Hi my loves, I thought that it would good to do a brief Q&A about what I'm doing next month in London! I've been getting asked a lot of questions surrounding my short stay in London, and I figured I would go ahead and answer everything all at once for everyone to read. I'll be covering everything from how I was able to pay for the entire trip to why I'm going in the first place. If I miss anything, please don't hesitate to comment below your question, and I'll answer it personally.

Q: Why are you going to London?
A: I'm going for numerous reasons, but the primary reason is to see if I potentially want to live there for my studies. I've heard it's pretty expensive, so I want to test out living there to see if I can A) afford it long term and B) enjoy the surrounding environment (city life, people, etc).

Q: How long are you staying in London for?
A: I'll be there for a little over a month. However, I am doing some other traveling whilst I am there, so I won't be there for the entire month.

Q: Are you going by yourself?
A: So for the first week, I'll be with my mom. She wants to help me get settled in and see where I'll be staying and the school I'll be going to. Then, we'll be going to Paris for two days together (same week), to visit the school I want to study at and see the neighborhoods I want to live in, which is either in the 5th, 6th, 8th, or 11th Arrondissements. We'll be doing a lot of the touristy stuff together and then once she leaves, I'll do my own thing.

Q: Where are you staying?
A: Living accommodation wise, I'll be staying at an Airbnb. It's an apartment (flat), and I will have the entire place to myself. Location wise, I'll be in West Kensington. The location of the flat is close to Hammersmith and Fulham, so it's a pretty lively area from what I hear and also safe.

Q: What do you plan on doing while you're in London?
A: As far as an itinerary, I have no clue, but I do plan on doing a lot of things and really utilizing all of my time there. Obviously, I'll be doing some touristy sightseeing, going to some events and shows since it'll be London Fashion Week, but I also have classes on Sunday, so I'll have some schoolwork to keep me busy as well.

Q: Are you going for school?
A: Yes, and no. Yes, I'll be studying Editorial Fashion Styling at the London College of Fashion whilst I'm there, but like I stated before, it's not my primary reason for traveling to London. It's a short course; it's only three weeks with classes held on Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Q: Are you still moving to Paris?
A: Yes, unless I like London more, then I'll move to London. But as of right now, I have my heart set on Paris. It's where I want to study and live, but who knows, maybe London will be a better fit...

Q: When will you be moving, moving? And for how long?
A: Sometime during the summer of 2018, and it'll be for at least three years.

Q: "I want to do something similar, how much did it cost for you to be able to do this?"
A: It costed me about $2500 for everything: my class, flight, transportation, apartment, and excursions (Paris, Barcelona, and Milan). Mind you though, the Airbnb apartment that I rented was about $3100, and my parents paid for a large part of that since my mom is coming with me for a week.

To break down the costs, this is about what I paid for:

  • Flight: $840 round-trip, Delta, main cabin (the flight itself was $600, but I upgraded to main cabin and then I checked an additional bag, which is an added $100, and then I got traveler's insurances, so yeah...don't skip out on the traveler's insurance for $50 or whatever it was)  
  • Accommadation: $3100, 1-month rent, Airbnb apartment, very nice location
  • Short Course: $470 (converted from the sterling pound), three weeks, London College of Fashion
  • Transportation: $267 (converted from the sterling pound), monthly rate, Oyster Card only
  • Excursions: $400, but it could be more. I've planned my Paris and Milan weekend trips, but I don't know how much Barcelona and Madrid will be. And too, I'm kind of waiting because I don't want to over plan. 

Now, for living expenses, I'll have to get back to you on that because I'm not there yet. I budgeted about 300 BP per week, but again, I'll be in Paris and Milan for some time, and they use the Euro so I'll have to just wait and see. And too, I can be impulsive at times and I am a self-diagnosed shopaholic, so that should also say a lot about how my spending might fluctuate.

Q: Any tips for booking flights?
A: I've found that the cheapest day to leave for a flight is on a Tuesday, but the best time to book a flight is actually on a Wednesday night. My flight went from being $1300 round-trip on Monday to $900 on Tuesday to $600 at 8:00 pm Wednesday night. I've never entered my debit card information so fast. So when you are searching for a flight, use Google Flights to A) see all of the flights offered by every airline at every price and departure time and B) to bookmark your dates so when the prices go up or down for that flight, you'll be notified instantly!

Q: How do you find cheap accommodation for short stay trips.
A: If you are staying in a place for a month or longer, absolutely DO NOT look at hotels. For one, they don't offer monthly rates, and two, the hotels in the safe areas will most likely be overpriced because they'll also be touristy. Even if you are staying for two or three weeks--just stay away from hotels unless it's for a week or less.

You don't want to look at renting an actual apartment because those are more on the long term side of pricing. They'll most likely ask for a deposit that is equal or more than the cost per month.

If you are going specifically for school, try the school's accommodation first, or by booking through UniPlaces.com or SpotAHome.com. Both sites offer student friendly prices and good size apartments, but beware, some do require a deposit depending on the duration of your stay.

Personally, I feel like Airbnbs are the best way to go. You can find all sort of apartments and private rooms for a good range of prices. I try to go with a host that has the most reviews or is a Super Host. Also, if you talk to the host, you can also make your own kinds of arrangements when it comes to the pricing of the place matching your stay. You can choose the right place by filtering whether or not you want to live with the host, have a private room, or have the entire place to yourself! And often times, the monthly rate is discounted, which is an added bonus!

Hopefully this was helpful and answered most, if not all, of your questions! Again, if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask them!

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