4 star Newcastle aparthotel for only £59 a night during Easter and Bank Holidays

This post includes references to future work I’ll be doing with Roomzzz Newcastle City Centre but I asked if I could post about the offer before I go so that you can get the cheap rate before it gets booked up!

We’re about to get hit with a barrage of bank holidays but with international travel looking less of an option at the moment, it’s never been a better time to look closer to home for a mini break or getaway.

Yet bank holidays always mean you have to pay peak prices, right?

Well, maybe not…

In April, the housemate and I are off for two nights to stay at the Roomzzz Newcastle City Centre at their BEQUEST (soz just really wanted to use the word bequest) because they’ve had an extension and have got some new rooms they want to show off.

And because they want people to know about their new extension, they’ve cut all their new studios room rates to…

£59 a night!!! 🎉🎉🎉

Saturdays are a little more expensive at £79 a night but for a super central, by the train station, very well rated place to stay with breakfast included in the price, that’s a bloody bargain mate.

And the best bit?

EASTER AND BANK HOLIDAYS  ARE THE SAME PRICE 👏👏👏

So, whilst I’ll be posting my review on here after our stay, I wanted to shout about the prices now as at that cost, I’m pretty sure they’ll be booked up by the time I go – in fact, the final bank holiday in May is already booked up!

The special offer is running throughout all of April and May so whether you fancy a night out with pals, a romantic weekend with your other half, or a midweek adventure with the family, you can do it all without breaking the bank.

You can check out the dates that are still available here and look out for the ‘Newcastle Opening Offer’ when booking!

Make sure you’re following me over on Instagram where I’ll be posting about our visit on Stories.

Spend £100 on travel and get £20 back PLUS cashback on Quidco

Following a deal that saw Quidco reward new users with £25 spending £250 on travel, this week they got back to me with ANOTHER GREAT DEAL!

Spend £100 on travel and get £20 back

They’ve also put together this deal if you’re spending less, but you can also use it on none travel items as well.

Spend £10 on anything and get £10 back

That’s basically like getting something for free, right?

If you’re new to Quidco and cashback, I’ll take you through what you need to know below but here are the headlines.

How do I earn a bonus £20 with Quidco?

  • Sign up to Quidco using this link
  • Visit the Travel category on Quidco
  • Shop with any retailer within the Travel category and spend £100 or more before 31st March 2020
  • Earn cashback on your holiday just for being a Quidco member
  • Receive a £20 cashback bonus from Quidco
  • Withdraw your cashback to your bank, PayPal or as vouchers

You can find the full terms and conditions and a load of helpful pointers here.

How do I earn a bonus £10 with Quidco?

  • Sign up to Quidco using this link
  • Shop with any retailer on Quidco and spend £10 or more before 31st March 2020
  • Earn cashback on your purchases for just being a Quidco member
  • Receive a £10 cashback bonus from Quidco
  • Withdraw your cashback to your bank, PayPal or as vouchers

You can find the full terms and conditions and a load of helpful pointers here.


How I used Quidco to save £45 on this amazing Greek villa

I signed up on the original offer myself and earned a £25 bonus by booking this UNREAL private villa on the island of Paros in Greece.

It should have been £367 for 4 nights but because I’ll earn £19.18 in cashback and then get an extra £25 on top of it, it works out at just £80.55 a night!

Watch how I found and booked this amazing place – thanks in large part to throwing a dart at a map of Europe whilst blindfolded…



Quidco FAQs

If you’re new to Quidco, and cashback in general, here’s what you need to know.

What is cashback?

Cashback is the money you can get back on your purchases as a reward when you are a member of a cashback site and buy online using their partners.

What is Quidco?

Quidco are the UK’s #1 cashback and voucher site and they have over 4,500 retailers on their website that their members can earn cashback from.

Is this just for UK residents?

Yes, you must be a resident of the UK to register for a Quidco account.

Do I have to pay to sign up?

No, Quidco earns money from sponsored advertising paid by their retailers and they also have a Premium membership. There is a free membership as well.

How much money can I earn?

It all depends on how much you buy but on average, active members earn £280 a year.

How do I sign up?

Visit Quidco, enter your email and a password, select what options you want and then click ‘Join for free!’

How do I get cashback?

Select which retailer you want on the Quidco website and click the relevant links to start shopping. Quidco will track your visit and your purchases.

How do I know that Quidco has tracked by purchase?

Once you’ve made a purchase, Quidco will track the amount of cashback you’re due and send you a confirmation email. It will also show as ‘Tracked’ on your personalised homepage.

How do I get paid?

Once the retailer confirms your purchase, your cashback will be paid into your Quidco account. From there you can transfer it to your bank account, Paypal account or have it paid as an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card.

How often will this get paid?

Payments are made on request.

How long will it take for me to get cashback on my purchases?

This varies so check the ‘Retailer Stats’ given on the retailer’s page.

How can I make sure that my purchases will get tracked?

Clearing your browsing data can help. You can follow Quidco’s advice on this here.

My purchase hasn’t tracked, what should I do?

You can raise a claim by clicking on ‘Missing Cashback Claim’ in Support.

How do I get a £20 bonus?

Quidco are currently running an offer where if you are a new user who signs up via this link and spends £100 or more on travel before 31st March 2020, you will receive an additional £20 on top of the cashback you earn.

Can I spend £100 across multiple retailers?

At present, this needs to be purchased through one retailer.

I’ve got the £20 bonus – can my partner sign up too?

They can as long as you don’t live at the same address. You can only claim one bonus per household.

For any additional help, pleae visit the Quidco support pages.


A big thanks to Quidco for supporting small creators, like me, and giving us all a chance to save some more money on travel this January.

cheap school holiday getaways for families, teachers and groups

For this week’s holiday hotline, I decided to tackle a very hot topic: cheap summer holidays.

For teachers, families, or those wanting to just make the most of the summer weather, I know it really can be difficult to bag a bargain.

So, for this hotline I’m going to go through six different things – which you can click on to jump to if you don’t fancy a long read (if you do, grab a cuppa!)

NAVIGATION

Remember to come and follow me over on Instagram for more holiday hotlines and a chance for your request to get answered for free!

And if you want to support what I do, come and check out my Patreon for extra perks like hotel upgrade templates and holiday itinerary planners!


Top tips for cheap summer holidays

  • Book your flights sooner rather than later

Long gone are the days when you could rock up to the airport on the day and ask for a cheap flight. The stats show that flights costs almost always go up in the last week before travel – and that’s before even taking into account travelling at peak times.

The fact is that the summer holidays are always going to be popular travel times and so waiting for the price to drop is always going to be a tricky game.

My advice is if the price is an ‘typical to lower’ than the average cost, then book knowing that you will have spent less than more than half of the people on your flight.

You can find this out by popping your flights into Google Flights, selecting them and looking out for their helpful price bar (though remember to check the flights on Skyscanner too as they can often be even cheaper!).

Hopper is also a good app that uses stats to predict whether it’s the right time to book.

  • Book a hotel with a good cancellation policy and then check for last minute deals

The good news is that it is still possible to score a last minute deal when it comes to your accommodation – hotels do not like leaving rooms empty and so last minute price slashes are known even in peak times.

However, there is an element of risk here and so a good way to get around that is to book a hotel with a good cancellation policy early. Some hotels will offer this as standard.

Then, closer to your holiday you can scour to check for last minute bargains and cancel your original booking if you find a deal.

  • Book a holiday rental instead of a hotel

Whether it’s an apartment or villa with pool, the great thing about a holiday rental is how much money you can save by buying food, drinks and snacks for the duration of your stay!

  • If you want an Airbnb or villa, book early

Whilst many owners do higher their costs for peak times, some just have a basic rate that runs across the whole year. However, to find these cheap deals you’re going to have to get in and book early before someone else does.

And remember, if you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get £25 off your first booking here!

  • Check more sites than just Airbnb

Hometogo searches lots of holiday rental websites, including Airbnb and it’s also worth checking out other websites such as Oliver’s Travels, Booking.com, Canopy and Stars and Sykes Holiday Cottages.

  • If you want an Airbnb or villa and have left it late, get ready to haggle!

Similar to hotels, Airbnb hosts don’t want their place going empty so put an offer in instead!.

Read my full guide on how to haggle on Airbnb here – there’s even a template email to send!

  • Booking a package holiday? Do it yourself for less!

One of my favourite things to do is to use package holiday sites as a springboard for my own searching. If they’re advertising a mega deal, before you hit ‘click’, have a search for the flights on Skyscanner and accommodation on Trivago to see if you could do it cheaper – often you can!

What I also like about this is that it’s a simple way to discover cheaper flights to popular destinations and then you could always swap out their chosen hotel for something more you, or perhaps even a villa or an apartment.

Do bear in mind that if you’re booking your flight and accommodation separately you will not get the ATOL or ABTA insurance offered by most package holiday companies so make sure you’ve got travel insurance and buy on a credit card or a visa debit card for added payment protection on purchases over £100. Read up on more ways to protect yourself here.

  • House sit for free accommodation

Did you know that you can bag free accommodation by looking after someone’s house, watering their plants or even feeding their pets? I’ve done it twice and it is amazing.

  • Get your flights for the cheapest price possible

Use my cheap flight checklist and find the scenario that best fits your getaway!

There’s also a list of alternative ways to whittle down that price at the end too.

  • Get £25 off by booking with cashback

This isn’t supposed to be part of the work I’ve been recently doing with Quidco but I thought I would highlight here that you can get a £25 bonus plus cashback by signing up to Quidco and spending £250 on travel before 9th Feb 2020 by using this link.

  • Visit a non traditional summer holiday destination

Yes, I’m sure you’d to relax at the beach but if you’re really after a great value holiday, I’d recommend heading inland or to a city. As there’s less demand for these destinations, you could end up finding a much better deal and just because it’s not by the sea doesn’t mean you can’t score yourself a hotel with a pool!

  • Fly inland and travel to the coast another way

If you’re really gagging for that beach holiday try flying inland instead – big capital cities that aren’t on the coast are normally a good shout as there’s lots of flights going there – and then look at either taking the train or driving to the coast.

Whilst not a beach destination, we once took a 2 hour train in Italy to get between Rome and Perugia and it cost just £10 each and was a lush way to travel (though that may have something to do with the bottle of prosecco we took on board…)

  • Pack light

The great thing about summer holidays is that it’s warm and you really don’t need to pack much. Make a clothes plan before you go away and stick to it. Use a big fabric backpack (this is what I use) that you’ll be able to use for flights with even the crappest allowances. If travelling in a group, book a suitcase between you for liquids if you really need them or order your liquids through click and collect at a Boots after security. Yep, THIS IS A THING!

I used to pack LOADS but now I love going travelling light – give it ago on your next holiday!

  • Not sure where you’re going to go? Use clever search engine tools

When you just want to get away, there are loads of search engine hacks that can help you spot a cheaper fare.

My favourite is the Ryanair fare finder which allows you to select date ranges. DREAMY.

WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE ELSE DO THIS??!!

Other search engines have great tools but a lot of them clump your searches into month blocks. This can be really helpful for August, but not in July when you only want to search for school holiday dates and the cheapest prices will obviously be those outside of that.

Here’s one way you can kind of hack your way around it – though it’s a bit long winded!

Kayak let’s you search for ‘anywhere’ and they also allow you state the duration of your trip – LOVE IT as it allows flexibility.

They also make out that you can search for 4 weeks around your selected date but it’s a lie mate.

Once you click search it forgets that date and then you can only select a whole month to search.

WHY ARE YOU TEASING US KAYAK?!!

However, I did find this helpful…

Once you’ve selected a destination, look to the right as this graph does allow you to toggle through the trip duration and you can spot where the cheaper prices will lie.

But then again, if you know what destination you want, you’ll also get this from the banging calendar view on Google Flights!

Google Flights also have a clever search tool that allows you to search for weekends, weeks and two week return flights in a certain month (though annoyingly we’re note quite at the summer holidays yet!).

On the homepage, leave your destination blank, click search, and then click into the dates and toggle over to ‘flexible dates’.

And as always, check your flights on Skyscanner before you book.

Skyscanner also allow you to search for ‘everywhere’ in a certain month but I’d like to see some more options from these guys in the future!


The Request

This week’s holiday hotline is a culmination of a few people asking for cheap summer holidays so I’m going to show you some of the deals I’ve rustled up for couples, families and groups of mates.

Remember, if you want to be involved with the next holiday hotline, make sure you’re following me over on Instagram.


Cheap summer flights from all over the UK

Before I give you some solid holiday options, here’s some cheap flights from all over the UK that might intrigue you but remember – check the accommodation prices before you hit buy on those cheap flights!

From London

Berlin, Germany – 5 nights – Weds 19th Aug – Mon 24th Aug – £58 each
Ibiza, Spain – 4/5 nights – Sat 8th Aug – Thu 13th Aug – £60 each
Nice, France – 7 nights – Tues 28th July – Tues 4th Aug – £67 each
Budapest, Hungary – 7 nights – Tues 18th Aug – Tues 25th Aug – £86 each
Seville, Spain – 7 nights – Thurs 6th Aug – Tues 11th Aug – £86 each
Porto, Portugal – 5 nights – Sun 26th July – Fri 31st July – £102 each
Luqa, Malta – 9 nights – Tues 21st July – Thu 30th July – £106 each
Faro, Portugal – 7 nights – Tues 28th July – Tues 4th Aug – £115 each

From Manchester

Copenhagen, Denmark – 5 nights – Wed 22nd July – Mon 27th July – £41 each
Amsterdam, Netherlands – 5 nights – Wed 12th Aug – Mon 17th Aug – £48 each
Prague, Czechia – 7 nights – Thu 6th Aug – Thu 13th Aug – £80 each
Lisbon, Portugal – 7 nights – Thu 20th Aug – Thu 27th Aug – £107 each
Barcelona, Spain – 5 nights – Sat 15th Aug – Thu 20th Aug – £110 each
Luqa, Malta – 7 nights – Wed 12th Aug – Thu 20th Aug –£130 each
Malaga, Spain – 8 nights – Wed 12th Aug – Thu 20th Aug – £136 each

From Cardiff

Dublin, Ireland – 7 nights – Wed 5th Aug – Wed 12th Aug – £58 each
Paris, France – 5 nights – Fri 7th Aug – Wed 12 July – £112 each
Malaga, Spain – 7 nights – Wed 22nd July – Wed 29th July – £118 each

From Edinburgh

Milan, Italy – 7 nights – Sun 16th Aug – Sun 23rd Aug – £75 each
Munich, Germany – 7 nights – Mon 3rd Aug – Mon 10th Aug – £76 each
Girona, Spain – 7 nights Sun 16th Aug – Sun 23rd Aug – £97 each
Faro, Portugal – 12 nights – Sun 23rd Aug – Weds 2nd Sep – £105 each
Dubrovnik, Croatia – 7 nights – Thu 13th Aug – Thu 20th Aug – £114 each

From BelfasT

Amsterdam, Netherlands – 7 nights – Sun 9th Aug – Sun 16th Aug – £73 each
Luqa, Malta – 7 nights – Tues 25th Aug – Tue 1st Sep – £75 each
Krakow, Poland – 7 nights – Thu 13th Aug – Thu 20th Aug – £124 each
Venice, Italy – 7 nights – Mon 27th July – Mon 3rd Aug – £156 each

From Leeds

Dublin, Ireland – 7 nights – Sun 26th July – Sun 2nd Aug – £44 each
Amsterdam, Netherlands – 5 nights – Sat 25th July – Thu 30th July – £94 each
Limoges, France – 7 nights – Thu 23rd July – Thu 30th July – £112 each
Pisa, Italy – 7 nights – Fri 14th Aug – Fri 21st Aug – £118 each

Hopefully that will give you some ideas but let’s put a few of them into motion to show what cheap accommodation you could find as well.


Cheap summer holidays for couples

THE HOLIDAY

Berlin is a great example of non-traditional summer holiday destination that’s a lot of fun in the warmer months.

James and I went last August and had the best time zipping about the city of e-scooters, drinking bottles of beer out in the sunshine and even travelling out to one of the many lakes Berlin brags on its outskirts.

What’s more, there are loads of great 4 star hotels available for around £60 a night – even in the summer – though do check whether there will be aircon. Ours didn’t have any initially and it was SO WARM!

FLIGHTS

London to Berlin, Germany
Weds 19th Aug – Mon 24th Aug
£57 each

ACCOMODATION

Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz
4 star
£59 a night / £147.50 each for 5 nights

What’s more, if you book with Quidco you can earn 8.4% cashback if you book with a credit card, as well as qualifying for the bonus £25 back if you sign up with this link.

TOTAL

Without cashback – £204.50 each for 5 nights
With cashback and bonus – £179.61 each for 5 nights


Cheap summer holidays for families

THE HOLIDAY

So, I’m going to show you hear how you can use package holiday sites to find a good deal but then book it yourself to save even more money.

Here’s a week long holiday to Mazagón, a beach town in Andalusia, Spain. The Mazagon hotel has a kids club, entertainment and a pretty bad ass pool (hello pirate ship and slides) and the price per night includes half board which should help keep your daily costs down.

I found this deal on loveholidays which is great website to use if you’re a fan of package holidays as I love the fact you can select multiple departure airports – for this I selected ‘Any North West’ – and that you can select a date but then add up to 5 days flexibility either side.

However, let’s take these details and break it down.

FLIGHTS

Manchester to Seville
Weds 19th Aug to Weds 26th Aug
£97 each / £386 total

HOTEL

By searching on Google Hotels, Trivago and even with the hotel directly, I’ve found the same room for £153 a night with LogiTravel.

TOTAL

The total cost for a family of four comes in at £1460 – that’s £104 cheaper than booking it as a package.

That works out at £365 each.

Again, check out the cashback deal I’ve got running at the moment to earn a bonus £25 plus cashback on the hotel, meaning you’d save £117 pounds bringing the overall total in at £335.75 each.

It is worth noting that booking your holiday as a package can mean you can put down a small deposit (though in this case, LogiTravel also allow you to put down a small deposit for just your hotel) and that you won’t get the same insurance that comes with booking parts of your holiday together.

However, there are some straight forward ways to cover yourself – including buying on a credit or visa debit card and making sure your travel insurance covers insolvency.

You can read up on this here!


Cheap summer holidays for groups

THE HOLIDAY

For our final search, I’m going to show you another way to get a cheaper summer holiday – find the accommodation first!

I find this is especially helpful when you’ve got quite niche requirements, so for this example, here’s what I’m searching for:

  • 24th August for one week (give or take a few days)
  • 6 people
  • At least 3 bedrooms
  • At least 2 bathrooms
  • Hot weather destination
  • Air conditioning
  • Pool

The reasoning behind this is that if you can nail a great price for where you’re staying, you’ll save way more than scoring some cheap flights and then trying to find accommodation that suits.

ACCOMMODATION

So, to search for this I’m going to head over to Airbnb and in the search bar, type ‘Europe’.

I’ll then enter my dates (24th Aug – 31st Aug) and the amount of guests I’m after (6).

Next, I’ll click on ‘Stays’ and on the next screen, will use the filters to finely tune what I’m after.

E.g.

  • Entire place
  • Max budget of £150 a night
  • At least 3 beds
  • At least 3 bedrooms
  • At least 2 bathrooms
  • Air conditioning
  • Pool

Even after all of that, Airbnb is showing me 300+ places to stay so now it’s about using the map to see where may be easy to get to and for a good price.

Almost instantly I find this UNREAL home for an incredibly good price in the south of Spain.

Airbnb
Ribera Baja
Sleeps 12 – 4 bedrooms – 3 bathrooms
£138 a night / £964 total

Get £25 off your first stay

What’s more, the availability on the calendar tells me it’s free from 21st August so we do have some flexibility on dates which will help find the best value flights.

It’s a 2 hours drive from Malaga and a 2.5 hour drive from Seville, so there’s also some flexibility there as well.

FLIGHTS TO MALAGA

Fri 21st Aug – Fri 28th Aug
From London – £141 each

Tues 25th Aug – Tues 1st Sep
From Belfast – £89 each
From Glasgow – £95 each
From Edinburgh – £111 each

FLIGHTS TO SEVILLE

Fri 21st Aug – Fri 28th Aug
From London – £114 each
From Manchester – £152 each

Sat 22nd Aug – Sat 29th Aug
From Edinburgh – £120 each

Mon 24th Aug – Mon 31st Aug
From Manchester – £140 each

Tues 25th Aug – Tues 1st Sep
From Bristol – £116 each

TOTAL

So, if you’re flying from Belfast, this place for six people could be as cheap as £249 each for one week.

BUT, if you were to fill up the place to capacity and have 12 of you staying, it could be as cheap as £214 each!

(Before you question my maths, the price of the Airbnb goes up with the amount of people who stay!)


Phew! That was an epic one! Wanna say thanks?

If I’ve helped you out, or you fancy getting access to more perks (and more holiday hotlines!) then you can also support me over on Patreon for the price of a really average coffee once a month.


Want more holiday tips?

Come and follow me on Instagam, Twitter and on YouTube!


Some of these links are affiliated – it doesn’t cost you a penny more but I may earn a little something that will help me run this site. Feel free to search these deals independently!

Where are the best value places to go as a solo traveller?

On this week’s Holiday Hotline, I noticed a bit of a theme.

Lots of people asking about solo travel.

As someone who travels often with someone else, I take for granted how lucky I am when it comes to costs because being able to split a hotel here, a car hire there, can really help when keeping down the price.

However, with a growing demand for solo travel, it’s about time I put my bargain hunting hat on to share some of my top tips when it comes to holidaying on your own.


New to the Holiday Hotline?

Once a week, I take in your cheap holiday requests over on my Instagram and select one to do a deep dive on.

If you want to be involved in the future, make sure you’re following me and keeping an eye out for my stories.


Top Tips for Cheap Solo Travel

Before we crack on with the specific request at hand, I wanted to whizz though some general top tips that will help you book your next solo trip.

However, make sure you keep on scrolling to see what 3 night holiday you could be going on, on your own, for less than £90!


Destinations

  • Perhaps the most important things to keep in mind… Visit somewhere cheap!

I’m not just talking about cheap flights – they’re a one off cost – I’m on about somewhere that is cheap to stay, eat, drink, do and travel about.

Here’s some of my recommendations:

Please note: the average costs for hotels come from Kayak based on what’s been booked in the last three days – therefore you will definitely be able to find something much cheaper by staying in a basic hotel, hostel or airbnbor just by scoring an unreal deal!

GDAŃSK,
POLAND

Hotel: £47 a night

Inexpensive meal: £5.04

0.5l beer: £1.81

Transport: 65p

Also try: Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Łódź and Warsaw

BUDAPEST,
HUNGARY

Hotel: £67 a night

Inexpensive meal: £5.12

0.5l beer: £1.28

Transport: 90p

Also try: Debrecen, Eger, Lake Balaton, Sopron, Heviz

PORTO,
PORTUGAL

Hotel: £71 a night

Inexpensive meal: £5.98

0.5l beer: £1.71

Transport: £1.07

Also try: Lisbon, Faro, Funchal, The Azores and Olhão

ISTANBUL,
TURKEY

Hotel: £53 a night

Inexpensive meal: £3.92

0.5l beer: £2.61

Transport: 35p

Also try: Antalya, Bodrum, Cappadocia and Ephesus

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

Hotel: £45 a night

Inexpensive meal: £1.53

0.5l beer: 38p

Transport: 96p

Also try: Phnom Penh, Koh Rong and Bangkok, Thailand

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

Hotel: £78 a night

Inexpensive meal: £3.66

0.5l beer: 95p

Transport: 57p

Also try: Medellin, Bogata and Tayrona National Park


More average daily costs can be found using Numbeo.


Accommodation

  • Look for accommodation first
    This may well turn out to be a bigger cost than your flight so take a look at when there’s good availability first and then get your flight!
  • Change the number of people staying to 1
    Lots of booking sites autofill to 2 people and there are many hotels that do offer a single occupancy discount or single bed rooms
  • Find the cheapest dates to stay
    If you have a hotel in mind, use Google Hotels to scour for the best rates available using their handy calendar view. Then use Trivago to find which site offers the cheapest price
  • Use Trivago to help whittle down the options
    If you’re not so sure where to stay, use Trivago and its handy filters to really nail what you’re after. Always remember to click ‘more deals’ to see the cheapest prices!
  • Stay in a hostel
    If you’re wanting to meet other solo travellers, or just really keep the cost down, hostels are perfect – I recommend using hostelworld and using the filters to sort by best rated
  • Many hostels also offer private rooms if you want to mingle but also have space to yourself
  • Stay in a Bed and Breakfast
    B&Bs are also a great shout and if you’re refining your search by selecting how many stars you want, you can often miss out on these as many aren’t starred like hotels.

    Booking.com has a helpful B&B search section for this!
  • Stay in an Airbnb
    Airbnb has become standard issue when it comes to travel these days and are a great way to cut down daily costs, especially if they come with a kitchen!

    If you haven’t used it before, you can get £25 off your first stay here.
  • The private room option is a great way to keep costs down, still have access to a kitchen (normally!) and be able to have a local on hand to help you out
  • Stay for free
    Did you know that you can bag free accommodation by looking after someone’s house, watering their plants or even feeding their pets? I’ve done it twice and it is amazing.

Flights


Meeting New People

  • Book a group activity
    Solo travel can be amazing but if you, like me, can send yourself a little crazy after too much time alone, then why not plan for a group activity during your trip? It may just be a free walking tour (google whether the place you’re going has one) or a cookery class/hike or food tour!

I’ve used Airbnb Experiences in the past and have always met amazing people along the way. You’ll get money off your first one if you don’t have an Airbnb account already.

  • Book a group tour
    Like meeting new people so much you want to travel with them? There are loads of great tours available which will even pair you up in a room (hello splitting costs). Plus, most tours organise everything for you so you can relax on all the details.

    Tour Radar is a great site that compiles tours from load of different companies.

The Request

Right, let’s put all these tips into action so that we can help out Liam who has asked for:

  • Somewhere photogenic
  • From London or Edinburgh
  • End of Feb/early March
  • 1 person
  • 3/4 days
  • £300 budget

First thoughts

As London tends to be easier to find cheap flights from, I’m going to challenge myself by finding a cheap flight from Edinburgh first and hopefully the London option will come in at around the same cost.


Flights

When there’s no specific destination in mind, it can often be difficult to know where to start so I’m going to show you a really handy trick you can use on Google Flights to help you out.

I discovered this by total accident – I don’t know why they’re not screaming it from the rooftops as it is SO HELPFUL!

Step 1 – Enter your departure airport but leave the destination blank. Don’t worry about what dates are in, just press search.

Step 2 – In front of you will be a list of destinations to the left and a map with prices on the right. You’re going to click on the dates and next to ‘Specific dates’, you’re going to click on ‘Flexible dates’

Step 3 – Now, select what month you’d like to go away in (or you can just select ‘all’) and then select whether you want to go away across a weekend, 1 week or 2 weeks.

For Liam, I’ve selected ‘February’ and ‘Weekend’ and this is what comes up.

ISN’T THAT THE MOST HELPFUL THING EVER?!!

Though make sure to cross check your dates in Skyscanner and Momondo as they can often come up cheaper.

Now, you may be thinking ‘but Liam wanted 3/4 days Chelsea, not 2 and he didn’t specify weekend travel‘ well… You’re right. But as Google Flights is scouring for the cheapest flights across a weekend, most of them do tend to be 3 night stays as 2 nights is often more expensive.

Also, taking less annual leave means more holidays in the future so what’s not to love?!

There are some great options coming up from Edinburgh including:

Warsaw – £23 return
Gothenburg – £23 return
Milan – £32 return
Gdańsk – £33 return
Copenhagen – £48 return
Berlin – £50 return

But in the spirit of keeping daily costs down (and not choosing Poland which I’m sure you’re all sick of me banging on about!), I’ve decided to go for:

Edinburgh to Bratislava
Thu 27th Feb – Sun 1st March
Ryanair – small hand luggage only
£38 return

Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and I think Liam will definitely be able to find some photogenic spots!

What’s more, with an average inexpensive meal coming in at £5.12, a beer coming in at £1.71 and ticket on the local transport costing only 77p, his money will go really far.

Also, as it’s only 64km from Vienna, it’s very possible to do a day trip to the Austrian capital, or even a twin city break!

You can even catch a boat between the two from 30 euros (though check the site for winter times as they aren’t daily!) or take a train for around £10, or a bus for around £5 via omio.

Now, let’s hope we can find a flight from London for a similar price!

London to Bratislava
Thu 27th Feb – Sun 1st March
Ryanair – small hand luggage only
£46 return

So, Liam will get a much fuller schedule if he flies from London but I think it’s fair to say that both prices are looking GREAT.

Now onto the fun bit…


Cheap Bratislava Accommodation

Airbnb
Entire Apartment
£73 for 3 nights

Save £25 on your very first Airbnb here

This highly rated and central Airbnb came in even cheaper than the private room options available. What a bargain!


Boutique Hostel CHORS
Capsule in 10 bed dorm
Breakfast included
£52 for 3 nights

Now, there are plenty of hostels to choose from with beds for £10 a night on hostelworld but I’m a big fan of these new ’boutique hostels’ that are popping up! You can even pay £4 more to stay in a room with just 3 others.


Apollo Hotel Bratislava
4 star
Includes breakfast
£126 for 3 nights

That’s right, just because you’re travelling solo, it doesn’t mean you have to rough it. The great news is that Bratislava means 4 star hotels for under £50 a night.

YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU.


Total cost

So, if Liam was to go with the cheapest flight and the cheapest accommodation, his 3 night trip to Bratislava would only cost £90.

Even with the better flight times from London and the four star hotel, his total cost would be £172 which really isn’t too shabby at all.

Get it booked, lad!

Wanna say thanks?

If I’ve helped you out, or you fancy getting access to more perks (and more holiday hotlines!) then you can also support me over on Patreon for the price of a really average coffee once a month.

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Until next week!

Can I do a 3 night group getaway to Krakow for less than £100pp?

This week we’re helping Jade who’s after a group trip to Krakow in Poland.

  • Krakow
  • From London
  • 3 nights
  • 7 people
  • £250pp

I love a group trip as more people means more people to split the cost by!

I also chose this holiday hotline because I thought it would perfectly show just how amazing Google Flights can be when you have a place in mind but you can be a little bit flexible on your dates.

3 nights is also the perfect amount of time to hook a getaway around a weekend so that you don’t have to use up too much annual leave.

Top tip for weekend trips:
A lot of people are looking for that Sunday flight back but by moving the trip back one day and getting the Monday flight home, you can save money and you’re often taking the same amount of time off work!


Flights

So first things first, let’s head to Google Flights and most importantly change your passengers to the correct number as there may only be a few tickets left at the lower price you find.

(The eagle eyed of you will spy in the screenshots that it’s for one but this is just as it’s the only way to reflect cost per person!)

Next, pop in where we’re leaving from and where we’re going to.

Next, click on the date box and change your desired trip duration at the bottom. Here, I’ve changed it to 3 days for Jade and her mates.

Now, that seems pretty straight forward but actually, things get even more helpful on the next page so for now just click some dates. Any dates, it doesn’t matter.

By doing this, you’ll see the cheapest flights possible for that day but what if you don’t want an evening flight?

And I bet you deffo don’t want that 6am flight home.

Meaning that your £33 return flight could quickly become more expensive.

And what if the flight times you actually want could be cheaper on another day?

Can you search for that?

The good news is, yes you can.

So, the next thing you’re going to do is select the ‘Times’ button and decide what times you’d ideally like to leave between, and then do the same for your return journey.

For Jade, I’m actually going to keep in a later departure so that it cuts down on annual leave needed getting to Krakow, however I am going to get rid of that 2050 flight option because I think that gets in just a tad too late.

For the return I’m also going with a later flight so that they can make the most of their last day but make sure it arrives home before 2200 so that most public transport is still up and running.

After doing this, go back to the calendar and you’ll see that the prices will have updated to reflect your needs.

You may need to change the length of your trip again at the bottom.

Now, I’m in a great place to look for a cheap price that hooks around a weekend and within a few clicks, I find this great price in March.

The 1950 departure time means that most people, if working in Central London, would only need to take half a day off work or nothing at all if they’ve got a nice boss who will let them leave just before 5pm!

Wizz Air only includes a small piece of hand luggage but I’m a firm believer in that being more than enough for a weekend away! Plus, if you’re travelling in a group you could split a suitcase between you to pop some extra liquids in.

As I’m searching for 7 people for Jade, here’s what the final cost looks like on Google Flights.

Which indeed works out at £48 each.

Bargain.

Before clicking through, always check your flights on Skyscanner as it can often find cheaper prices as it searches more third party companies.

The flights are showing up the same price but hilariously, Skyscanner are throwing in an even cheaper option with Ryanair for £43 return.

However, as it’s flying from and returning to different airports AND I have a way to save more money on Wizz Air, I’m going to stick with what I found on Google Flights and click through to book direct with the airline.

How to save more money on Wizz Air flights

By signing up to the Wizz Discount Club, you’ll get access to loads of perks.

And two types of membership are available:

The great news for Jade is that she can buy the group membership for £69 and it will save her £108 across 6 tickets – so the membership has instantly paid for itself and, once we’ve added in one remaining full price ticket, brings the cost in at £42.43 each for 7 people.

Even better is that the membership will last Jade a year and as she’s the only one named on the account, she can go away with a group of totally different people and still use the discount – or just use the discount for herself.

To buy this membership, Jade just needs to change the amount of tickets to six passengers and then click on the ‘WIZZ Discount Club Price’.

She’ll then be able to buy membership on the same screen.

Jade then just needs to buy the last ticket at the full price cost.


Right, that’s enough flight chat, let’s move onto accomodation.

IMAGINE IF I CAN’T FIND ANY AFTER ALL THAT.

No, positive thoughts Chelsea, positive thoughts.

For this I’m definitely thinking an apartment or house but instead of hopping straight to Airbnb, I’m going to go to HomeToGo instead.

HomeToGo is to holiday homes like what Trivago is to hotels.

It pulls in homes from loads of different sites, including Airbnb, and whilst isn’t always the slickest websites (sometimes listings aren’t available) I do like the range of choice it offers.

Top tip:
Too many Airbnb results being shown? Select ‘Balcony/Patio’ or ‘Garden’ in your search filters as Airbnb doesn’t have this option and therefore all will leave the listings. However, you will only get listings with those amenities but I always love to have a balcony so this is a plus for me!

For Jade, I’m searching for a place that has at least 4 rooms so that 7 people won’t feel too cramped!

I’m also using the map to search for a spot in Central Krakow.

As the flights were so cheap there’s enough budget left for accommodation to cost £483 a night but I reckon we can get something much cheaper!

Here’s the best that I found.


Accommodation

Rister Apartments
£129 a night / £55.29 each

The dining area may not be big enough for everyone but with 4 bedrooms (though one has a sofa bed), 2 bathrooms and two sofa areas, it’s not bad for £55 quid each!


Airbnb
£164.67 a night / £70.57 each for 3 nights

Not used Airbnb before? Get £25 off your first stay here!

THIS PLACE IS SO BIZARRE AND I FACKIN’ LOVE IT.

Just look at the floor plan 🤣

It will be so wrong for most groups but if you were away with a group of close mates and wanted a posh and trendy sleepover, WHAT A PLACE!

I mean, it has a sauna?!??? But only one bathroom?

WAS SOMEONE OFF THEIR TITS WHEN THEY DESIGNED THIS?!!!


Airbnb
£217 a night / £93 each for 3 nights

Not used Airbnb before? Get £25 off your first stay here!

What I liked about this place is not only did it have 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, but it also had two social spaces and a table that actually fits all the people Jade wants to go away with!


House of Loft Affair
2 apartments x 1 bed apartments
£337.16 a night / £144.71 each for 3 nights

These apartments are GORGEOUS and they’ve got big social spaces.

Yet, for people not to be on sofa beds in the living rooms, Jade would need to book this instead.

House of Loft Affair
2 x 2 bedroom apartments
£529 a night / £227 each for 3 nights

Jade will need to select the Palace House and the Pent House.

Now this is slightly over budget but if Jade is looking for something a bit luxe, then this is it!


The final cost

So, going with the cheapest option, Jade and her mates could get away to Krakow for 3 nights for just £97.72 each.

Meaning that the extra £150 can be used for spends.

GET THE BEERS IN, SON.


Wanna say thanks?

If I’ve helped you out, or you fancy getting access to more perks (and more holiday hotlines!) then you can also support me over on Patreon for the price of a really average coffee once a month.

Also, make sure you’re following me over on InstagramTwitter and YouTube.


Want my help?

To be in with a chance of getting your request selected, make sure you’re following me on Instagram where I’ll give you a weekly reminder to get your request in.

Save an extra 10% off Virgin Holidays this Sunshine Saturday

Saturday 4th January 2020 is what the travel industry is hailing as ‘Sunshine Saturday‘.

A name coined due to the surge in holiday makers booking sunny getaways on this day for the past few years.

And with all the cold weather and the lack of Christmas to look forward to, who can blame them?

So, here are some of the best bargain holidays I’ve found with Virgin Holidays who are giving out an extra discount this weekend – and free lounge access!


Virgin Holidays

Save an extra 10% off all bookings this weekend – including sale – and get free lounge access too!

(Though pssst, this is their v-room lounge rather than their Virgin Atlantic Upper Class lounge!)

To save,use the code: 10SAVE
Ends Mon 6th Jan at 11:59PM

Top tip
It’s much cheaper to fly from London Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester so think about whether you can travel to one of those before taking off.

All prices shown below are BEFORE the 10% discount.

Meaning that you can actually score a flight and 7 nights accommodation in Orlando for just £431 per person.

BARGAIN!


Just after a flight?

Check out these deals too:


Want more holiday tips?

Come and follow me on Instagam, Twitter and on YouTube!


Some of these links are affiliated – it doesn’t cost you a penny more but I may earn a little something that will help me run this site. Feel free to search these deals independently!

New around here?

Whether you’ve just caught me on Channel 4’s ‘Holidays Secrets: Is Last Minute Best?‘ or have stumbled across me another way, let me take a moment to say hello, my name is Chelsea and I’m a bit obsessed with searching for cheap holidays.

First things first, make sure you’re following me on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for loads of cheap holiday tips.

I’ve got a new site in development at the moment so for now, let me show you a few posts that may help you save money on your next holiday.

You can also check out some discounts on your favourite brands here too!

I also do a weekly holiday hotline on Instagram where I ask you guys to submit your requests and then I go in search of the best deal for you.

You can check out the findings of my last hotlines here.

I also love capturing my own cheap holidays over on YouTube.

And I also post deals on my Twitter too.

Lastly, I offer even more travel perks to my Patreon followers including hotel upgrade templates, behind the scenes footage and access to my exclusive Instagram stories.

Thanks for stopping by – say hello and tell me where you’re hoping to travel to this year!