Look Up! Look Up! Look Up! Don’t think that you missed where you are going because it took you more than 5 mins to get to it. You will probably walk for 10-20mins in the airport just to get off the plane much less to get out after you’ve collected your luggage.
When you arrive at customs, if you are from Britain or an British Overseas Territory Citizen and you have a british passport go to the British Nationals line. There will be a machine where you put your passport down to be scanned and then you look into a camera. A light will turn green and the barrier will open. Once that happens, you will go to baggage claim, then find your way out to the train or coach terminals.
If you are feeling unsure about something ask someone. You can either ask a worker who’s standing around or you can go up to any desk and ask a question. If they don’t know they will most likely know who to ask. You will see desks for foreign exchange and different things, just ask someone.
Wear good shoes! You will be walking for a long time until you are able to open the door to your accommodations.
The airport should have open wifi. Use it until you are able to buy a SIM card. Once you are connected, make Google and Google Maps your best friend. If you are unsure about anything trying searching it up. You don’t want to miss your train or coach.
Advice: If you are travelling on the coach in Gatwick Airport, make sure to go towards the coach terminal not the bus terminal. You will end up in a completly different part of the airport. Coaches look like large regular buses, but they are not what the airport is referring to in England.
To get to the coach, you will have to take an elevator down. If you end up going up to something then you are in the wrong place.
The airport train station is in the south terminal. If you land in the north terminal it means that you will have to take the shuttle to the south terminal, then head down to the train station.
If you unfortunately have to use the underground, note that you are to head down. Ask for help with directions if you can’t tell by the signs. You most likely won’t be able to use data, because it is below ground. So screenshot the stop or check the name on the ticket. When you get inside the train, check the sign and pay attention to the number of stops.
Advice: The underground is loud and it is a very weird experience to have right off the bat, especially with luggage. But you will make it.
There are checkpoints before the train stations and underground that you can only pass with your ticket. At the barrier there is place to either scan or insert your ticket. There is usually someone there who can advise you on how to do it.
Unless you are waiting for the arrival of the train, coach or another plane, wear headphones to help with the noise and over stimulation. If you’ve never travelled to a country as big as England, the airport will be a lot. Everywhere will be, because there are so many people. Make a few playlists to keep you through the day. Download some TV shows and films on your device for when you’re waiting for transportation. You don’t want to fall asleep and miss it.
Remember the people at the train station, airport and coach want to help, it’s their job. They also know the season for new students, so don’t be shy about asking questions.