices in the UK are located in high streets and outlets all over the country and offer a range of services from delivering letters and parcels to stamps, payments of bills, travel insurance, currency exchange and savings accounts among others. Most post offices are open from 09.00 to 17.00 from Monday to Friday while some branches are open half days on a Saturday from 09.00 to 12.30, they remain closed on Sundays.

Monday morning is among the busiest periods for Post Offices; avoid using at this time if you want to avoid the crowds.

The royal mail post boxes are used to post letters, internally & internationally. If you are sending a letter, ensure you have the correct postage on it, you can check this at the post office. Stamps can be bought from the post office, newsagents and most supermarkets. Then post the letter in one of the many famous red letter boxes situated all over the UK, on street corners, airports, tourist attractions & other places.

Useful Resources & Codes

Useful Numbers for Travellers:

999: Emergency Services for Police, Fire Brigade & Ambulance Service.

100: For the Operator, for help with calls internally within the UK.

155: For the International Operator, for help with calls internationally.

118 500 & 118 118 & 118 226: Directory Inquiries, for help locating telephone numbers for people and businesses around the UK.

0500 / 0800 prefixes are free numbers

0845 numbers are charged at local rates (check the rate per minute before using some 0845 can be pricy to call).

0870 numbers are national rates (exercise caution in using these, they can have an expensive rate per minute, check the rate before using).

Useful City Codes:

London: Inner 0207, Outer 0208

Bath: 01225
Belfast: 02890
Birmingham: 0121
Bristol: 0117
Cardiff: 02920
Edinburgh: 0131
Glasgow: 0141
Leeds: 0113
Liverpool: 0151
Newcastle Upon Tyne: 0191
Manchester: 0161
Sheffield: 0114

When calling from outside the UK, the first zero is dropped. If you are calling inner London from abroad you would use the international dialling code of 44 then dial 207 then followed by the remaining number.
For cheaper call rates for UK local, UK regional/national and international calls travellers can use access numbers before dialling the full number that can help the cost of calls. For further information please see:

UK Call Checker

International Call Checker

With some research travellers can benefit from using telecommunications in the UK at competitive rates, the UK telephones & communications travellers tips offers some ways in which travellers can keep in touch with their friends, family & work without having an exorbitant bill.

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