After moving to Reading, my sister suggested I checkout meetup.com to meet new people, naturally I was most interested in the travel groups and had soon signed up for a weekend trip to Rotterdam in November for a festival. So being skint, I booked my bus and headed to the bus station after work. Unfortunately, there were delays on the tube and I ended up missing my bus. But after packing a bag and travelling for over an hour to get to the bus station, I was not going home, and I booked a return ticket to Brussels.
So after a long night on the bus, I arrived into Brussels at 5.30am, and it was freezing. I was immediately shivering after stepping off the bus and had to head into the station to put on every item of clothing I had brought with me to survive the 10 minute walk to the hostel, I had booked on my phone from the bus. To be honest, walking through an unknown city in the dark when the only people on the streets were those sleeping in doorways did make me a little nervous but I made it to the hostel in one piece and even managed to make a new friend while checking in who had also been on an overnight bus from London and it turned out we were roomies.
My new roomie told me she was meeting two friends to go to Bruges for the day and invited me to join so off we went and we spent the day wandering around the beautiful city, and it only rained twice!
The next day we got up early to explore Brussels in the morning, seeing Manneken Pis and trying the famous Belgian waffles before heading home at 2pm.
It was a great weekend, travel and accommodation combined cost me around £50, and that was booking travel on the day. I also didn’t have to use any of my annual leave to fit in my budget city break so in a way the trip opened my eyes to how easy and accessible travel actually is (for me, I know lots of others have more difficult problems with regards to being able to travel). So if you want to go away and don’t have much time or money, something like this could be for you, especially if you live in Europe and can get to a different country with a new culture relatively quickly and cheaply.