How To Travel The UK On A Budget

For the past couple years my dream of travel has been brewing and building up. I have been mapping out future adventures, watching travel vlogs, and just listening to music dreaming of the day that I have complete control to go wherever I want. Now that my 18th birthday is edging towards me it is almost time for me to set off for that dream. I am becoming more anxious as the time passes. I want to start my journey in a place that is familiar to me. A place where I have friends wherever I go. So I decided to kick it off with a tour of europe starting in the western side. After thinking up specific places to fly to for the beginning of the journey, I decided on starting in london, based on the cheapest flights to Europe from Orlando during early may. I wanted to make this trip to the United Kingdom like nothing I’ve ever done before.

To make this trip unique to my own personal experiences I plan to travel through the entire country with only a backpack filled with clothing and essential gear as my luggage. I will start in London then go down to Brighton, travel through Cornwall, make my way up to Liverpool through Wales, then go towards Newcastle, follow the coast to Inverness, explore Loch Lomond and finally finish it all off in Glasgow. I will conquer this island. I plan to take this campaign slow and steady with a total span of just about three months From the beginning of May to the end of July. Through this next summer I will need to be smart about my spending and live on a daily budget which means cheap transportation, accomodation, and food.

Crieff, UK

I don’t know exactly what form of transportation I’ll be taking to each destination but I know that it will vary from time to time. I want to enjoy some of the beautiful coasts and rolling hills by walking and hiking towards my destination until I get fed up and decide to stick my thumb up and hitch a ride. Often times I’ll likely take a bus over a train ride as the cost of train tickets in the UK are usually pretty high. To top it off I think that it might be a good idea to buy a used bike at some point during the trip to speed things up from walking.

After a day of tiresome walking I’ll need a place to stay for a night or maybe a week and as I’ll be travelling on a tight budget I’ll need cheap or even free accommodation. Luckily there are many ways to stay for $0 a night like with the app Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is a platform where people can be hosts to travellers for free. It is something that I have learned about in the past year and it has become an app that I really want to use when I start travelling, not only for a free place to sleep but to visit and learn about towns or cities with a local. There are also other platforms for free accomodation like TrustedHousesitters which is where travelers can stay at a locals house in exchange for helping look after their pet. This is something I’d quite like to try out. Another form of free accomodation that I’d like to use is camping. I want to test my survival skills and enjoy nature at a deeper level with camping. I also have a few friends in the country that I could meet and stay with. A not free but cheap option I’m planning to use are hostels. Looking on Hostelworld there are plenty of hip hostels.

My days will likely start off with me waking up fairly early in the morning and getting straight to my computer to work on this blog, maybe upload a video to Youtube , or any other affairs I need to get done. Being productive in the morning will make it much easier to get through the rest of the day. After I get ready I’ll either buy a cheap meal at Tesco and set off for my next destination or walk around my area with my host or friend. But I need to make sure that I don’t plan my days super extensively because I think it will be much better to have to power to be spontaneous and flexible.

I want to stay flexible so I can attend events like an English Football League match which is something that I’ve been attracted ever since I played FIFA on the Xbox. I have to make sure I do that before the season ends in mid may. I also wanna see if I can watch the dangerous cheese rolling at Cooper’s Hill and attend the Highland Games in Scotland which is something that I have done some years ago. Halfway through my trip I am thinking about going to the huge Glastonbury music festival to party and experience British pop culture which is one of the more expensive events I have planned.

Burnley, UK

An important aspect of this trip to think about are my travel expenses especially because I will just have started my adult life with likely not a super livable income. I have already thought about my budget to an extent. After checking Skyscanner a flight to London from Orlando can easily be about $300 which I’d say is a pretty good price. The Glastonbury festival is also about another $300 for a weekend ticket. If I limit my paid accommodation I can limit that expense to less that $250 a month. I am not sure about my transportation expenses but if I play it right I could hopefully limit it to $60 a month. I want to keep my food expenses down to $10 a day and limit spending money on other things every day. After thinking about these numbers I plan to keep my monthly expenses to less than $1000 or less than $3000 for the whole trip. That’s less than the cost of living where I live. Honestly I think I can do that without a doubt.

I can’t wait to start this trip. I can’t imagine the feeling of anticipation one month from my flight. I am going to experience so much and learn about myself. My confidence will increase and I’ll meet plenty of people but In the back of my head I am nervous. I’m nervous that I’ll fail or I won’t be able to make money as a digital nomad. But I make sure that I encourage and believe in myself by identifying my own strengths. That is what keeps me going.

That self encouragement is not all I need. I figured if I want to be successful as a digital nomad I better start now. If I don’t will I really be able to do this? Well that is why I started this blog along with a part time job. I am making an effort now so I don’t have to worry later. It’s something I learned in a book. So I am starting to feel confident that my dreams are definitely coming true. And this three month trip to the United Kingdom is only the beginning so join me and help me with any information that I might be overlooking. Please give me any tips or advice in the comments. I’ll see you in the next post.

Skye, UK

5 thoughts on “How To Travel The UK On A Budget”

  1. All the best with your plan. To clarify, you’re American? How easy is it to move freely around Europe? Are you anticipating Brexit to cause any problems?

    I’ve used HelpX in NZ/Oz but to be clear you’re working in exchange for accomodation etc and would be expected to hang a round for a week or two. Hopefully couchsurfing (I used once/twice) works and travelling around camping would be great. Vango are a good brand for small tents. Get yourself to places like The Lake District, Northumberland, Yorkshire (Biased!), Dingle and Great Blasket Island in Ireland, North West Scotland (Oban and the islands, Skye, Mull etc). If you must go south (!)… Cornwall.

    If I knew what I learned travelling before I went travelling I could’ve saved thousands of £££s. National Express is a cheap bus (For long journeys) compared to train. Keeping food expenses ($10 per day) down won’t be easy, not if you’re shopping at Tesco and if you’re constantly moving around it’s difficult to buy the best value food because you’re geared more towards convenience.

    Make sure that you get off the beaten track and challenge yourself!

    All the best.

      1. Your second post came up near the top of the Search (Or possibly Discover) section on WordPress, probably in part because you posted it not too long ago.

        Your stats section can sometimes provide insight on this but only goes so far.

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