Saturday, September 06, 2014

Hello everyone, as you all know, I recently visited York for a short few days.
I'm gonna attempt to write a guide on my budget travels in Europe, so please bear with me as I'm not in any way as good as other travel bloggers. 
I'm merely sharing my tips and highlights of my trip!

What might be budget to me might not be to others, but if you're a broke student like me who's only got a few grands to spare to travel, then you might be able to relate to this post!
If you don't mind living in hostels and having budget meals, you'll be surprised by much you can save on things like these in Europe. Hahah

The moment we settled into York, we moved into our youth hostel, YHA York.
I don't think anyone can be a bigger fan of YHA hostels, really. I booked YHA for London all 3 times, Bath, and now York. 
YHA is a youth hostel, specially for youths and young adults like myself. That said, non-youths are also welcomed and prices are all the same.
Our hostel was clean and really modern. For a 4-beds room with a shared washroom (meaning you have to share washroom with other guests in the hostel), we only paid GBP 19 per pax, each night.
If you're wondering, yes its freaking affordable.
Plus, even though its a shared bathroom, there are so many toilets around the hostel that you basically have a toilet for yourself!
Total Accommodation Budget 3 nights - GBP57

Off to explore York!
I love York for its mixture of ancient and modern buildings. You can still see how beautifully preserved all the buildings are, and how they blend so seamlessly into this little city.
We walked around the area to look for food and were quite shocked to find that almost every shop closed at 6pm on sundays.
Thankfully, we walked further out off the city centre to find this little Fish & Chips shop that was about to close in 10 mins. Quickly barged in and holyyyy we had the BEST fish and chips we've tasted in our lives (so far).
I'm not even kidding It was so good that I even set up a Tripadvisor account to rate this tiny little shop. More people needs to know about them!
Cod and Chips, GBP5.12

The Sea Catcher 
1b Clarence streetYork YO31 7ELEngland

We tried to cook as much as we could as eating out can be quite costly. A simple meal at a cafe or restaurant would cost you at least close to 6 Pounds. 
Other than cooking, we also bought ready made packed food from the local convenience stores like Saintsbury's Local, Tesco Express and Poundland 
We bought back some ready made food from Saintsbury the night before and stored it in the fridge before microwaving it in the morning before setting off.
The little cup of pasta you see above is only GBP1 from Saintsbury, compared to any other breakfast that can cost from GBP5 onwards.

For dinner that night, we visited Poundland, where you can buy everything for only GBP1 each.
We whipped up a meal for 4 with these simple ingredients:
Spaghetti - 2 for GBP 1
Spaghetti Sauce - GBP 1
Bacon - GBP 1
Chicken Breast - GBP 1
This serves 4 portions, with one packet of spaghetti leftover, which makes it GBP1 each person!

Breakfast, Day2
3x 550ML Milk - GBP1
1 x Cereal - GBP 1
This serves 4 portions, GBP0.5 each person!

Total amount spent on food for 4D3N:
Day 1: GBP 5.12 (Dinner)
Day 2: GBP 9.90 (Lunch : We had pizza hut, not advisable)
GBP 1 (Dinner)
Day 3: GBP 0.5 (Breakfast)
GBP 5.95 (Lunch : Lunch deal at Bari's)
GBP 2 (Dinner: Saintsbury packed meal)
Day 4: GBP 0.70 (Breakfast)

Total meal budget : GBP 25.17
We opted for a Free Walking Tour conducted by the Association of Voluntary Guides of York 
Where we basically went for a 2-hour informative trail around York and learnt about the history on almost all the attractions.
King's Manor
The Shambles
The Free Walking Tour only brought us outside each attraction where the guide told us more about the place. We then had a better idea on the places we would be interested to pay to visit.

York Minster
We were lucky to have 2 friends who just visited York recently. They passed us their York Minster admission passes which were valid for a month from their purchase. 
The 4 of us took turns to visit the Minster and we didn't pay a single cent!
I would recommend those travelling in a group to purchase only 2 tickets, present your student IDs for concession rates, then take turns to visit the Minster.
Enjoying a cuppa' while waiting for the 2 to come out so we could go in.
Anyway the coffee wasn't any good at all in York so don't try it HAHA
We also visited a few paid attractions the next day,
The York Dungeon
A pity I didn't get to snap photos within the dungeon itself but it was basically an attraction that depicts the history of York Dungeon using actor led shows, special effects etc.
It was really thrilling and fun! Definitely worth the price.
Note: Do look out for the York Brochure at the train stations/York Visitors Center because theres a 2-for-1 coupon enclosed inside. (Page 14 to be exact)
Student prices only came up to GBP 14.95 for 2!

York's Chocolate Story
This attraction was one of the most highly rated on Tripadvisor, but I felt like the Chocolate Story was more of for kids than anyone else.
I wouldnt recommend anyone my age or older (unless you're going with kids) to visit this place because it was so lame....
We were brought through the timeline of how chocolate was made in the past, its history etc. 
Chocolate sampling was also available but that wasn't enough to make up for the GBP9 I paid for this tour (Student price)
They told us we would get to make our own chocolates, which sounded much more comforting because at least you know... I'd feel a little bit better and less bored about the tour but NO! They meant making the chocolates for us then handing us moulds to only decorate them. URGH

Day 3 OOTD hehe
Settled down for some afternoon tea at The Vanilla Cafe, its a small cafe along the streets and isn't it lovely?
I was telling matt how I wished for my own pots and pans to look like this too!
Fruity Scone GBP2.20
 Hot Chocolate with LOTSAAAA marshmalllows, GBP2.50

Total amount spent here in York:
Accommodation: GBP 57
Meals: GBP 25.17
Tea: GBP 4.70
Attractions: GBP 16.50

Added up to GBP 103.37
(Approx. SGD 216)

Yay! Turns out budget traveling in the UK is actually possible if you don't eat out so often, and if you keep a lookout on deals and coupons that can be hidden ANYWHERE.
They save you tons of money!
I would recommend one to stay in York for 2-3 days because like Bath, its a very small town that can be explored within just a few days.
They don't even have trains within the city and everyone traveled via foot or bus. (we traveled by foot).

Hope this was helpful to anyone who plans to visit York soon, It's a beautiful place and I really love it there!
Stay tuned for my travel VLOG, post etc on London next :D

Till then, I hope everyone is well.
Current mood: really homesick >< Missing my bed, missing singaporean food, missing my family and friends.


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