Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Iceland in December! | Costs and Budget

Hey guys!

At the end somehow I did manage to squeeze in one more final trip abroad in 2017. In all honesty Iceland was nothing like I expected . I did not know that such beautiful, natural places existed on earth. I felt like I went back in time and saw the world as it was before humans changed nature. What I loved about it the most was that although there were many areas that were made habitable and had all the essential things we are used to having, they have preserved most of the places and it is all nature. Majority of the things we saw were free entry, just nature as it is without any input by humans.
Oh and when you go there please drink the tap water there!!! It's liquid gold. Never have I tasted such pure and tasty water. I can't really describe it, you have to try yourself.

In this post I will cover the costs of going to Iceland in December. However, if you want to see more of our trip be sure to check out my vlogs on my youtube channel that I will be uploading soon!
My YouTube -
Iceland is the fifth most expensive country in the world so be prepared when you go. Regardless, if you want to cover the main things you'll be fine since entry for most places are still free. The only thing that will cost you a lot is FOOD! Food is very very expensive in Iceland. We took advantage of the 23 Kg baggage allowance with British Airways and took lots of food with us which came in very handy.

Trip length - 4 days, 3 nights
Flight and Apartment - £270
Blue Lagoon with Transport to the airport  - £92
Classic Golden Circle Tour - must go! - £50
Airport transfer from airport (one  way) - £25
The northern lights would've cost us another £90. However, we were unlucky as it was too cloudy in the days were there to see the northern lights.
In total main trip cost us - £437

The Apartment we booked was called Apartment K. It was beautiful and I would recommend booking an apartment in Iceland rather than a hotel. We were provided a living room and kitchen so in the evening we were able to heat up the food we brought with us enjoy our meals.

We booked the Classic Golden Circle Tour through Grayline before we got there.
If you are able to drive in iceland and can hire a car, I'd recommend doing that instead of booking this tour. You can go anywhere you want to and stop anywhere to take pictures. Although I must say if you're worried about driving in heavy snow in December, you shouldn't. As well as that the Golden Circle tour covers very interesting places.

You will need roughly £500 when going to Iceland, including smaller spending but please take advantage and go while you can. I hope the country doesn't change too much over the  next 50 years. It's somewhere I'll definitely visit again.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Things to consider when looking for a student house at University

Hey guys,

 As a fresher it was so easy as you get to live on campus accommodation and everything is set up for you and ready to go. There is plenty of other things to worry about as a fresher and so it's great that on campus everything is taken care of by maintenance people provided by the university. EDIT: I recently found out that not all universities provide cleaners and campus security in accommodation! Shocking to me as all of this was included for us in Kent.

However, in your final years at university that's when life really kicks you. You realise you're officially an adult when you receive water bills under your name, pay deposits and have to start signing tenancy agreements. It becomes so hectic - I'm actually currently on the phone to my water supplier while writing this blog post. I thought setting these things up would be easy but there is more to that than you realise....they might get the bills wrong, not have accurate meter readings, the house might need fixing etc. So I thought I will tell you guys everything I know to make sure you look out for the right things just to reduce your struggle.

Things to look out for when looking for a house:

1) Bills included or not? I'd recommended getting bills included and if not arranging your own bills package. A good website for this is Splitt The Bills. 

2) Location - Transport
I'm a walking distance away from university and this is the best bit about my place. It's not the fanciest house, we pay for location. However, I save  money by not spending too much money on the food places on campus.

3) Types of Rooms
You could be receiving any of the rooms in the house. When you look at them make sure you are happy withe every single room, if it comes to picking out of a hat,  you don't want to be disappointed with the room you received. If you're only unhappy with one room, make it clear to your future housemates before signing the contract. Maybe, someone else will be willing to take it.

4) Location of the boiler, gas meter, water
Sounds weird but we only found out after we moved in that our boiler is outside in the shed!

5) Heating - does it work?
Where are the heaters placed? If during winter, was the house well heated and cosy when you walked in?

6) Things that need fixing - will they be fixed?
Ask and make it clear that you won't  move in until you have the guarantee of it being there functioning when you move in.

7) Price
Depending on how much money you have, you don't need luxury. However, don't go for a place that's way too cheap, there's most likely going to be a catch.

8) Terms in the Tenancy Agreement
Read it well before signing it!

9) Who to contact in case of a house Emergency
Do they have an arranged maintenance person?  Do you get to contact the Landlord or is everything handled through the Letting Agency?

10) Potential MOULD
If you walk in and smell the mould but can't see it on the walls. Run whilst you can!

 11) Contract Length - half rent during the summer?
Ideally you want half rent, paying for a full 12 month contract is way too much.

I'd recommend reading this post again before signing your contract, use it as a check list! Or even take it to a house viewing and mentally tick things off.


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