vlog 4 | what to see and do on Iceland’s east coast

There was one thing that really stood out as we ventured across Iceland’s East Coast.

The lack of tourists.

Given that many do one or two day trips from Reykjavik that tend to end at Diamond Beach, this shouldn’t really have been a surprise – but we took in the miles and miles of road with nobody else about with wide eyed glee.

Were we finally able to enjoy Iceland without the crowds of tourists and their tripods?

Or were we about to realise why so few travel up the East Coast, especially in winter?!

In this video:

An hour’s drive from Diamond Beach, we stayed in the fishing town of Höfn in a place called Apotek Guesthouse.

As lush as the luxury cabin was that we stayed in our first two nights (for just £27 I might add!), we knew we’d have to turn to Guesthouses sooner or later.

The great news is that whilst they’re pretty basic, they’re clean, comfy and have great amenities. For example, this place had its own private bathroom, great wifi, a communal kitchen for cooking in, a decent COFFEE MACHINE (praise the lord) and also came with continental breakfast.

Not bad for a total of £63 a night.

That night, we had promised ourselves a pint out and about, and after several failed attempts, found the downstairs bar at Otto Matur & Drykkur open with pints costing £7.02.

We started the next day with a breakfast FEAST made up of items we’d bought on the first night and the basic items the guesthouse provided.

Then, we headed off and filled the car for the first time and I was horrified to see it total up to £59.61 total.

We were only got a third of the way around!

My initial budget of £50 each for the entire ring road was starting to look a little ropey…

Aside from stopping off on the side of the road to admire the scenery, our first proper stop of the day was the fishing town of Djúpivogur for a spot of lunch (pasta and soup prepared at the guesthouse).

We then walked down to Eggin í Gleðivík which is an artwork by Sigurður Guðmundsson of 34 huge, granite eggs, each representing a bird that nests in the area.

I enjoyed the walk down the the harbour whilst James remained fairly unimpressed 🤣

Next, we failed epically trying to find the waterfalls of Nykurhylsfoss and Folaldafoss (they were either frozen or closed off from the road), but we did get to sneak a peek at Petra’s Stone Collection in Stöðvarfjörður.

Realising we would miss the supermarkets in our next destination, we stopped off in Eskifjörður to pick up a few food bits, and then proceeded to Egilsstaðir where we were staying that evening.

After a quick pint at Feiti Fíllinn, we finally made our way over to the tiny cabin we’d be staying in that evening.

Given its size, we were really impressed with how much the owners had fit in – there was even a full sized oven! And it was nice to have the place to ourselves for the price of £75 a night.

You can get money off your first Airbnb booking if you haven’t used it before!

When settled, we sat down, ate some food and tried our best to find the Northern Lights for free.

Lots of driving on our fourth full day on the road but the sights from the car are more than enough to keep you entertained!

So, how’s our 6 nights for £600 budget looking?

Total spends in this video = £120.31 each
Amount left = £212.07 each

With three days left to go, do you think we can still bring it all in under budget?!


Catch up on the rest of the road trip:

Day 1Arriving in Iceland, supermarket prices and the 6 nights for £600 challenge
Day 2The Golden Circle and staying in a luxury, designer home for £27 a night
Day 3Waterfalls, glaciers and black sand beaches on Iceland’s stunning south coast

vlog 3 | iceland south coast road trip itinerary

When we set out on our 6 nights for £600 trip around the ring road of Iceland, I didn’t expect that there would be one day where we’d only spend £3.54!

Who said Iceland had to be pricey, eh?

The great thing about Iceland is the fact that the nature is free.

In this video:

First things first, if you’re not sure what this challenge is all about, catch up on all the details and day one here, and days two and three here!

First of all, we visited the incredibly impressive Seljalandsfoss Waterfall where we tried our best to get a shot a little different to the queuing tourists.

Whilst you normally have to pay for parking (700 kroner – around £4.40), some kind soul passed us their ticket. Thanks pal. However, James obviously saw this as a free pass to get a coffee for £3.54.

DOES HE NOT KNOW WE’RE ON A BUDGET?!

On the way to our next stop, we passed the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, famous due to the ash cloud that halted flights all around the world back in 2010.

As we pulled into the car park at Skógafoss Waterfall, we enjoyed the cold pizza I’d cooked up that morning. Knowing that we wouldn’t have a freezer at our next accommodation, I refused to let any of our food shop go to waste – and who doesn’t like cold pizza, eh?!

After getting battered by the winds at the top of Skógafoss, we drove 10 minutes down the road to the Sólheimasandur plane wreck. Or the car park at least.

With the weather being incredibly fickle, we decided to leave the 1 hour 15 minute trek each way – and boy were we glad when we saw the black clouds roll in twenty minutes later!

Instead, we carried on to Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach where we had a lot of fun watching tourists get engulfed by the waves. However, do be careful on this beach! There are deadly sneaker waves that have even been known to claim lives so be careful and stay away from the water.

More than any other place we stopped, this beach was a tourist haven. Whilst looking out to sea you may have a clear view, the sands were littered with people lining up to get a photo. It was one of those moments that made me feel a tad uncomfortable and question why we were all really there.

Was it all just for the gram?

But one photo I didn’t see many people getting was this gorgeous, Wes Anderson like church just minutes from the beach. I fell in love with it!

Back on the road, we drove past Eldhraun Lava Fields (the snow had covered their beautiful, mossy covers) and on to Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon which we found closed!

After a quick google, we found out it was due to too many tourists (I wasn’t surprised) and so they were letting the vegetation grow back in.

Fair enough, lads. Fair enough.

With the sun dipping lower in the sky, we bypassed Vatnajökull National Park (a great spot for hiking if you’re in the mood) and got to Diamond Beach with 15 minutes to go before sunrise.

And wow, we were so glad.

It was genuinely one of the most incredible scenes I’ve ever witnessed – and with temperatures dipping below zero and the light disappearing into the night, we shared the beach with only around 10 other people.

A definite stop you have to do!


So, at the end of the day, how was our budget looking?

Total daily spends = £3.54 each
Money left over = £332.38 each

Not too shabby!


Catch up on the rest of the road trip:

Day 1Arriving in Iceland, supermarket prices and the 6 nights for £600 challenge
Day 2The Golden Circle and staying in a luxury, designer home for £27 a night
Day 3you’re reading this now!
Day 4 – Escaping the tourists on Iceland’s beautiful Eastern coastal roads

cheap september 2019 weekend breaks from all over the UK

Once a month, I join the wonderful Penny Smith on talkRADIO to share some holiday bargains.

This time, it was all about looking ahead to September for some great value weekend breaks.

For most of these deals, I’ve used a website called Cheeky Weekend which has been a REVELATION to me as someone who loves a trip that only takes up a single day of annual leave. But I’ll talk more about that at the end.


FROM LONDON

London Stansted to Gothenburg
Fri 27th Sep – Sun 29th Sep
Ryanair
£38

Gothenburg is Sweden’s second city, and a brilliant way to experience a bit of Scandi bliss without having to fork out an arm and a leg (we’re looking at you, Norway). 

  • Average September temperature – 17 degrees
  • Pint of beer – £5.79
  • Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £55.70
  • Cappuccino – £3.19
  • One way ticket on local transport – £2.44
  • For more prices, check out Numbeo!

Having been for a weekend break this year myself, I’d put the prices just a tad more expensive than London but there are plenty of options to choose from if you’re wanting to stick to a budget.

Airbnb
2 nights
£109.50 each
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

This gorgeous Airbnb is close to the hip area of Haga which is full of cool bars, restaurants and shops. Plus, it has a cute balcony! Winner.

Total = £147.50 per person 

Check out what I got up to on my weekend trip to Gothenburg back in January!


FROM MANCHESTER
AND EDINBURGH

Manchester to Brussels South Charleroi
Fri 27th Sep – Mon 30th Sep
Ryanair
£30

You can also depart at 0750 on the Friday for just £42 return, or from Edinburgh between Thurs 19th – Mon 22nd Sep for just £39 return as well.

Now look. This isn’t Brussel’s main airport but if you don’t fancy stumping up £133 for a return to its International hub, then this is the one for you. There’s a shuttle bus that departs every half hour that costs £13 each way, and takes an hour to get into the city, and there’s even more cost effective options if you wanted to head straight to Bruges or Ghent.

Oh, that was a spoiler for what I’ve got planned…

Whilst Brussels may not be the sexiest of destinations, the great thing about it is its quick and easy connections to other parts of the country, and so why not make this a tri-city break and hit up the picturesque cities of Ghent and Bruges as well?

  • Average August temperature – 20 degrees
  • Pint of beer – £3.75
  • Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £56.22
  • Cappuccino – £2.84
  • One way ticket on local transport – £1.97
  • For more prices, check out Numbeo!

As we’re staying just one night in each place, let’s keep it simple and stick to hotels.

Fri 27th Sep – Brussels

Bedford Hotel & Congress Centre
3 star – 8.0 rating on Hotels.com
£57 a night / £28.50 each

Fancy a four star? Treat yourself to the highly reviewed Novotel Brussels City Centre for £41.50 each.

Sat 28th Sep – Ghent/Gent

Next stop on our trip is the idyllic city of Ghent. A place that always holds a special place in my heart after I visited as a 16 year old with my woodwind band. Yes, you read that right!!

Train from Brussels to Gent-Sint-Pieters
29 mins
£10.86

Hotel NH Gent Sint Pieters
4 star – 7.4 rating on Hotels.com
£106 a night / £53 each

Not far from the main train station, this hotel will allow you to easily drop off your bags before you head in further to explore.

The ibis Gent Centrum Opera is also pretty basic, but at £83 a night, it may work better for your budget!

Sun 29th Sep – Ghent

Next, we’re heading to the medieval town of Bruges.

Train from Gent-Sint-Pieters to Brugge
25 mins
£8.49

Whilst Brussels is more of a business destination (hence the well priced Friday night rooms), Bruges is a well known gorgeous getaway so the rooms can get pretty pricey over the weekend.

That’s why I’ve decided to put our stay on a Sunday night, when most are getting ready to go back to work.

For example, the following hotel would have cost £169 the night before!

Martin’s Brugge
3 star – 8.6 rating on Hotels.com
£80.35 / £40.18 each

There is a cheaper room, but I’ve gone for the Charming Double with bath which looks lush!

Want to go FANCY? Stay at the 5 star Hotel Duke’s Palace for just £77.55 a night each (it was £484 a room on the Saturday evening!)

Mon 30th Sep – Brussels

Enjoy the morning in Bruges before heading back to Brussels ahead of your flight home.

Train from Bruges to Brussels
59 mins
£15.89

What an action packed weekend! And here’s how much it would all cost:

Flight – £30
Return shuttle bus – £26
Trains – £35.24
Hotels – £121.68

Total = £212.92 each


FROM BRISTOL
AND LONDON

Bristol to Cologne
Fri 6th Sep – Sun 8th Sep
Ryanair
£76

Dramatic medieval architecture and numerous beer halls – what more could you want for a weekend getaway?

You can also fly the same dates from London Stansted for just £36!

  • Average August temperature – 20 degrees
  • Pint of beer – £3.28
  • Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £46.85
  • Cappuccino – £2.37
  • One way ticket on local transport – £2.72
  • For more prices, check out Numbeo!

art’otel Cologne
4 star – 8.6 rating on Booking.com
£86 each

Total = £162 per person
(or just £122 from London!)


FROM BELFAST
AND GLASGOW

Belfast to Wroclaw
Fri 20th Sep – Mon 23rd Sep
Ryanair
£60

You can also fly from Glasgow for the same dates for £85 return.

Whilst the flights may be more than the others, you can more than make up for it with the price of the accommodation.

What’s more, Wroclaw is a brilliant destination for a city break. Like most of Poland, your money will go far and what’s better than a holiday where you can eat our breakfast, lunch and dinner?

  • Average September temperature – 20 degrees
  • Pint of beer – £1.72
  • Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £23.67
  • Cappuccino – £1.92
  • One way ticket on local transport – 73p
  • For more prices, check out Numbeo!

Airbnb
3 nights
£59.50 each
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

If you want to keep the price down once you’re actually there, then I definitely recommend taking a look into Poland.

Total = £119.50 each


FROM DONCASTER SHEFFIELD

Doncaster Sheffiled to Vilnius
Fri 20th Sep – Mon 23rd Sep
Wizzair
£61

Lithuania’s capital is becoming a really exciting destination. Whilst it may be compact, it has the largest medieval old town in central and eastern Europe. Expect fairytale style buildings and a bustling cafe culture.

Plus, it’s pretty damn cheap.

  • Average September temperature – 17 degrees
  • Pint of beer – £2.81
  • Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £32.80
  • Cappuccino – £2.05
  • One way ticket on local transport – 94p
  • For more prices, check out Numbeo!

Airbnb
3 nights
Self check in (good for that early morning arrival!)
£67 each
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Total = £128 each


How to find your own weekend bargains

As I mentioned, a few of these deals were found using a new website called Cheeky Weekend that’s been set up by two travel mad mates. I’m a big fan of supporting new startups and this is such an easy way to discover what weekend getaways are available in your price range.

The site currently works for departures from London, Belfast, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh and Manchester (there’s more to come!) and my favourite things is that you can set what time you’re able to sneak away from work at on a Friday.

The lads have a totally free version of the site available if you’re looking to getaway in the next 4 weeks.

There is a subscription fee (around £2 a month) if you’d like to unlock trips up to the next 6 months, but my recommendation would be to see how you fare with the free site first.

If you do want to sign up, you can get a 25% off your membership by using the code HOWMANYHOLIDAYS (I emailed Dave the CEO asking if he could give us a discount – CHEEKY). Since Dave’s a right gem, he’s set it up so that I will get a little kickback from this, but again, give the free site a go first before commiting to spend any money.

WE GOTTA KEEP IT SAVVY, GUYS.


If you want more cheap travel tips, give us a follow on Instagram or check out my YouTube.


I have used some affiliate links throughout this article. They don’t charge you more, but if you book through them you’ll be helping me to continue my cheap travel booking hobbies. For full transparency, I earn about 10p if you book a flight through a link so… Yeah, I’m rolling in it!

holiday hotline #7 – stylish Tuscany, the cheapest Four Seasons hotel, UK cabins with hot tubs & a 7 night Greek island stay for under £350

Welcome to this week’s holiday hotline which – totally unintentionally – has become a bit of an ‘October Special’.

If you haven’t heard of the holiday hotline before, it’s something I do over on my Instagram stories where I ask you for what chap getaway I can help find for you.

If you’re not following already, then come say hiya and get involved!

Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Feel free to skip straight to the holiday you’re interested in by clicking below:

THE REQUEST: Cheap but stylish Tuscany getaway

Extra Details:

  • From Manchester
  • In September or October

A LOAD of you asked about Tuscany this week and so I hope this helps a few of you tick the Italian countryside off your bucket list.

FLIGHTS

There are two airport options if you fancy visiting Tuscany – Florence or Pisa. And whilst the former may be the region’s capital, you’re going to be hard pressed to find cheap and direct flights outside of London.

FGS FLORENCE, YOU BOUJIE MADAME.

Therefore, we’re going to be taking a look at Pisa which is much more satisfactory on the ol’ pocket.

Manchester to Pisa
Thurs 17th Oct – Tues 22nd Oct
easyJet
£69 each

If you often fly Ryanair, you’ll be pleased to hear that easyJet still allow you to wheel on a cabin case which I think is more than big enough for this 5 night getaway! You can find out more about their luggage allowance here.

CAR RENTAL

Before we crack on with accommodation, we’ll need to find something to get us around once we land in Pisa.

The great news is that car hire is CHEAP AF!

From £26 for 5 days rental – YEP, just £5.20 a day!

ACCOMMODATION

If you’re wanting to go cheap, I’d definitely recommend looking into Agriturismo, which is the Italian for ‘farm stay’.

Now, before you tell me I’m barking up the wrong tree, BEAR WITH ME.

Once Italy’s best kept secret, agriturismo have really come a long way and you can expect well-appointed rooms, outdoor pools and stunning views across the owner’s land.

However, those on the cheaper end of the spectrum are more traditional in the decor department than the ‘stylish’ Tuscan break that’s been requested, so onwards we go!

Airbnb Plus – it’s verified for its “quality and comfort”
La Spezia – 56 mins drive from Pisa Airport
£76.20 a night – £190.50 each
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Airbnb Plus – it’s been verified for its “quality and comfort”
Pistoia – 53 mins drive from Pisa Airport
£79.20 a night – £198 each
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

TOTAL

Flights – £69 each
Car hire – £13 each
Airbnb Plus – £190.50 each

Total = £272.50 each for 5 nights in Tuscany


THE REQUEST: Premium 5 star holiday for a 3 star price

Extra Details:

  • From London
  • For 2 people

Okay, so when I saw this request come through I got a bit giddy because I saw a deal in passing last week which I think will fit this request perfectly.

It’s important to say that last week, this was a good £80 cheaper so if you’re into it, I’d book it fast!

But here’s the reason I’m so excited…

This isn’t just any old hotel.

This is a FOUR SEASONS HOTEL.

Four Seasons, if you didn’t know, is one of the top luxury hotel brands in the world. We’re talking proper, 5 star service here, lads.

✨TOTAL HONEYMOON VIBEZ ✨

And usually, this would cost you around £400 a night for the room on its own. Minimum.

However, one of the cheapest Four Seasons hotels to stay at is in Marrakech.

What’s more, you can book the Four Seasons Marrakech through British Airways’ Holiday Finder – basically, their package holiday website – which in this case, saves us even more money.

As I said, this was just £536 when I saw it last week so it’s definitely worth getting on this deal soon before the cost rises even more!

The perks you get by booking both the hotel and the flight with BA is that:

  • You get 23kg checked luggage for free
  • There’s an option to just pay £150 deposit each
  • Booked separately, the hotel would cost £927 and the flights would cost £197 each (without any luggage) or £237 (with luggage) meaning you could save up to £84.50 each by booking through BA

Though, it is worth saying that you could fly with Ryanair for the same dates for just £119 each, but the flight times and lack of hand luggage aren’t so fun (they only allow a small backpack!)

LOOK. I know it’s not quite a 3 star price, but it is unreal value for a true, premium travel experience. SO I HAD TO SHARE!


THE REQUEST: UK mini-moon lodge with hot tub

Extra Details:

  • For 2 people
  • Leaving 28th October
  • 4 nights
  • £700 budget
  • Within 3.5 hours drive of Bedfordshire

A site that is amazing for lodges both in the UK and abroad is Canopy & Stars. In fact, they even have a page dedicated to places that have hot tubs!

Here’s my favourite that I found!

Holly Cabin
Powys – 3 hours drive from Bedfordshire
£660 for 4 nights


THE REQUEST: Budget Greek holiday for two

Extra Details:

  • From London Gatwick or Heathrow
  • For 2 people
  • Late Sep/early Oct
  • Southern Greece – maybe Rhodes or Crete?
  • Budget – but not too rustic!

Flights from Gatwick and Heathrow to Rhodes and Crete were coming in a little pricey (okay A LOT PRICEY) and so I’m gonna throw a curveball in here.

KEFALONIA.

Kefalonia is an island just west of mainland Greece, so sure, not quite the Southern Greece that was requested, but just have a quick peruse of #Kefalonia on Instagram and I’m sure you’ll be satisfied!

The great thing about Kefalonia is that not only are there some great flight options, but the accommodation is so, damn cheap too.

FLIGHT

London Gatwick – Argostoli Kefalonia
Sat 5th Oct – Sat 12th Oct
Norwegian – 1 cabin bag plus 1 personal item
£101 each
(pssst you can fly for just £54 return later in the month!)

ACCOMMODATION

There are loads of great options but I personally loved not only the price, but the view from the terrace here. What a dream!

Airbnb
Sat 5th Oct – Sat 12th Oct
£63.29 a night / £221.50 each for 7 nights
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

If you’re looking for a bigger group, I also recommend taking a look at Unique Kefalonia who have got some outrageous villas for amazing prices. I kept seeing the same properties on Airbnb but for so much more!

TOTAL

Since you’ll also need a car, I’ve chucked that price in here too.

Flights – £101 each
Car hire – £25 each
Accommodation – £221.50 each

Total = £347.50 each for 7 nights in Kefalonia


That’s it for this week’s holiday hotline!

Again, I was totally overwhelmed by the amount of requests and so please do accept my most sincere apologies for not getting to you. I will do my best to work through all the responses this week so that if I can steer you in the right direction, I will!

Remember, you can get involved in the next holiday hotline by simply following me over on Instagram and looking out for it on my stories.

SEE YOU NEXT TIME!


I have used some affiliate links throughout this article. They don’t charge you more, but if you book through them you’ll be helping me to continue my cheap travel booking hobbies. For full transparency, I earn about 10p if you book a flight through a link so… Yeah, I’m rolling in it 😂

vlog update & how to spend an afternoon in helsinki

If you follow me over on YouTube, you may have noticed that I’ve been a little quiet on the whole vlogging front.

SOZ.

The truth is, life and work have just got in the way the past couple of months and since holidays aren’t my full time thing (I squeeze in all of this when I can!), I’m trying to accept that sometimes that’s just the way it is.

However, on the back of a mad work trip that saw me riding a roller coaster with a mic duct taped to my hand (see below), I decided to use my free half day in Helsinki to give you an update, and show you what there is to do if you’ve got a few hours spare in Finland’s capital.

featured in this video:

equipment used:

watch more:

follow me:


*hiyaaa – this is an affiliate links so I may earn a little something if you buy through this link. It doesn’t change the price for you, though!

holiday hotline #6 – 2 weeks in Cyprus, group holiday to Majorca, cheap Croatian getaway

It’s time for this week’s holiday hotline where I ask you to submit your requests via Instagram and I go on a search for you.

If you’re not following me already, head on over and you can be part of the next one!

Right, let’s get cracking!

THE REQUEST: Cyprus at the end of September

Extra details:

  • 2 people
  • 2 weeks
  • Not ‘englishy’

FLIGHTS

Cyprus has 4 international airports but for the UK crowd, your best bets are Paphos and Larnaca but coming in at almost half the price at the end of September, is the latter!

London Luton to Larnaca, Cyprus
Tues 24th Sep – Tues 8th Oct
£75 return

Cheap flights also available Thurs 26th Sep – Thurs 10th Oct for £80.

ACCOMMODATION

As you’re going for 2 weeks, I’d deffo use this as an opportunity to stay in a few different types of accommodation. I tend to start a little cheaper and then towards the end of the holiday, treat myself to a LUSH hotel. It gives you something to look forward before you go home!

So, let’s take a look at some different types of accommodation.

Airbnb
£50.85 a night – £356 a week
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Located in the beautiful village of Bellapais, there’s ancient buildings, sights for daaaaysss and also, you’re only a 4 mile drive from North Cyprus’ coast.

Airbnb
£43.71 a night – £305 a week
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Set in a complex, this may be a little less ‘traditional’ but you have your own terrace and access to the village’s roof, garden, pool and gym. Plus, you’re not too far from the sea either!

Guesthouse
From £51 a night – £357 a week

Located in a quaint old village, this cute guesthouse ticks a lot of boxes for a great price!

Adults only vineyard hotel
£110 midweek in September or £90 a night from 1st October 2019

I am full on obsessed with place and have taken to visiting it online once a week. It’s adults only, on a vineyard and brags an amazing restaurant. Plus, at just £90 a night in October I think it’s great value for something a little bit more special.

What with the to-ing and fro-ing, a car will need to be hired too!

Car Hire
Tues 24th Sep – Tues 8th Oct
£133 total

TOTAL

Right – let’s say we go for the following mix:

Flights – £75 each
Car hire – 66.50
Guesthouse for 3 nights – £76.50 each
Airbnb for 7 nights – £152.50 each
Wine hotel for 4 nights – £180 each

Total = £550.50 each


THE REQUEST = 3 nights in Majorca for 10 adults

Extra details:

  • From Manchester
  • Last weekend of April 2020
  • Couples so separate beds needed

FLIGHTS

Manchester to Palma
Fri 24th April – Mon 27th April
£80 return


ACCOMMODATION

Airbnb
Fri 24th April – Mon 27th April
£292.33 a night – £87.70 each
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Total = £167.70 each!


THE REQUEST: Long weekend in Europe in late Aug/early Sep

Extra details:

  • From London
  • Hot and sunny
  • £300pp max
  • Hannah likes exploring, her boyf likes relaxing!

How about… MILAN! Not only are there cheap flights all the tiiiimme, you can combine an explore around the city with a couple of day up at Lake Como which only takes an hour to get to by train – and is as cheap as €4,80!

FLIGHTS

London to Milan
Thurs 29th Aug to Mon 2nd Sep
From £66 return

ACCOMMODATION

Okay, I’m thinking a jaunt up to Lake Como for some chill time first I personally prefer to stay at a hotel on the last night as it means you can easily leave your things at the front desk if you decide to take the later flight home.

So, let’s look at Lake Como.

There are lots of options all around the lake but for ease, I’d take a look at Airbnbs around the town of Como itself for easy access from the train, and a central starting spot for exploring.

Airbnb
Thurs 29th Aug – Sat 31st Aug
£119 a night – £238 total
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Next, we’re heading back to Milan and let’s think HOTELS.

Now, there’s plenty of options on this Sat/Sun night for under £75 but I loved the look of this next place, which also features pretty high up on The Telegraph’s best hotels in Milan list.

Enterprise Hotel Design & Boutique
Sat 31st Aug to Mon 2nd Sep
4 star spa hotel
£92.50 a night – £185 total


THE REQUEST: Chill Croatia break in early October

Extra details:

  • 2 people
  • £350pp budget

FLIGHTS

CHECK OUT THESE CHEAP ASS FLIGHTS TO PULA:

London to Pula
Weds 2nd Oct to Weds 9th Oct
£30 return

ACCOMMODATION

Having flown into Pula recently for a little ‘chilled’ break myself, I know that there are plenty of places within an hour’s drive to choose from. I stayed in Rabac which was a cute resort town (though perhaps a little too resorty for me) so instead, we’re going to take a look at Rovinj which is a 40 min drive from the airport.

GORGEOUS.

Yet again, I’m gonna mix up a cheaper Airbnb and then end off the stay in a LUSH hotel (that again, I visit often online).

Airbnb
Weds 2nd Oct – Mon 7th Oct
£50.20 a night – £251 total
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Hotel Lone
Mon 7th Oct – Weds 9th Oct
Breakfast included
£136 a night – £272 total

Last of all, you’ll need a hire car.

Car Hire
Weds 2nd Oct – Weds 9th Oct
£33 total

DAMN CROATIA AND YOUR CHEAP CAR HIRE

TOTAL

Flights – £30 each
Car hire – £16.50 each
Airbnb – £125.50 each
Hotel – £136 each

Total = £308 each


That’s it for this week’s holiday hotline. If I didn’t get you then I’m SO SORRY but blimey, there was a lot of you to get through and I hope I can help you out in the future.

If you fancy being involved with the next one, make sure you’re following on Instagram and checking on my stories.

Until then!


That’s it for this week’s holiday hotline. If I didn’t get you then I’m so sorry – I hope I can help you out in the future!

If you fancy being involved with the next one, make sure you’re following on Instagram and checking on my stories.

Until next time!


I have used some affiliate links throughout this article. They don’t charge you more, but if you book through them you’ll be helping me to continue my cheap travel booking hobbies. For full transparency, I earn about 10p if you book a flight through a link so… Haha!

european summer holidays for under £300 that you can STILL BOOK

With schools breaking up this week, it really does feel that summer is finally upon us. And for those of us who are yet to firm up those summer getaways, it can often feel like we’ve left it too late.

OR HAVE WE?!

I’ve taken a look at where you can still book from all over the UK for a 7 night getaway for under £300 per person.

FROM LONDON

London, with its wide array of airports, has more cheap options than other UK locations but I’ve gone with this flight to Split in Croatia.

FLIGHTS

London to Split, Croatia
Tues 16th July – Tues 23rd July
£80 return

As Croatia’s second city, Split has a lot to offer. Bars, restaurants, Roman ruins and endless spans of turquoise sea. There’s also plenty of beaches within easy distance of the city centre so if you’re looking for a more traditional summer getaway, this could be the one for you.

The sandy beach at Kašjuni– but don’t be surprised to find pebbles at other Croatian beaches!

Average July temperature – 31 degrees

Pint of beer – £2.19
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £30.99
Cappuccino – £1.83
One way ticket on local transport – £1.34

For more prices, check out Numbeo!

ACCOMODATION

Airbnb
£58.29 a night – £408 total
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Total = £279 per person


FROM LIVERPOOL OR ABERDEEN

The great thing about the next destination is that so many airports fly there, but here’s two flights that I thought were a great price!

FLIGHTS

Aberdeen to Gdansk, Poland
Sat 24th Aug to Sat 31st Aug
£87 return

Liverpool to Gdansk, Poland
Weds 21st Aug to Weds 28th Aug
£102 return

Now, you may think ‘Poland? That’s not a summer destination’ but THINK AGAIN. Not only does Gdansk feature a beautiful old town with numerous places to eat and drink, but it’s also a quick train away from the beach leading up to the seadside town of Sopot.

I’ve visited Gdansk twice before – both in temperatures a little bit nippy – but I can only imagine how fun this city would be in the sunshine. When I was there in March there was a lot of redevelopment happening and so I only expect this destination to keep growing and growing!

The city isn’t huge, so I’d definitely pair it with some time in both Sopot and Gydnia which make up the Tri-City metropolitan area.

Lastly, no one can argue with these prices – and what’s better than a holiday where you’re not constantly worrying about your purse strings?

Average August temperature – 22 degrees

Pint of beer – £1.68
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £21.06
Cappuccino – £1.90
One way ticket on local transport – 67p

For more prices, check out Numbeo!

ACCOMMODATION

Serviced Apartment
£57.57 a night – £404 total


Aberdeen total = £289 per person

Liverpool total = £304 per person

There are so many choices for Gdansk that I couldn’t possibly leave it at just that. Whilst not in the Old Town, this cute apartment is just £285 for the week!

And this place in Sopot is just £253! Very budget friendly.

If you were looking to spend a little more, I love the design elements of this Airbnb which would cost £476 for the week.


FROM BRISTOL

FLIGHTS

Next up, we have:

Bristol to Budapest, Hungary
Thurs 22nd Aug to Thurs 28th Aug
£118 return

As so wonderfully summarised by Lonely Planet:

Budapest has something for everyone – from dramatic history and flamboyant architecture to healing thermal waters and a nightlife that is unrivalled in Eastern and Central Europe.As so wonderfully summarised by Lonely Planet.

And if you fancied getting out of the city a little, you could even get the 1 hour 40 mins train to Lake Balaton which is a major holiday destination with its beaches, volcanic hills, resort towns and high-rise hotels.

Average August temperature – 28 degrees

Pint of beer – £1.24
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £27.50
Cappuccino – £1.27
One way ticket on local transport – 96p

For more prices, check out Numbeo!

ACCOMMODATION

The good news is that there are plenty of Airbnb’s within budget.

Airbnb
£52.85 a night – £370 total
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Total = £303 each
(okay FINE I’m £3 over but the flights were £25 less last night so use this as a reminder to book soon!)


FROM LONDON

Yes, we’re looking at London again but for a different purpose – we’re looking at package deals!

FLIGHTS & ACCOMMODATION

London to Gran Canaria, Spain
Via ThomasCook.com
Mon 22nd July to Mon 29th July

This is your classic holiday getaway – sun, sea and sand. Plus, having 15kg luggage included sure is a perk, and what a deal for £269 per person! And for just £24 more, you could get a room with a side view of the sea.

Average July temperature – 22 degrees

Pint of beer – £1.12
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £31.41
Cappuccino – £1.12
One way ticket on local transport – £1.26

For more prices, check out Numbeo!


FROM ANYWHERE

For our last top destination, we’re going to be taking a look at France. Yes. We’re going that broad.

I find that people often overlook France – perhaps it’s too close to us – but the great thing is that there’s beaches, sunshine, incredible cities and most importantly – WINE.

Yes, the prices will be higher than other destinations on this list but that’s okay, because I’ve got a special trick up my sleeve… But first, let’s talk getting there.

EUROTUNNEL

As is often the case with most forms of travel, it is cheaper if you book in advance but given that prices start at £85 each way for staying a week, I quickly found options for very close to that in July.

What’s more, this is a perfect option if you’re travelling as a family, or, if you’re popular, with friends.

ACCOMMODATION

Now, here’s where the magic happens. Let me show you how you can get totally FREE accommodation.

Enter side stage: house sitting.

When people – often with pets, or perhaps they have a luscious garden or post to bring in – want to go on holiday, they put their homes up and invite people like you and me to stay for free.

IT’S A TOTAL WIN WIN SITUATION.

I’ve done this twice – once in Paris and once in a multimillion pound home in Germany (it was awful) – and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

Now, you can do this absolutely anywhere across the globe but I’ve mentioned France because house sitting website, Nomador, was originally a French site and so there are so many places to choose from our mate across the channel.

In fact, when I looked before, there were over 889 results coming up when I searched for France this summer!

There are lots of different house sitting websites – Trusted Housesitters, Mind My House and House Carers – but I like Nomador because it has a totally free option that lets you send three messages to owners out for absolutely nothing.

You can see what the home in Paris we stayed in was like here!

And find all my top tips on applying for your own house sit here:


That’s it for this post – I hope this gives you some holiday inspo and remind you that there is STILL TIME to book a cheap getaway this summer!