This is the budget list that I used when I was preparing to travel to the UK. I separated my expenses into local currency (EC) and foreign exchange (US/GBP) so I could know exactly what I was spending on what.
Some of these things I brought and some I bought upon arrival.
|Things I want to bring/or do||Local currency $||US/GBP $|
|Do my hair (braids or haircuts)|
|Vicks, pain killers, menstrual products, cough medicine(Farrol)|
|Deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, combs, hair products|
|Flight | Montserrat – Antigua|
|Flight | Antigua – United Kingdom|
|Train ticket or Coach ticket to accomodation|
|Uber or taxi (from train station to accommodation)|
|Phone provider (get some data so you can use GPS services and order a taxi)|
|220Kw charger (can be bought in the airport or train station)|
|Food (buy this at the train station. Buy enough for dinner so that you don’t have to think about dinner)|
Hair: If you notice I put ‘do my hair’ at the top of the list because I wanted to make sure that I got my hair braided to protect it from the weather we were about to experience. Another absolute necessity was combs because I had a very hard time finding the specific type of comb I liked for my thick natural hair on a previous trip to the UK.
Guys, I know how attached you are to your barbers, so you might want to get a fresh cut to hold you off until you can find a new one.
P.S. You’ll look good for your trip and Freshers’ Week.
But…. with Freshers’ Week unfortunately comes Freshers’ Flu (Fresher’s Flu is the name given to the cold that you are very likely to get once you’ve moved into your new accommodation, meet new people and visit your uni campus for the first time. ) so I suggest packing Vicks, Ferrol (or cough medicine and home ready of your choice) and pain killers.
Uber prices can differ depending on how far your accomodation is from the train station. You can download the app on your phone. You will need a debit or credit card.
Phone providers: EE, Virgin Media and O2 are a few providers that you can get a SIM from. You can get a SIM with 5Gb or more from £10. Trust me, that data not gonna run out like in the Caribbean. I get 15GB a month and I can never finish it even if I have my data on all day and stream and whatsapp call. So don’t worry, the data should last long enough for you to step up and get a phone plan.
I currently use EE.
Trains: I used trainline.com to book my tickets.
This is if you land at Gatwick Airport: Gatwick airport has two terminals, South and North. You will most likely land at the north terminal. The train station is at the south terminal, so you will need to take a short metro ride (small train) to the terminal to get the train station.
It can be quite overwhelming because some trips can take very long and/or require you to take several train rides. If you’re lucky you can get a train ride from south terminal directly to your destination (may have a transfer in between).
If not you might have to do this route:
South Terminal – London Victoria
Tube (Underground) at London Victoria – London Euston
London Euston – Destination.
Tickets: If the ticket is not an E-ticket (electronic ticket) it means that you will have to collect the ticket at the train station. Which means you will need the debit/credit card that you used to pay for the ticket to insert in the machine to retrieve it. If you don’t own a card then you can buy your ticket at the airport when you arrive. (Check online for prices to budget accordingly)
Advice: Pay attention to the ticket name. Some tickets are called ‘Day Pass’ which means that you can use the ticket at any time until 6pm or 7pm. Some tickets can only be used at the time on the ticket. You can always ask someone at the airport to explain, they are very friendly and open to helping because they know new people arrive all the time especially uni time. You can also google it to make sure.
Coach: Cheaper than the train, you can book it at nationalexpress.com. Check the route of the coach, because some can have multiple stops which makes the journey longer and it feels exhausting. So check to see that you can get the ticket with the least stops possible.
P.S: Make sure to go to the Coach terminal/station not the bus terminal.
Food: It can be snacks or from a restaurant or fast food place like Burger King, McDonalds etc.