|Steve, the landlord at the|
Angarrack Inn, pulling my last
pint of Cornish Rattler Cyder.
A LOT!!! Hahahaha...yeah, the whole trip cost a pretty penny, and quite a few more pence. But I managed to save money for almost a year to pay for it. And while I don't think I wasted money while I was away, I know I could have cut costs to some degree though that would have changed the whole tenor of the trip. I arrived home with $88 and 92 pence in my pocket. Of course, as a backup, I had my checking account debit card, and two credit cards. One credit card was intended for larger expenses while in the UK to preserve cash, and the other was for emergencies. Thankfully, that one wasn't used at all.
I ate in pubs a lot, and bought a few meals for others (it was the least I could do when folks are putting me up for days at a time). Of course, there was an upward bump in the consumption of ale and cyder all over the country while I was there. I am sure that 80% of my fluid intake over the three weeks was alcoholic in nature.
I didn't buy a lot of souvenirs, save a Cornwall Pirates jersey for £50 ($78.54). I collected "beer mats" - known as coasters in this country. Of course, I spent £22 ($35) to mail home two glasses that were given to me, rather than deal with them in luggage, and I tossed in the jersey, too. It took exactly 7 days to make it across the pond, and it looks like they used the "dropkick" method of propulsion. Here's the pics:
|I blurred the address, but you can clearly see where the top|
was smashed in.
|But my well-packed glasses survived unscathed! YAY!|
|Item/Store||Cost ($USD)||Cost (£GBP)||Notes|
|Airfare||$1353.00||Purchased in February, 2012|
|3 nights @ Murcott Mill Farmhouse B&B|
Paid for when booked in Feb. 2012
|SIM card and phone time||$24.99 (card)|
a phone is essential. You'll need a GSM capable mobile. I bought a SIM
card that would give me both a US and a UK phone number, so if there was
reason someone in the US needed me, it
wasn't an international call, and I could
easily and cheaply call/text/data in the UK and my friends in the UK could
communicate with me without incurring
costs. It's a price I was more than willing
|Converted cash at |
|$43.90||$600.00 turned into £339.79 so I|
would have walking around money.
|Cash Point (ATM)|
|$8.14||A £200.00 withdrawal was $311.52, plus |
the $8.14 fee from my bank, so using an
ATM is MUCH cheaper than converting
at the airport!
|A few of the|
|I used almost all of this £539.79, coming |
home with about £0.93 in my pocket!
Most of this was spent on food, ale, small incidentals and admission fees. I also made a few charitable donations to the RNLI, the Wayside Museum, and a few others. I figure that £539 divided by 3 weeks is pretty cheap at £180/week!
|Taxi in Cambridge||£6.00||(these are included in the £539 above)|
|Bus from Cambridge|
to Milton Keynes
|£8.00||OMG this travel is cheap!|
|Train from Milton|
Keynes to Long
|£10.90||Did I mention that this travel is cheap!|
|Petrol (we drove a lot while wandering|
around Crick and
area, and back to and in/around Cornwall)
|£134.78||And we in the US bitch about paying|
$3.50/gallon for gas...the prices in the UK work out to about $7.92/gallon @ £1.34/Litre which seems to be near the
average price in the UK while I was there.
|Souvenir #1||$86.25||£55.17||A Bletchley Park Stamp Cover Set...very cool. I sent postcards to friends from the BletchleyPark Post Office. The cover set is neato!|
|Souvenir #2||$78.54||£50.00||One of the few souvenirs I purchased was atWhirlwind Sports...a Cornwall Pirates jersey.|
|Food and Ale from Grocers like Tesco, Asda, Co-Operative||$175.06||£111.95||Once again, a cheap way to have plenty ofbeer/ale and snacks available, plus I helped buy food for my hosts.|
|Admission to Warwick Castle||£28.20||Yes, a tourist attraction, but one of the best preserved |
old castles in the country. Very, very neat!
|Foxton Locks||$29.97||Food and a couple of souvenirs (hmm, where is that|
|Train from Penzance||$105.73||Overnight train back to Heathrow. Should have spent|
a little more and gotten a sleeper berth.
|Royal Mail (Post|
|$35.24||£22.00||I could not believe how much it cost to send this light box (like a couple of kilograms).|
at Sunset Surf Shop
|Fried egg (over easy), Cornwall sausage, Cornish pudding, rasher of bacon, grilled tomato, hash brown potato, and baked beans.|
|Final Dinner at The White Hart in Ludgvan, Cornwall||$63.33||I had Roast Rump of Lamb, with Potatoes Au Gratin and Lima Beans with Spinach, and 3 pints...Derek had ham and eggs with chips, and a pint, then a small red house wine.|
The total is $3483, plus or minus a bit. I know that sounds like a lot, but it was worth every penny. I am sure I could have saved a lot if we had eaten in more (self-catered), or drank a lot less.
|The view from the front window in Gwithian Towans,|
the front garden, the car park is across the lane, then the
ocean, St. Ives Bay, and that is St. Ives on the peninsula
opposite side of the bay (top left).
Here's reason #2: I had a friend in Russia at the same time I was in the UK this year. He is 19 and was traveling abroad for the first time. When he got back to JFK airport in New York his connecting flight had been cancelled. He had change in his pocket, no credit card, and NO PHONE! Nate didn't take it because it wouldn't work in Russia. He managed to call home with the remaining change he had, and his dad had to arrange a hotel room, the shuttle, and figure out his new connecting flight to Washington, DC, then wait for Nate to call him back. It all worked out, but it was a pain. JUST TAKE A PHONE!!! You can even rent an international phone from your carrier, and pay less than buying a new phone, though the next time you upgrade, look for a phone that can do CDMA and GSM, it won't cost you any more. (Here's a parenting tip: teach your totally connected kid how to make COLLECT phone calls - this is still possible, believe it or not! Yes, I just dated myself, but I remember making collect calls when I was 14 and stranded in SC and home was WV. Saved my a$$!)
|A regular at Tinner's Arms|
|Somewhat different condiments in English pubs!|