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28 June 2017

Alice's Graduate Antics

In 2013, I started Alice's Antics on a bit of a whim, ready to embark on my 'gap year', and seeking a place to write down my adventures.

When I first sat down to write my first blog post, I never thought in a million years I would stick it out, that it would see me through the next 4 year of my life. Beyond my gap year, beyond my education, and into actual, adult life.

Because that's right - I've finished university! And on Thursday last week, I received the news I would be graduating from Royal Holloway, University of London, with a 2.1 in Politics and International Relations. 

Yet despite my degree, which I worked my arse off far, Alice's Antics remains the achievement I am most proud of. I started at a time when Youtube and Blogging wasn't as saturated, the market was still being discovered and Instagram fame was definitely not a thing. My first blog post was made fun of by a lot of people, my parents will be the first to admit they didn't 'get' the whole blogging thing, and to be completely honest, as an easily influenced 18 year old, it took a lot for me to stick it out. 

And because of my determination, I now have an online scrapbook of my thoughts and feelings over the last 4 years. I have my thoughts the weekend before moving into University, my first impressions of being a student, my first, second and final year summaries, I have everything in between. And now, I have this, graduation. It's over.

I don't know if I've formally announced it yet, but I did manage to beat the statistics, and started at a graduate job in London, working in, would you believe it, public relations and social media. Another thing I have Alice's Antics to thank me for, because after deciding to put it on my CV( résumé), it was the biggest talking point of my interview... and probably landed me the job.

The last month or so has been mad, finishing university, starting a job and receiving my grades - I don't know how I've had time to breathe. And to be honest, the next month is also just as crazy as just as I've settled into my new job,  I'll be graduating and I'm moving into a new flat in London. So that is going to be very exciting (and will be vlogged on my Youtube channel). 

So, that's it guys, I'm officially an adult. 

Thank you so much for being such a huge part of my journey from unsure 18 year old, into the still-unsure-but-now-degree-educated, 22 year old I am today. 

I am SO excited for the next couple of years, and whatever happens, you can bet it will be blogged and vlogged along the way.

Love, A x


18 June 2017

Disneyland Paris on a Budget

For the majority of this year, myself and my housemates have had our hearts set on Disneyland as a holiday destination. But with the end of our student loans, the introduction of Council Tax (lol wot?) and all of us between jobs, we knew if we wanted to make it a reality, we'd have to do it on a budget.

And guess what, we made it! 

So I thought I'd share how we managed to do 3 days in Disney for under £350, including travel, hotels, ticket prices and spending money! I've converted all of the euros I spent into pounds to make it more accessible for the majority of my readers.

TRAVEL = £58
After searching all of the options, sky, land and sea, we decided to settle on getting the Eurostar. As the most cost effective way to reach our magical destination. Thanks to a happy accident, which ended up saving us a lot of money, we booked a train to Paris Gare du Nord, from St Pancras. Then jumped on the metro (for less than 4euro), and travelled 40 minutes to the station within the Disney 'circle' just a 10 minute walk from our hotel. The journey was so easy, and by getting a separate metro instead of the Eurostar straight into Disney, we managed to save ourselves about £50 each way! By being flexible with when we left and arrived, we got ourselves low prices on the Eurostar itself, with £29 trips each way. 

We had a little look at Airbnb and were very close to booking accommodation a little way out of the Disney area, when my housemate Becky, suggested looking into a hotel she'd stayed in before. Within minutes we realised the Hotel Adagio was our best option. The 5 of us were able to stay in a small apartment within the hotel, with its own kitchenette and a free shuttle directly to the parks! For 3 nights between all of us, it came to just under £350 each! 

The Disneyland park tickets took up the majority of our budget, and the prices are much of a muchness. We bought a 2 days 2 parks ticket on AttractionTix, but to be honest, we found it the same on the Disneyland Paris site itself. 

On our final day, we booked our Eurostar for 9pm, which gave us all day to head into Paris and explore the beautiful city! We bought metro tickets at the beginning of the trip to reach our hotel from Gare du Nord, and then a metro tickets back into Paris, deciding to get the stop near the Notre Dame. To make the most of exploring the city, we walked around for the majority of the day, along the River Seine, before getting a final metro ticket back to Gare du Nord for our train home. On the first night at Disney, we also decided to get an Uber home from the Illuminations, as we didn't realise there was a later shuttle (woops)! 

FOOD = £10
One of the biggest costs, especially when you're at a resort such as Disneyland, is the food. So to save us some money, we decided to go to our local Supermarket, and buy 3 days worth of lunches, and dinner for a night. The total for this, came to £10 each. We bought a fresh baguette each day and made up sandwiches with French cheeses, we added some crisps, fruit and a snack bar (literally a school packed lunch) and for dinner made a big bowl of tomato pasta, with chorizo and brie. I have to admit, we had no regrets for our food choices and we could've spent far less if we'd decided not to eat out a couple of evenings! 

This is how much I spent in total, including 3 meals out, the inevitable purchase of Minnie ears, and an icecream! We had pizza the first night which came to £10 each, in Disneyland we bought dinner which was £12 each (we all had water bottles which we just lived off the entire time) and on the final night we treated ourselves to Moules à la Crème and a cold beer (classy), which came to £16 each. The Minnie ears were £13 and I bought 2 ice creams to ease the day too! Apart from the ears, I didn't spend any money on souvenirs, but obviously you could spend FAR more. 

In the future, I'd love to do the Disney experience in full, staying in a Disney themed hotel, eating out with the characters and buying souvenirs to take home. But it was absolutely perfect for what we did, and I couldn't have had a better time! Disneyland does seem like a very expensive holiday for many, but it doesn't have to break the bank. 

Love, Alice x 


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