worn down persuaded the husband that we need to book a city break in early May to take advantage of the bank holiday and “free” time off work. Last year we went to Nice, which you can read about here, here and here. I love an intense short trip to soak up the feel of a city, have a wander round, look at good architecture and of course eat!
Here are my 5 top tips for planning and booking an overseas break as cost effectively as possible.
1) Have a look where you can get to cheaply. I usually start with the low cost airlines, type in my departure airport and date, and see where they go to and how much it costs. Then have a look on travel sites and find out what there is to do there, and if it interests you. I’ve been to some great places like this that I might not have considered before.
2) Consider travelling a day either side to save money. This is especially true on bank holidays where prices can be expensive to take advantage of the fact that people want to travel Saturday to Monday and not use any extra annual leave.
3) Use Trivago to find the best hotel for your budget. Search the city you’re going to then do a combination of sorting by price and distance from city centre to find out what works for you.
Are you willing to pay a little more to be closer to the attractions, or are you happy to walk/use public transport in order to get cheaper accommodation? What I would say for this type of break is that there really isn’t any point in booking a fancy hotel. On a short break you need to cram in as much sightseeing as possible and so you won’t spend much time in your room.
4) Use cashback sites to earn money back on your bookings. I use Quidco and have earned quite a lot back over the years – not just on travel but also on general online shopping. You can set notification so that when a retailer increases their cashback rate you’ll get an email. Sometimes a hotel that is slightly more expensive on one site can work out cheaper when you apply the cashback. Hotels.com is a favourite of mine, as they often have 12% cashback offers and, on many of their hotels, you earn a free night for every 10 you stay (you can build them up as you go and the value of the free night will be the average of the 10 booked and paid nights).
5) Remember to add in additional costs – luggage (if you need to check bags in), transfer from the airport, and public transport for getting around your destination all add up. We got to Marseilles once on a really cheap flight, and then found out at the airport taxi rank that a cab to our hotel was going to be about 70 euros, oops! No point getting a bargain flight and then paying double that for your transfer.
Are you a fan of city breaks? Any other top money saving tips I should know about?
Thanks, as always, for reading!