Costs in the UK
There’s never a firm answer to the question "How much money will I need?" but it is possible to work out a rough budget for yourself. The UK represents many and varied opportunities for lightening your wallet, but here’s a rough idea of what to expect. Most travellers budget £1,000-£1,500 per month, depending on what type of traveller you are, how often you are drinking (this is where a lot of money magically disappears) and how many activities you do.
In the UK the majority of travellers spend the night in hostel dorms as they're cheaper than private rooms. The average price for a shared dorm room (mixed) is around £15-£20, though there are cheaper/more expensive rooms available. New, flash hostels may charge anything up to £30 per night. If you’re driving, campsites are an excellent alternative. Pitches cost around £10-£20 with facilities, and that’s split between you.
Food and drink
Food and drink are surprisingly cheap if you're buying from supermarkets. The main supermarkets in the UK are Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and the Co-Op. Tesco ‘value’ and Sainsbury's ‘basics’ are what you’ll be buying, and a weekly shop can cost about £30.
Eating out can be very expensive in the UK, with a main costing anywhere between on average £13. However, there are lots of backpacker deals on eating out, and you can pick up the occasional meal for as cheap as £5. Failing that, there's always MacDonald's...
Alcohol prices vary from place to place but a pint in a pub will set you back £3.50 and a glass of wine set you back £4. Unfortunately, these prices increase dramatically in London and you can be looking at £7 for a pint and £10 for a glass of wine, though they'll be in the swanky trendy bars.
Oh, and tap water is safe to drink...
British nightlife is hectic, so be prepared to spend a lot if you’re a clubbing fan. Always look into other things other than just clubbing. It’s often a lot of fun to simply explore your surroundings at night. London's expensive to party in, but cheap to explore. There are hundreds of things to see and do in the major cities, and a lot of them are all free.
The UK has a big drinking culture, and you should never find yourself too far from a bar or pub. There can be nothing nicer than sitting in a beer garden in the summer sun with a good group of friends sipping a nice pint of ale. Lovely...
Tours and activities
Hostels are a fantastic place for information on tours and activities. They also offer some of the best deals and if you’re travelling on your own then it is a great way to meet like-minded people. However, Tourist Information Centres are even better. They are always welcoming and offer unbelievable deals that under-cut the hostels.
Obviously, the quickest way of losing money when travelling is by doing every activity and tour on offer. It’s a great idea to plan what you want to do before you get there. You’ll find yourself bombarded by different tour posters in every hostel you stay at. Always ask if there are deals on, or whether it is cheaper to book in a group. You’ll be surprised at how often this works.