UK Travel Guide & ways to travel on a budget

England or the whole United Kingdom (including Scotland and Wales) is on top of many people’s travel bucket list, especially London, regardless of its world’s top 5 highest currency value.

This country has got nearly everything combined from gorgeous mountains and coastlines to vibrant and fascinating cities that are full of history and rich culture. Unfortunately, it rarely snows in the UK so it won’t be as great for travellers who seek snowy weather on their visits.

The most go-to cities mostly include London, Liverpool, Bath, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, and other bigger cities around in the Middlelands up to the southern parts of Scotland. However the tourism industry is getting bigger, which means travellers are starting to discover more of what this beautiful country has to offer.

I have done posts like London Itinerary, Where to go in Scotland if you don’t have a car, What is there to do in Cornwall, and many more that provide information about travelling in the UK so feel free to check them out. However, this post will give you an overall insight of what it’s like travelling in this country. I have included things to expect and tips on saving money.

Weather

The UK is known for its all-year round rain; the main areas of the country that rain the most are Scotland and South West regions. The rain here is weirder than other countries, especially in Cornwall, because it rain clouds will drop by at random places without any signals given, and lots of times the rain lasts for a short period of time (rains for 5 minutes then the sun shines brightly for a while, and repeat. This happens a lot in the summer, for other seasons the sky will just be cloudy). This applies mostly to Cornwall, because the weather is so unpredictable that it literally feels like you’ve got 4 seasons in one day every single day.

Also the wind, it’s not as bad from the most northern parts down to the Middlelands, but once it gets close to the South West region… just ditch your umbrellas and go for rain/waterproof/windproof jackets. The wind is so strong it will break your umbrellas within seconds.

Tips for weather: 

#1 Don’t trust the weather forecast completely because the weather is way too unpredictable

#2 Rain coats or jackets are lifesavers

Transportation

This one is really challenging if you’re heading down south or heading up north, because the public transports are only convenient in major cities. Once you’ve entered the countryside, it’s a totally different story… the access to buses or trains is quite limited and they can get quite expensive.

If you’re in London, I recommend getting an oyster card for buses and tubes (subways) because each ride will cost you no more than £3 (about X5 cheaper than trains within the cities). If you’re outside of London but still are in major cities, go for buses… they’re quite convenient. Transporting from cities to cities, go for Megabus if available… if not National Express because trains will cost you a fortune unless you’re able to book it for cheaper (it’s usually the case if you book several months in advance) or the city you’re heading to is really close by. Once you’re outside the areas within the public transport’s reach, rent a caravan. It will make your life so much easier and makes your trip so much more enjoyable because as touristy as this country is, buses and trains can only take you so far and hostels, hotels and b&b (bed and breakfast) are mostly available in more developed areas rather than out in the wild.

Tips for transportation:

#1 Take buses, tubes, and Mega Bus (try to avoid trains because they can get really expensive, but if you do take them make sure to book several weeks or months in advance0

#2 Rent a caravan when you head north, south or to the countrysides

Accommodation

The city of London has no mercy for budget travellers, especially not with the accommodations. So if you’re not fussy about staying with others then hostel is a better option, not only it saves you money it also provides a kitchen for you to cook (buying groceries and cooking your own meals will save you loads of money).

However if you’re not comfortable staying with other people but still want to save some money, many hostels usually provide an option of a private bed ensuite (it will doubles the price of bunk rooms but will still be cheaper than normal hotels– starting from £50) or you can stay at bed & breakfast.

Tips for accommodation:

#1 Hostels are more budget friendly to travellers

Food

If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, you can expect to pay from £25. If getting a take-away, the price starts from £20, and if you’re getting fish & chips or kebab it can cost you at least £6 a meal. These are the standards, however you can expect the prices to go up in bigger cities.

What I recommend doing is preparing your own food if you can– you’d be so surprised how cheap groceries in this country is… even cheaper than what you get in Canada or even some supermarkets in Asia! (from Tesco but if you can find Lidl then that’s a bonus because the food is extra cheap there). Trust me, eating out every meal really burns off your budget no matter which city you go to in the UK.

Tip for food:

#1 If you’re planning to save money then preparing your own meals are recommended

Things to do

It’s pretty much known to everyone that traveling in cities and visiting attractions will cost you loads of money from your wallet. Although, I’m not saying don’t go to those famous attractions because if you haven’t visited those it means you’ve never actually been to the country.

Beside those, here are couple things you can fill up your itinerary with:

  1. Sightseeing by foot (avoid booking sightseeing tours because they’re mostly overpriced)
  2. Attending free or low entry-fee festivals (such as Balloon Fiesta in Bristol that has free entry)
  3. Traveling in the country side and witnessing its nature (as the only things you will be paying are food and petrol or transportation to get there)
  4. Getting to know the history (museums and cathedrals are mostly free to enter. For castles, you can expect to pay at least £7 to enter)
  5. Hiking (this only applies to countrysides but not only it’s a great exercise, you also get to see the beauty the things you won’t see from what you usually see online about the country– when you search the UK the Big Ben, London Eye, etc. will be one of the first things to come up)

 

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