Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Holiday on the cheap

Hello. How do you have a cheap eight day holiday in the UK for just over £200? First of all you need a bus pass, because you don't want to be paying anything for transport. Then you need to go to the parts of the country where there are hostels. Unfortunately they are not evenly spread about, there are pockets of them in tourist areas like The Lakes, Derbyshire, and the South West, For a full list go to the YHA web site. The prices quoted are for non members, deduct £3 per night if you are a member. For information about hostels in Scotland go to the SYHA site.  It is cheaper to join the Scottish YHA than the English one. The benefits are the same, your membership covers you for a discount at the YHA and the SYHA. There is an Independent Hostel site as well, or you could try Couch Surfing, or Air B&B.

Here is a breakdown of my costs.
Monday B & B at Pateley Bridge. £55
Tuesday Malham Youth Hostel £17
Wednesday Windermere Youth Hostel £18.50
Thursday & Friday Ambleside Youth Hostel £39
Saturday B & B Kendal £30
Sunday York Youth Hostel £17.
I had a breakfast at the hostels, good value at £5, but you could make your own in the self catering kitchens. Bedding is included. I had a bed in a female dorm, the cheapest option, though some private rooms are available which cost more.
Total for accommodation £176.50

I allowed myself £3.50 a day for other food. I didn't have an evening meal, because I knew I was getting a big breakfast in the morning. I bought bananas, pasta salad, button mushrooms, crisps, bread, cheese, sprouting beans, and I had a packet of pasta in cheese sauce which I cooked at a hostel.

I don't usually pay to go in places, I am more interested in the outside of buildings. I did go in the Pencil Museum, had seen it on the tele and it looked quirky. It was interesting.

I had one ice cream, £1.70, and I spent £9.60 on gingerbread, not all for myself I hasten to add, a gift for a friend. So they were my two treats.

Total cost was £214.80, so that's how to have a cheap holiday.

Working out bus timetables was the biggest challenge. With no definite route in mind, I made it up as I went along. Arriving at a bus station and reading all the boards to see where the buses were going. Some had electronic screens which gave information about all buses, and updated it every couple of minutes. That made it a bit easier. I suppose you could check timetables before you go, and book accommodation to fit in with the buses. That seems like a lot of hard work to me. Also you get local knowledge from the staff who work at the bus stations. Another way to do it is to book several nights at the same hostel and use that as a base to go out each day using local buses.

I carried a rucksack, but you could do it with a wheelie suitcase if you weren't going to do much walking. I suggest if you are thinking of doing a bus pass holiday, to book some cheap accommodation  for two or three nights, within a days travel of your home. Check the bus times before and make sure you can get to your destination in one day. Anyone fancy giving it a go?

I'm going to be a bit busy tomorrow, so if you don't mind, I will take a day off from blogging. I need to catch up. Thank you. Toodle pip.

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