as kentfallen said, the antenna is a big issue. Just carry 30ft of thin gauge insulated copper wire with stripped ends, it's a very small bundle. Attach one end to your radio antenna and the other end to a tree or even hang it out of a hotel window. You'll be fine with that. If it's "overloading" your radio (signals too strong and on top of each other) just shorten the wire.
The world of shortwave is amazing, with or without the BBC (which I personally avoid
). If you want english, most countries have very good quality English service - there's Deutsche Welle, Radio China International, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, VOA, etc etc
Recently in South Africa I was listening to good quality news broadcasts in english from Radio China, which was very strong on shortwave.