Jan 2nd, 2011, 08:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3

I’m currently in the process of planning a trip to three countries England, Scotland and Ireland. I’m still saving up the money for the trip but I’m very determined about taking it. I should have enough money by the middle of the year and I was wondering, what are the best cheap non-tourist things to see and do in these countries? I’m from a major tourist town and I know how crazy it gets during tourist season. I’m not looking for the super glitzy attractions. I’m planning for the trip to last about two weeks. Most of my time in England, I want to spend shopping (I’m a 20 year old girl) but I want to do most of that at thrift shops and such. This is the first trip I’ve ever planned like this, so I’m not sure which country I should go to first although I know that England will be the last, mostly because I don’t what to lug all the stuff I buy around with me. So if ya’ll could help a newbe out I’d really appreciate it.
Jan 3rd, 2011, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Congratulations on your ambition and on starting your travel life early!

I would bag Ireland on this trip. Look at flying to Scotland, preferably Edinburgh, on Icelandic and heading south after seeing as much Scotland as you want. In general, buses are going to be cheaper than trains, and hostels will be the cheapest places to sleep.

Every English market town (like a county seat in South Carolina, not necessarily big but the center for the local area) is going to have charity shops run by Oxfam and many other charities. These will have second hand clothes, shoes, accessories, household goods, etc at very reasonable prices. You may also run into rummage sales at churches and "boot sales" (flea markets set up in a field or parking lot on Saturday or Sunday). Many of these will be easier to find and get to in the smaller cities, say Hereford rather than London or Birmingham. If shopping is an interest, look into these smaller cities.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3
I was considering not going to Ireland, I was thinking that it would be more of a hassle trying to see all I wanted in only two weeks, this gives me a reason to go on another trip. If I don’t go to Ireland I’ll get to spend more time in Scotland and see all the stuff I wanted and it will make planning my route easer. Also I’ll get more time to get from one place to the next. Thanks very much for your help.
Jan 3rd, 2011, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,671
Do you know that you can get multi-city flights so that you could fly into Edinburgh and out of London? That would save on travel time and give you more time for sightseeing and shopping.

London has a lot of free things to do, especially if you like to walk. Parliament and Big Ben are very-close-together walk-bys, as well as Buckingham Palace. Many of the museums are free, and it is a great city to walk in the parks and markets and alongside the Thames, especially on the South Bank.

Go to your public library or bookstore and look at the different travel guides to see what interests you. You can then buy the guide you like best or just make a list of stuff for yourself.
carolyn is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,042
In London you will pay a lot for accommodation but there are lots of free or cheap things to do as well. Most museums and galleries are free, some I would recommend are The Wallace Collection, National Portrait Gallery, British Museum and The Sir John Soanes Museum. Most parks are also free and there are sometimes street parades, such as the Lord Mayor's Show. This is only in November but you could do a search and see what else in on. Try

There are usually at least 2 or 3 charity shops in each town in the UK, you can a search here -

They are often found in a cluster away from the higher rent areas of the town. If you like books, libraries often have book sales where they sell cast offs for about 20 pence.

If you can fly into Scotland you could then get the bus or train down south. Have a look at Megabus who advertise fares for 1 pound. I've never used them but you could look on the ThornTree forum on Lonely Planet to see if anyone reviews them.

Also check this website for some great ways to save money :

KayF is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 05:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
In 2 weeks you cannot possibly see 3 countries.

Also, even if you want to visit primarily small towns - I think you need to have a look at what they have to offer versus some of the major sights in a few larger cities.

Also - don;t know how much money you had planned on - but living in these places will definitely cost more than it will in your home town. Suggest you get a couple of student guides- Let's Go or Rough Guides - and use them to 1)pick out some specific places to see and 2) get some idea of how much money you will really need to live in these countries.

(I went to Europe at 19 for the first time and we saw parts (1 or 2 places) in 6 countries - but we had 5 weeks and were traveling by car. Also - we had detailed plans and budgets before we left - so we KNEW we had more money than we would need - even in case of emergency - plus several $ extra hidden away as well as an extra credit card.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 82
Your plan to cut back to just Scotland and England sounds really smart. If you felt inclined, you could wander down to Wales for a bit. It is really beautiful, with some lovely little villages. Also, the trains and buses are a good way to see more countryside and experience more, rather than flying. I hope you will consider a wee bit of time in the countryside around Stratford-on-Avon and, if you are into academics, chooses either Oxford or Cambridge to get your juices flowing. How wonderful you are planning in advance and starting so young. Very cool.
Lulealady is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 06:46 PM
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Thanks everyone for the tips and the web sites, and trust me I’m not in the least in the dark about the amount of expenses, when I say that my town is a tourist town I’m not lying. To rent even in the worst part of town during tourist season requires a small fortune. I’ve already priced most of the trip and I figure that since I’m planning on cutting Ireland out I’ll definitely have more than enough. Besides that like I said I’m not really into the tourist sites anyway. I’m more interested in culture submersion. I’m not opposed to seeing all the tourist attractions but I’d rather not, but hey if they're in walking distance then why not go and take a look. I did consider Wales. I’m also glad that someone mentioned trains and buses. I did decide that they would be my main source of transportation.

I figured now is as good a time as any to travel, I don’t want to wait until later to do it and right now I have the means to travel. Traveling has always been in my blood don’t know why, no one else in my family likes to travel.

Like I said you have all been a great help and I really appreciate all the advice you’ve given.

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