England on a shoestring budget

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Category: Travels & Places
Published on Monday, 28 April 2014 21:24
Written by Jane Bürger
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shoestring



Have you ever considered spending one month in England without spending a fortune? Have you ever thought about studying in an English academy for a song? Have you ever considered mingling with locals in a laid-back environment? If you are a culture vulture, you can make the most of free guided tours in amazing museums.

Well, as an inveterate backpacker, I can give you some tips about different ways of saving money in almost everything. Let me show you how:


 

First of all, you should plan your stay in advance. The most expensive part is the board and lodging, so why not search for a place that is free of charge. There are several wonderful websites where you can find generous hosts, such as Workaway, Helpx and Mind my house, just to name a few.

After making sure that you won’t sleep rough, you should seek a flight with a no-frills airline, using Skyscanner, for example. And if you want to travel around England have a look at 'funfares' in National Express or 'the cheapest fare finder' in National Rail.

Before travelling, check museums and galleries that are in the area, go to the section ‘What’s on’ and find tours or conferences that can help you enhance your vocabulary about all topics. You can also attend the informal services in churches. Though it may seem a bit weird, you will get to know about the problems of the community, chat to locals and feel welcome while enjoying a nice cup of tea.

Referring to English academies, you should choose the ones which offer 'Practice classes'. They are taught by would-be English language teachers in CELTA courses and cost two pence. Don’t miss the extra activities these courses usually offer. In the evening, go to the pub, especially when there are ‘Quiz Nights ‘. You will have fun and learn a lot.

Don’t forget, ’When in Rome do as the Romans do’. Avoid taking organised bus tours, since you will be surrounded by foreigners. Walk, even if you know how to go to a place, ask for information, especially from elderly people. You will be impressed about how polite and talkative they are. It is an excellent opportunity to putting your communication skills into practice. Get off the beaten track, explore the city, try to be immersed in their culture and read newspapers, signs, notices or posters everywhere.

Although you might have bed and board, sometimes you’ll need to either buy food or find accommodation. As for the latter, you may ask for a free stay in Couchsurfing or book a bed in a hostel’s dormitory. In order to have value for money in foodstuff, in late afternoons go to the section ‘Reduced to clear’ in supermarkets or to any open markets . You’ll find huge discounts, concerning vegetables and fruit.

If you’re fond of theatre, go to the ‘last-minute seat’ or matinées and sometimes you will pay half the usual price for a performance. If you prefer The Seventh Art, go to the Information office and ask for Film clubs or movies that are released in special venues, such as museums, universities, trade unions, etc…

Last but no least, get inspired by reading my friend’s blog:

Amassing Meaningful Examples of "X"cellence

So go ahead and take the plunge! Enjoy your trip!

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