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Old 01-17-2008, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
92 posts, read 143,706 times
Reputation: 21

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we're coming out in July.
i think booking ourselves into the hostel asap wud be a good startin point??
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:04 PM
 
830 posts, read 1,853,219 times
Reputation: 365
Yeah, it couldn't hurt to go ahead and book something. I am sure you could cancel with enough advanced notice should you decide to change your mind. Most places just require a 24-48 hour notice. But check on their cancellation policy before you book it.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Tacoma, Washington
11 posts, read 26,241 times
Reputation: 12
It was long & hot. Just like summer
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
92 posts, read 143,706 times
Reputation: 21
^^ random

anyway, yeah i was checking the hostel recommended earlier - i know of other people that have stayed there. do you think stayin there for a week would be too hasty...or 2-3 days?...like you said it may be hard to find somewhere.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:13 PM
 
830 posts, read 1,853,219 times
Reputation: 365
Not at all. You are going to be here for 6-8 weeks, so staying there for a few days or a week would be a great way to get started.

Why don't you do that and then look into a few other places you think you might like. That will give you some options. You could book a room at a few places, and then once you get here you could figure out what you like and then cancel the reservations at the places you don't want to stay. But again, just make sure of the cancellation policies.

When I was in Europe after college I didn't have reservations for anything. I would just show up in a city and hope to find a hostel or bed and breakfast to stay in. You could do the same thing here, but the benefit of booking in advance is that you can usually get a better rate and you know you have a place to stay. What I did was a little stressful at times, but fun nonetheless. But since there are four of you, I doubt everyone would be in agreement to flying by the seat of your pants like that.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
92 posts, read 143,706 times
Reputation: 21
i think staying at a hostel will work better for us until we find our feet. we can get a private room if we want so that can be sorted, i dont know if the others will be too happy about it but i see it that either we book an apartment not havin a clue where its near etc whilst we are in the uk, or we make sure we have a roof over our heads for a definate - and then look.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:36 PM
 
830 posts, read 1,853,219 times
Reputation: 365
Indeed. Alright, so now that you have that sorted, what next?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
92 posts, read 143,706 times
Reputation: 21
this sounds trivial...but iv read alot about people tipping at bars?
i know what tipping is...but - is this done when someone brings your drink to you like say your in a restraunt (which happens at home...you tip) but also when you're just at the bar ordering yourself, do u tip then? - say in a club?
probably sounds v stupid - but i dont want to come across as some smug irish idiot lol that doesnt tip?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:48 PM
 
830 posts, read 1,853,219 times
Reputation: 365
Unfortunately, you tip for everything in the states when it comes to drink and food. If you're at a bar and order a drink without opening a tab with a credit card, then you tip each time you order. It's typically $1 per drink. So when the four of you order a round, you'd tip $4. But when you run a tab then you'd typically tip 10% to 20% of the total bill depending on the level of service you receive. If the service is horrible, which happens sometimes, it's ok not to leave any tip at all in my opinion.

The same goes for food at sitdown restaurants. You'll tip on your total bill, 10%-20%. A lot of people tip 20% because they don't want to seem cheap. But I will tell you that there has been considerable tip inflation over the years for no reason other than people wanting to fit in. It used to be you tipped 10%. Then it crept up to 15%. Now it's 20%. Personally, I tip based on level of service.

Wait staff in the states are usually paid just a few dollars per hour by the employer. The rest of their income is from tips. But don't think for a minute they don't make good money. A bartender can make $50,000 to $100,000 per year depending on the place and how popular it is. When people are spending an average of $10 per drink, a 20% tip turns into a $2 tip. If you're making hundreds of drinks a night, that adds up quickly.

You don't tip at fast food restaurants, like McDonald's, or anywhere you serve yourself.

Oh, a word of caution. In some fast food type restaurants, particularly those that are not large chains, sometimes they will put tip jars by the register. DO NOT tip them. Why would you tip someone for taking your order? But they put them there because enough people feel guilty for not leaving a tip that they make a little extra money that way. AGAIN, DO NOT tip in situations like that. It's ridiculous.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Northern Ireland
92 posts, read 143,706 times
Reputation: 21
o right i see.
yeah the tip thing isnt a big deal here, to be honest people are very tight with their money. if someone was out for a meal, they maybe wud leave a tip of the change from the bill. i never give tips to a tip jar, as you said, they only took my order lol.
$1 works out at around 50p here, so thats no big deal to me.
are drinks expensive...food too i suppose?
a budweiser would be around 3 here for a bottle...which is about $6 going by current rates. is that good or bad? (i personally think its a rip off, when you could buy a 6pk for about 4. lol)
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