My Great Escape – 100 Subscriber £100 Special!

My Great Escape – The 100 Subscriber £100 Special.
Woo. A blogging milestone has been reached and a massive thank you goes out to my super special subscribers who have amassed into a group that has reached triple figures. There are now enough of us travel enthusiasts to start a small army and corner off our own tropical paradise island. Or we could dress like 100 pirates and commandeer a cruise liner, stopping off wherever in the world we fancy. We could even hire a lounge bar in Las Vegas and fill the dance floor with white tigers, hedonistic freaks and low quality strippers to help us (me) celebrate.
But since this is more of an ‘I write, you read’ type of relationship (rather than an anarchistic ‘lets-rule-the-world’ kind of one) I’ve come up with a marvellous travel idea to mark the special occasion. And I call it…… *drum roll*
My Great Escape – The 100 Subscriber £100 Special
…but you probably knew that by now.
What Is it??
It’s a game for me to play and you to enjoy (I hope) – and maybe even try out for yourself. At every worthy milestone (100 subs, 200 subs, 300 etc) I will add £1 to my fictitious Great Escape purse. I will then use this fake cash to see how far away from London this money would take me.
This should be exciting as 1) I love searching for good travel deals 2) Its unpredictable. I will reach these milestones at different times of the year meaning prices will vary and routes will change from one game to the next. I could literally end up anywhere in the world and 3) Its a new, exciting adventure and I have no idea how it will end up. Its a fictional game, but we may well learn some real life lessons or, at least, glean some travel inspiration from it.
The Goal?!
The ideal goal is to head towards New Zealand. More specifically Dunedin, some 19080km away. Why? Well its the furthest place in the world from my home in London so why the hell not.
I will use travel comparison sites to set up a one-way route and I will talk/type you through the process/journey. No accommodation is necessary. If I don’t feel I can make the whole route in one trip (that’ll take more than a few new subscribers…)  I will simply see what’s is the furthest point that I can reach from London ‘as the crow flies’. Along the way we may have some surprising, interesting or even inspirational results.
The Rules
1) My Great Escape must begin on, or as near as possible, to the day a subscriber total has been reached. I can’t hold off on ‘booking’ a flight due to upcoming sales. I can, however, write the blog up to 2 weeks in advance- estimating the day the target will be reached. But the  post cannot be posted until the subscriber milestone has been reached.
2) Connecting times for journeys do not need to match exactly. If I arrive in a country on day X, I will look for a connecting flight on day X- and not be too concerned with transfer times. Otherwise this could get fiddly and have me bogged down
3) I can only use the money in my Great Escape Purse
4) I do not need food or accommodation
5) All transport must be bookable (or researchable) online. Trains, planes, boats or coaches are fine – but no hitchhiking or ‘phone a friend’
Now, Let’s Get This Show On The Road
 With thanks again to you all for inspiring me and encouraging me to find the time to write each and every post. (PS if you’re desperate to find out the final route the New Zealand you could always recommend this blog to a friend or two- let’s get there as quick as we can!).
And we’re off… 

My Great Escape 100 Subscriber £100 Special 
 
£100. The first part of this epic series and is also the most cash strapped I will be as I make my fictional journey towards New Zealand.
Naturally, not having much cash, I am thinking that a coach to Europe may be the easiest and cheapest way to start this journey, I get started at euroline. Now this challenge starts in London and by that I mean anywhere in London. Any airport, any station, any helipad. Now I know London Victoria is the hub for coaches in London, or even the UK, so I start by scanning for journeys from there dated for Tuesday 29/11/16 (if I hadn’t been busy not blogging in November I’d of hit this date, for sure).
Unbelievably, there’s a coach to Amsterdam for £15. Paris for £12. Brussels for £10 taking approx 6-9 hours each. I’m flabbergasted by this. Sure a plane is faster but with getting to the airport and a long wait before check-in, a 90 minute flight could easily amount to 5 hours with all the faffing about. Is a flight really worth paying such a large premium?
amsparbru
With that in mind, I scan flights. A flight to Paris from London takes 1 hour and on this occasion is just £30 one-way. Amsterdam is also available from £43. Both good deals, but I’m short on money, not time, so a coach it is…
Via Amsterdam (£15 Spent)
I’m liking the idea of Amsterdam or Paris as they are both extremely well connected travel hubs, both also have the benefit of being the bases for KLM and Air France respectively. Hopefully meaning for cheaper flights.
Arriving in Amsterdam via coach I’ll have £85 still in my Great Escape purse. Using Skyscanner I spot a flight to Antalya on Turkey’s south coast for £53. That’s a long way for £68 total, a whopping 2916 kilometres as the crow flies (according to freemaptools.com). A £35 flight to Erkan, Cyprus rounds off the journey nicely and tallies up the to 3230km. But, dammit, that’s £3 over budget so it’s  a no-go. Looks like I’m staying put in Turkey.
antaya
Via Paris
Ooo-la-la. If I go to Paris without Mrs DreamFlyDiscover she’ll kill me. Lucky this is a one way trip, right? If I do decide on the Paris route I can then fly on to Thessalonliki, Greece (2139km) for just £34 or Fes, Morocco (1984km) for £46. The African route sounds exciting because surely its quite easy to then just head south? Turns out its not so simple (or cheap). Then I spot Tel Aviv, Israel on sale for just £69. That’s 3560km from London for just £84 all in. I’ve even got enough change for a bagel!
 fromparis
I think I’m done. I double back to London and find the furthest direct flight within budget would be to Moscow, Russia (2503km) leaving me with just £1 change.
Hold The Plane!! 
It’s worth checking in with the Brussels coach. The cheapest route out of London leaves me with £90 to spare so it’s surely worth investigating. You can fly to Hamburg from Brussels for just a fiver and Berlin for £7. I know they’re short journeys but what great value! Venice is just £9. Budapest is £11. Perhaps Brussels is the place to fly from on a budget?? I just can’t stop looking at these amazingly cheap deals. However, the longer distance flights soon bring me over my £100 budget so I can go no further than this. Flights from Hamburg, Berlin and Venice yield similar results and I struggle to get beyond Turkey or east of Europe on my 100 subscribers alone.
frombrus
Winner
So there we have it.
From London> Coach to Paris> Fly to Tel Aviv with change to spare. Boom. That’s over 3500 kilometres for less a my monthly London bus pass. I could have done this great escape 31 subscribers ago! I’ve got soo much spare change I hop onto the £4.15 train to Jerusalem before wondering how the hell I’m going to get home. Fuck.
London to Paris. Paris to Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 3611km. £88.15.
In Summary
Wow. I never thought I’d go so far on soo little money. Also, it’s a surprise how much cheaper flights are from Paris or Amsterdam when compared to London, I guess it’s the taxes. It’s also shockingly cheap and convenient to get to these cities in the first place.
Another eye opener was using Brussels as a gateway to Europe and further afield. So many European cities were open to me for below £10 from this airport. I also found the cheapest trans-atlantic flights from here –  so worth baring in mind for future challenges and holidays in general!
And what’s more… I quite fancy an £84 trip to the sunny beaches of Tel Aviv… this could end up being an expensive project…
Thanks for sticking with me. I can’t wait to try this challenge again. Thanks again for all your support and your subscribing, it truly fills me with giddy schoolboy  joy whenever I see my view count change or I get a like or subscribe. Muchly appreciated and hopefully we have many more crazy adventures yet to come…
 
Destination Summary:
Thessalonliki, Greece. £49 2139 km
Moscow, Russia. £99 2503km
Antalya, Turkey. £68 2916km
Jerusalem, Israel. £88.15 3611km
carlvlife
Which of those above would you rather head to? Where would £100 take you from your home? I must say, I think Moscow would be the most interesting places I’ve stumbled upon researching this, although a week in sunny Morocco could be tempting too. Perhaps next time we’ll penetrative Africa, reach Asia or cross the oceans and end up in the America’s. New to the blog? Subscribe now and add £1 to my hypothetical travel wallet.
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3 thoughts on “My Great Escape – 100 Subscriber £100 Special!

  1. Loved this post – I think I’d be most tempted by Russia too, Moscow looks like a fascinating place to visit. I don’t think I could get as far as you can with £100, unless boat rides across to Africa were doable from Marseille which is only a train ride away…

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  2. £100 would probably just about get me from Cardiff to London on a good day what with train prices these days! Thank the Lord for Megabus!
    I’ve always found it much cheaper flying from mainland Europe and once took an almost 24 hour bus from Cardiff-London-Amsterdam just to fly back to London and onwards to Jordan as this way was almost £150 cheaper than going straight from London. Madness!

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    1. Pressed send too soon, oops! I really enjoyed reading this! Quite tempted to use the idea for a future trip – allocate myself a couple hundred £££ and see where I end up. Congrats on the big 100!

      Like

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