The 26-30 railcard will save you 1/3 on ‘leisure journeys’ across Britain – full details here.
Can it only be used on trains?
If you live in London, you can whack that bad boy on your Oyster card and save 1/3 on all off peak tube journeys as well – and that definitely adds up across the year.
How much will it cost me?
£30 a year
I often find £3 discounts for railcards online but there’s nothing online for the 26-30 card yet. Will update as and when!
However, you can use Tesco clubcard vouchers to buy!
What will I need to buy one?
a valid debit or credit card
proof of age (a valid UK driving license, international passport or national identity card)
a digital, passport-style photo
How quickly can I use it?
It’s the first digital-only Railcard and will be available to buy online and downloaded to the Railcard app on a smartphone. Once downloaded you can then start travelling (and saving) straight away, with no need to wait for the post! Plus, if your phone runs out of battery or gets lost it can be swapped to another mobile device.
There’s a massive queue to buy one – what should I do?
There is not a limited supply so don’t worry! Set a reminder and visit again later.
When can I use it until?
You can use the card until the last day of your 30th year of life. Cue me having another railcard-related breakdown on my 31st birthday.
I’ve just realised I never posted the link to my latest video!
What started out as a work trip to Istanbul and LA (I make radio docs for those of you who don’t know!) turned into an amazing getaway to Napa and Yosemite in California.
Now, with work paying for my flights, that was all taken care of but as for the day to day… Jeez. What happened to the days when the US was a cheap destination? It was PRICEY! Yet, we still managed to find a way to do it for less…
This is a proper cool 3 star hotel – I actually once won a stay at the Qbic in London (I am bloody jammy) which I gave to my parents and they loved it!! A really great way to do a more budget stay but without having to lose out on the style
Whilst on a map you may think it’s fairly far out, it’s in the area of Amsterdam Zuid which is well known for its museums. The hotel is also next to the Metro station and so you can be at Centraal station in just 10 minutes
Total cost – £158 per person
Also for the same dates is a cracking £27 flight to Belfast – their markets are also supposed to be top notch.
Sat 15th Dec – Mon 17th Dec
Christmas markets start: from 22nd November 2018
This is not your start up Christmas Market, this is your bonafide WINTER WONDERLAND Christmas Market but do keep in mind that Switzerland is PRICEY!
The airport is actually in France so you can say you’ve visited two countries in one – kapow
Flight – £64pp (or just £54pp if you left at 1810)
There are some really decently priced Airbnbs including this and this HOWEVER, in 2018, Basel introduced a nifty little incentive for tourists where if you book into a hotel, you get a free BaselCard which gives you free public transport and a load of discounts! Given how spendy the city is, I think that’s a good deal. The website says that it will be handed to you on check in, but apparently if your booking is marked ‘mobility ticket’ then you can even use it to get to your hotel. Madness. So make sure you email your hotel ahead of time to ask what’s what.
The wonderful thing about being obsessed about finding travel deals is that when a brand you know and love gets in touch and says things such as ‘we’re offering up to 75% off hotels for Black Friday, does that interest you?’ it’s the easiest decision in the world.
So here is a post brought to you by yours truly – and Expedia.
Here’s the deal. On Friday 23rd November at 9am, they’ll be releasing a hotel coupon from here that could see you saving up to 75% off (fan me down, lads).
This can only be used on their app so make sure you’ve got it downloaded and ready to go at 9am before someone else (read: me) swipes a bargain from right underneath your nozzle.
As I’m also in the market for a hotel or two at the moment (when am I not?), I also got thinking about all the things that can help make Black Friday shopping an ease and not an effort. Starting with…
1. Mark your calendar
This year, Black Friday lands on Friday 23rd November however some brands may start to trickle out the deals a few days before and after.
The best way to get a good deal is to prepare and have a think about where you’d like to go.
On my list at the moment is:
Santiago in Chile
Cape Town in South Africa
The Azores in Portugal
(so HOLLER AT ME if you see any deals for these come up)
So, what we all need to do before Black Friday is research those destinations a bit more:
Who flies there?
What routes do they take?
Will I need a visa?
Will I need to get injections?
When is a good time to visit?
Sure, you might find a proper cheap flight but if you find out you’re there for monsoon season and your £100 visa won’t even come back in time, you’ll be gutted.
3. Get ready
As you may need to pounce on a deal, it’s definitely worth asking yourself the following questions:
How much time can you take off?
Check your holiday allowances and remember, if you haven’t booked Christmas off yet (and you’re on a standard UK full time contract), you’ll need 4 days to take off between 22nd Dec – 1st Jan.
Can you get the time off work?
If you’ve got some dates in mind, it’s worth putting some feelers out with whoever controls your holiday allowance. In the very least, check when you definitely couldn’t take time off to avoid disappointment.
Who would you go with?
Be it a mate or a date, get them on board now. That, or just embark on your own solo adventure which makes things a hell of a lot easier to organise!
Do you have everyone’s details?
Get all the travellers passport details ready to go!
How much can you spend?
This is really important because sales are EXCITING and before you know it, you’ve plonked £400 on your credit card that you can’t really afford. If you’re travelling with others, agree on your budget, and factor in a maximum price you’d go to if you find something proper lush.
Do you have the money?
Most sites will need you to put the full amount onto one card so if you’re going away with someone else, make sure you’ve got enough to cover the cost
4. Bookmark, follow and download
Now you’ve got an idea of where you’re going, it’s time to bookmark websites, follow social media accounts and download apps in preparation.
A good trick on Twitter is to create a list of airlines, hotel groups and comparison sites, which will compile all their social accounts in one place.
If I was being coy, this is where I’d slip in the old ‘oh, did you know Expedia are up to something fun too?’ trick but I feel like I’ve blown that already. So, all I’m gonna say, again, is UP TO 75% OFF ON THEIR APP! DOWNLOAD IT NOW!
5. Check that you’re actually getting a deal
Check the location – nobody wants to stay 25km from where they intended
Check the reviews
And lastly, check what price it usually retails at
Right, I’m off to limber up for Black Friday morning. Do come and join me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing what I discover!
FINE I WENT OVER BUDGET ON THIS ONE – but it does have free breakfast so… Can you let it slide??!
If you want something fancier than a 2 star, you could also try this lush 4 star hotel for the same price but it is a little further out. However, Copenhagen public transport is very good.
FINAL OPTION: you could also fly to the Danish city of Aarhus on the same dates for a mere £35! The flight times are mint too and, having visited twice before, I can imagine Christmas on its cute, cobbled streets being proper magical.
Sat 15th Dec – Mon 17th Dec
The second largest city in Sweden has plenty to offer – including the fact that it’s a hell of a lot easier to get to from the airport than its capital (if you’re flying cheap, that is!). The centre is just a 30 minute bus shuttle away.
Another Scandi country with a festival amusement park! Visit Liseberg for artificial snow and over five million fairy lights (110 SEK – around £9.50)
James and I visited the Christmas markets in Timisoara, Romania last year and for a two night break for two adults with B&B accommodation, flights, airport transfers, a three-course meal, coffee, mulled wine and cake spent the grand total of… £92.10 each.