How to live out of a backpack?

Travel Forums Europe How to live out of a backpack?

Last Post This thread is marked as being about United Kingdom
1. Posted by misshelenb (Budding Member 17 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'm told it's best to pack the least possible, and I always over pack, so could I get some suggestions (specifically from UKers) on what best to bring to GB? I like wearing skirts, but am not averse to pants/shorts/etc. :)

It'll be my Daddy, Mammy and me together, and we're renting a car for the two weeks in mid May we'll be there.

Thank you!

2. Posted by alisonkf (Budding Member 24 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

From Alison Fairgrieve
Dear Helen,
I've done a lot of living out of back packs, though as you are hiring a car there is not really a pressing need for this. The weather will be variable so you absolutely must have a light waterproof. Get one that folds up small with a hood. Have a selection of light polycotton tops for hot weather and one or two sweaters or fleece jackets. Avoid anything that needs ironing at all costs. Have a couple of non-iron skirts if you like but also two pairs of light pants. Jeans are OK but if they get soaked take ages to dry. Sportswear shops sell travellers' lightweight breathable garments which are hassle free to wash and wear and usually provided with handy zipped pockets. Look for travelling trousers which zip apart to convert to shorts. Buy panty liners so that you can wear your knickers for an extra day.It may horrify you, but your mother may appreciate a lightweight, sleeved, thermal vest to put under light clothes if the weather turns nasty. Buy travellers' wash cream in a tube for laundering undies on the move. Bring lightweight walking boots or stout shoes, maybe some trainers and some ballet flats or sandals for evening. All this applies to your mother, who probably has her own ideas. A folding umbrella is also useful and a couple of scarves to dress up tops. Also a cashmere shawl, or an imitation one, is useful if going out for a meal. Bring a largish fabric hand bag with a strap which will roll up in your rucksack. In big cities beware of pickpockets, so use a waist bag for valuables. Decant toiletries into small plastic travelling bottles. Use wipes for removing make up and for a quick "wash". A light dressing wrapper which you could share with your mother, might be handy in remote bed and breakfast houses with no ensuite bathroom or if you stay in any youth hostels which are often in fabulous locations. (Parents also welcome, anf family rooms are bookable)Get a couple of the new, amazingly absorbent, travel towels which roll up very small.

If you are the Helen who planned to go riding, then stretch riding jeans will be
necessary. Usually, riding schools wil provide a hard hat. I like to take stretch gloves with knobbly palms. You never know if you are going to get a strong puller.

3. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hello Miss Helen

Since u are renting a car, I dont think there is too much need, to travel very light.
They reason not to bring much when travelling, is that many of us take public transport, and have to carry our backpacks around, and find someplace, to put them down, in buses, cafes etc.
So bring up to the weight the airline allows.


4. Posted by Mancunion (Full Member 128 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


its always worth packing some sort of rain coat as you never know when it may rain here. But in May the weather tends to be better, so hopefully you will avoid the rain.

Skirts, pants should be fine, but not sure about shorts though, unless you are looking to got to the beach or something on your travels...

There are plenty of wash houses around so you should not need to carry too much...

Have fun and I hope you enjoy your stay in the UK.

BTW, you have got to visit Manchester too! it is located in the northwest of England, second city of England, easy to get too.

5. Posted by guiny (Full Member 143 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Once someone told me the following: "Bring half you need you will use and twice you think you will spend".

6. Posted by misshelenb (Budding Member 17 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thank you so much everyone for the tips!

Can you help with the following? I have no idea how things work for "tourists" (I hate to think of myself as that) over there.

-Places to do laundry? Where? How much?
-Places to buy groceries? Where's best?
-Places to eat out? I want to eat at the real places, not restauraunts or mcdonalds or olive garden etc. . .


7. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hello Misshelen

U can do laundry at the laundrettes. They are in most towns. I dont know how much they currently cost, because I have not lived in England, for 17 years.
Places to buy groceries:
Food and cosmetics: Safeways supermarket, Sainsburys supermarket, Tescos supermarket, Waitrose supermarket
Cosmetics and medicine: Boots pharmacy
Places to eat out: Pubs often serve good food. Also, there are plenty of restaurants in all but small villages. Indian restaurants, Italian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, English Cafes.


8. Posted by janesgarde (Budding Member 41 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Helen
You've had lots of replies already. I skimmed one or two.

All I'd say, and it may be there already, is that in every town, and in many villages in the UK there are "Charity Shops". (I don't know if you have them in the US) THey sell good quality second hand clothes, and other stuff, books, cd's etc. So if suddenly need something you can buy a dress for one evening out for £5-10. THey are brilliant!

Have a great time, the weather could do anything to you,

9. Posted by Mancunion (Full Member 128 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Just as Mel says, its not difficult. We are blessed in that regard. In most towns and cities amenities are conveniently located.

I think it usually costs about £2/£3 for a single wash, then a few more pound if you want them ironed too.

you have your local green grocers or the local supermarkets too. They are plentiful, nothing to worry about.