If you read my last post, you know that I am going to Manchester for a couple of days. This is how I planned my trip and what I generally do when planning trips. Hope the tips are useful. Have fun!
First of all, how do I get to Manchester? There are various possibilities; train, coach or car. The fastest way is obviously the train, but also the most expensive. With no doubt, I would not hire a car, (as I don’t want to risk others and my life) because I have never driven on the left side. Moreover, it would mean that I have to sit on the right-hand side and must shift the gear with my left hand (as you might know it is the opposite in Switzerland). Therefore, my task was to find cheap train tickets. Obviously, make sure to get them in advance for a specific train (day & time). In addition to the advance ticket, the prices also vary during the day, which means during rush hour the prices are noticeably higher. Therefore, try to travel off-peak, it is not only cheaper but also much more comfortable. It is less packed and so much calmer. Go to either National Rail or Train Line and check out the prices. I mean you know the drill, type in where you want to travel, when and what time. (link to Helena’s blog). Look for “CHEAPEST FARE”, normally the computer automatically selects them “SELECTED” (how handy is this, you don’t even have to be good with numbers, just kidding!).
Another tip is, play with the times to get the cheapest tickets, because you cannot see the price overview for the whole day. On the other hand, if you want a ticket, where you are not bound to a certain train, then buy an “anytime” ticket. This is always more expensive but you are by far more flexible.
When you are not in a rush, you could even take the coach. It is much cheaper (£5 only! Good for all the students.), but the down side is the coach takes ages compared to the train. Have a look at the following websites National Express and Megabus.
Next, I was looking for a place to stay. Fortunately, a friend of mine studies in Manchester and I can stay at hers during the week. Luckily, that was sorted. I only had to find accommodation for the weekend for my Swiss friend and me. Regrettably, the hostel we wanted to try was fully booked, which is a good sign for this particular hostel. Nevertheless, I will check out some hostels, and keep you updated on another post. At the end, I booked a hotel for three nights.
Things To Do
I checked out Instagram (search: #Manchester and signed-in in Manchester, normally I stroll through recent posts) and Pinterest, but also TripAdvisor to get an overview of all the touristic attractions. In addition, sometimes there are travel guides, who write a review of what they have done, including their tips. It is worth having a look. Later, I read so much about Manchester and its history and I am really fascinated about what it has gone through. Afterwards, I made a list with the things I definitely want to visit, landmarks to take pictures, where to eat, what events are taking place, etc. Then, I looked at their websites to get more information, i.e. opening times and prices. Closer to the trip time, I would normally go to Google Maps to see how to get there and how long the journey takes. Once I’ve done that, I would combine the things I would like to do, which are close to each other.
Depending on the weather, I would reorganise my plans and pack my stuff. Normally, I would be more spontaneous once I am at the city. How do you guys plan a city trip? Are you more spontaneous or is everything well-thought out? Please comment below.
Bye for now
P.S.: Meeting other Interns
I am trying to organise a coffee meeting with some of the interns who are in Manchester right now. I am really looking forward to seeing them and it would be a great opportunity to chat about how they enjoy being in UK, what their tasks are at work, what they enjoy the most here, how their English has improved, etc. I am so excited to see you all.