Hello and welcome!
I have finally decided to write a blog about my travels. I’m not really sure why, maybe because it allows me to lose myself in my fabulous memories, rather than accepting the harsh realisation that I have just moved back into my parent’s house after a year away from home! The truth is, in some ways it feels like my days of long trips abroad are over as I aim to focus on my career. Hopefully, this blog will allow me to reminisce and share my stories and tips, before I plan my next adventure.
My aim at the moment is to travel as much as possible around full-time work and show that it is absolutely possible to fit in. So far, in the first three months of 2016, I have fitted in trips to Warsaw, London, Rome and Copenhagen. Most of my friends and family comment on my ability to afford so many trips away, so I thought what a better first blog topic than My FIVE Top Tips for a Cheap Weekend Away!
Here it goes…
1 Use Your Contacts
This is an obvious one, but staying with a friend in a big city can save you an absolute fortune.
I find that the more you travel, the more people you meet and the more people who say “if you ever find yourself in ___, then you always have a place to stay”. Well I say, take advantage of that offer and make sure you return the favour if they ever happen to rock up in your hometown.
On top of that, what a better way to see a city than with someone who actually lives there. I’ve found that my friends will always take me to places that are off the beaten track and I might never have found without them!
2 Go Off-peak
Ok so the sun might not be shining every single day, or it may be 5 degrees colder than normal, but why not embrace your new favourite city in all its glory. Unless you’re going somewhere to simply sit in the sun, then it makes little difference. You will probably find that places do not feel as touristic and you can see and enjoy them for what they really are.
In January, I visited Warsaw in Poland after finding a return from Glasgow for £25, I saved a fortune on accommodation too, as I visited when it was off-peak. It was great to get away during January, which let’s face it, can be a bit of a miserable month!
3 Choose a Weekday Flight
Alternatively, have you thought about going during the week?
Ok, I guess this may somewhat contradict the title of this blog, however this may save you a fortune! Both flights and hotels tend to be a lot cheaper during the week, so if you can manage to get some time off, then use this to your advantage and off you go!
4 Do Your Research: Comparison Websites Are Your New Best Friend
If you do not have the Skyscanner App, then 1 you are CRAZY, 2 go and download it NOW! I have booked flights all over the world through skyscanner.net and I cannot recommend it enough. The app allows you to compare destinations, days, prices and just about everything else. It does take a bit of time to play about with, but it is absolutely worth it for the bargains you can find.
Another favourite of mine is airbnb.com. The premise of the website is that people put their apartments on the site and you can book them out as on any other hotel booking site. I find that you can get much more for your money using this, without having to stay in a hostel dorm. Most apartments also have kitchens, which means you can save your beer money by cooking the odd meal in your accommodation.
5 The Pint Test
This seems like an obvious point, but when choosing your next holiday destination, it is important to consider the costs once you actually get there. We are pretty lucky in the UK that most places we go seem very cheap in comparison to home, however many European cities can put a huge dent in your wallet.
Next time you find a £50 return flight to Paris, consider how much a pint will set you back and think about where else you might get value for money!