With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Travel Tips for The United Kingdom

Posted by Heliocentrism on January 15, 2018

2017

You have to bring:

  • Just your prescription medication and a doctor’s note.
  • Everything else can be bought here.

Things you can buy here or bring with you:

  1. Luggage:
    • You can use a suitcase or a backpack. A Backpack gives you a little more mobility, but it’s not a must-have here.
    • But, some hostels do not have elevators.
  2. Clothes:
    • You can buy anything here.
    • Try to shop at duty free stores and ask the clerk for the duty free paper work.
      • Fill out the forms.
      • Mail it at the airport you use to leave the European Union.
  3. Towel:
    • Bring your towel if you are staying in a hostel.
  4. Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash:
    • All hotels provided guests with shampoo and body wash.
    • You are never given conditioner.
    • You should bring your own toiletries if you are staying at a hostel.
      • You can buy shampoo, conditioner, and body wash at any convenience store or grocery store.
      • Personally, I prefer to shop at bigger grocery stores like Tesco Extra rather than a Tesco Express.
  5. Deodorant/ Antiperspirant:
    • You can find this here.
  6. Sunscreen:
    • No problem; you can find it here.
  7. Over the counter medicine:
    • There are lots of pharmacies where you can buy cold medicine and pain killers like aspirin.
    • It’s best if you know the generic or chemical name of the drugs you need.
      • Instead of asking for Bufferine, ask for ibuprofen.
    • I would still bring some medications for basic illnesses like diarrhea, fever, and constipation.
      • Don’t run out of these.
      • It’s always tough to look for medication when you’re already sick.
      • It’s easy to find what you want if you have a label of the drug you are looking for.
  8. Other things you should bring:
    • Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Flip-flips
    • Smartphone
    • hiking shoes
    • Rain jacket
    • Rain pants
    • Rain boots
  9. If you need to buy outdoor equipment, I recommend:
    • Mountain Warehouse 
      • They are always having a sale
      • Their prices for non-sale items are still generally lower than at other outdoor stores.
    • Cotswold
      • They are a bit pricier, but you can get up to a 20% discount (at the shops in Wales and England) if you have a YHA membership.

Cliffs of Dover

General Tips:

Weather:

  • Always check the weather report before going out.
    • Just because it was warm yesterday, doesn’t mean it won’t be cold today.

Food:

  • Shop at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, or other grocery stores for ready to eat lunches.
    • Many of them have a £3 lunch deal where you choose a main, a drink, and a snack.
  • For cooking your own meals, shop at the bigger grocery stores rather than the Tesco Express or Sainsbury’s Local.
    • The bigger stores have more products and cheaper generic versions of products.
    • Morrisons is my favorite, but I also like Tesco Extra.
    • You can save a lot of money by cooking your own meals.
  • Try Scotch eggs!
    • They are actually from London, not Scotland.
  • Try Haggis when you’re in Scotland.
    • Get the type without the sheep stomach casing.
  • Try Cornish Pasties.

Transportation:

  • Get a railway card, if you’re going to ride the train a lot.
  • Get a bus pass if you are going to take many buses.
    • National Express Coach Card
    • You can get a 7-day pass to travel about in certain areas.
  • In smaller towns it’s best to rent a car.
    • It’s a lot cheaper to rent a standard car than it is to rent an automatic.
    • So, learn to drive stick before you go, to save about £50 a day.
    • If you want an automatic, make sure to reserve one ahead of time.
      • They don’t have too many of them.
  • Don’t use the black taxis in London.
    • They are more expensive.
    • If you don’t mind paying more for a cab once for a photo or something go for it.
      • They are really nice.

I’m a Scottish Heritage member!

Get Membership:

  • You should get membership at one of the following depending on where you will travel:
    • English Heritage – £54 / year for 1 person
    • National Trust England – £64.80 / year for 1 person
    • Scottish Heritage –  £49 / year for 1 person
      • All of these are a little cheaper when getting a group or family membership.
      • Many come with discounts for other things, like:
        • The Scottish Heritage gives you 20% off at all of their gift shops and cafes.
        • English Heritage gives you free parking at many of their sights.
      • As a bonus, it helps you when planning what to do and see in the country.
    • The memberships really do pay for themselves.
  • If you are going to stay in hostels, join Hosteling International, or any of its subsidiaries.
    • YHA – England & Wales
    • SYHA – Scotland
      • Membership at any of these will get you the discounted rate at any of the other hosteling organizations.
      • These hostels tend to be better than most other hostels.

Money:

  • Change money at the Post Office.
  • Or, get cash from ATMs.
    • Most ATMs have no ATM fees, but you might not get a good exchange rate…
  • Don’t tip.

Scams:

  • Not many scams to look out for, just use common sense.

The United Kingdom

How to get there:

You can enter this country by land via an underwater tunnel, air, or sea.

Check with your local UK embassy for visa information.

Phone:

  • Use 112 or 999 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance

Website:

Data:

Videos:

Books: 

Notes:

  • If you’re going to do a lot of travel by train or bus, looking for a Rail card or bus pass before you buy your first ticket.
    • Railway Cards
    • Oyster Card
    • Even getting a day pass on a bus could be cheaper than getting 3 single passes, or a return ticket and a single pass.
  • If you’re going to travel around the United Kingdom, you might want to get membership at one of the following:
    •  English Heritage – £54 / year for 1 person
    • National Trust England – £64.80 / year for 1 person
    • Scottish Heritage –  £49 / year for 1 person
      • All of these are a little cheaper when getting a group or family membership.
      • Many come with discounts for other things, like:
        • The Scottish Heritage gives you 20% off at all of their gift shops and cafes.
        • English Heritage gives you free parking at many of their sights.
      • As a bonus, it helps you when planning what to do and see in the country.
  • If you are going to stay in hostels, join Hosteling International, or any of its subsidiaries.
    • YHA – England & Wales
    • SYHA – Scotland
      • Membership at any of these will get you the discounted rate at any of the other hosteling organizations.
      • These hostels tend to be better than most other hostels.
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