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10 July 2017

Booking Everything (YALC #2)

It's creeping even closer to YALC and the excitement is building. This is the second in my month of Monday YALC posts, so check back every Monday to find out more. #YALC2017.

Last year I booked everything super last minute, pretty much on a whim. This year I booked a few months in advance. So here's some top tips for if you're still on the fence about booking, or if you're only half way through the process.

YALC is the UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention:
a celebration of the very best young adult books and authors.

What prompted me to book last year was someone tweeting that Virgin Trains East Coast has a sale on, and it covered YALC weekend. I'd just been paid my bonus, everyone around me on Twitter was talking about it, so I did it. I booked the first train on the Saturday morning and the last train on the Saturday night. I grabbed a Saturday day ticket. Then I had a week to panic about what I'd done.

Step One  - Figure Out How Long You're Going For
How long do you want to go for?

Which day(s) can you go?

This will have to be the start of your plans. The YALC Schedule is now up, so have a look and decide who you want to see most, and what you want to do the most. Once you've decided, book your ticket.

It's also worth taking a peek at  the photo sessions for LFCC in case there's someone you really want to get a photo with, you can either purchase the shoots at the same time as your tickets or book them after.

Book your YALC Tickets.

Step Two - Check Your Travel Options
My biggest obstacle to any event in London is always the price of travel. At the absolute minimum I tend to be looking at £65 each way for a standard ticket. But if you shop around you can get them cheaper.
  • Go Direct
    When I went direct to the carrier, I ended up with two First Class tickets for a total of £56 because of the sale. Unlimited tea and free wi-fi for the win!
  • Split Tickets
    When I went to YAShot later in the year I split my tickets at Split Ticketing. This brought my price down and I didn't have to switch trains (but I couldn't reserve a seat).
  • Avoid The Trainline
    I always thought they'd have the best prices, especially for late bookings, but it's always been at least £10 a ticket cheaper elsewhere.
  • Can you Coach?
    Depending on how far away you are, it may be worth getting the coach. For me it'd be a maximum of £25 each way, but it would also mean around 8 hours of travel just to get to London.
Book your Travel Tickets.

Step Three - Book Accommodation (If Needed)
The only time I've actually stayed in London for an event was for YAShot and I stayed at the Travelodge right around the corner. Think about how far away from the venue you want to be, whether you want to be able to walk to the venue or if you're fine taking the tube.
  • Check Chain Hotels
    They are pretty much always at popular locations, cheap and cheerful and you know what you're going to get.
  • Airbnb
    You can find all sorts on here, from a room in a family home to a whole property to yourself.
  • Student Accomodations
    If Halls are empty, then university's are not making money from them. A lot of uni's allow you to rent student accommodation during the holidays and it's usually super cheap.
Book your Accommodation.

Step Four - Print Everything
If I ever have important tickets or reservations, I print them in triplicate and store them in all sorts of weird places. I am constantly forgetting or misplacing things, so it helps me feel at ease.
  • Print Everything
    Make sure you have hard copies of everything you need, like tickets and reservations and booking confirmations. Make sure you read it all through.
  • Print It Again
    No harm in having a back-up or two. Especially if you're like me and lose everything, always.
  • Go Digital
    Save copies of any print-outs as documents or even screen shots on your phone, and email them to yourself. This way you have a digital copy and worst case scenario can access your emails to get at a digital copy.
Print it all.

Step Five - Jump for Joy

Join in all of the chats about YALC before the event to pick up all sorts of tips and tricks, arrange to meet people at the event, start narrowing down which books you're going to take... You've done the hard bit, it's pretty plain sailing from here.

Are you going to YALC? What's on your top tip for booking?


  1. My tip would be to book your train tickets and accommodation as soon as possible. I sorted mine out several months ago and got a good deal.
    Another reason to book where you're staying early is that rooms near Olympia go quickly!
    Also try and get somewhere that's near shops - I'm staying somewhere that's around 15 or so mins away from Olympia but there are lots of supermarkets on the way so they're handy for sorting out lunch (it's cheaper to take it with you) :)

    Jess @ A Book Addict's Bookshelves

  2. This is the first time I've heard about YALC but it sounds absolutely amazing. I'm a book blogger and reviewer myself but fairly new to the game so this event sounds like a good place to meet fellow bookworms. I think this post will be really helpful for those thinking of attending - I myself live in London so will probably be a tad easier in terms of travel and accommodation! Thank you for sharing x

  3. This sounds like such fun; a convention about one of my favourite things! Maybe next year I'll go x


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