Remember, if you haven’t used Airbnb before you can get money off your first stay here!
from £107.49pp for 3 nights
Listed as this year’s 6th best European Christmas market, Poznan ticks all the boxes for a magical festive experience but also if you’re there on the 7th and 8th December, you’ll also experience their amazing Ice Festival where sculptors come together to compete in the streets!
Yes, the flights are EARLY (the evening flight with Ryanair costs A LOT more!) but think of how much festive cheer you can cram in? I’ve gone for the return on the Monday morning as it allows you more time to explore the city but you can return early on the Sunday for just £46 return.
Though you can fly into and out of the main airport for just £67 return.
You can also fly direct from London from £127 and from Manchester from £176 return.
Currently under offer thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this 4 star hotel – The President Brussels Hotel – has rooms from just £72.86 a night.
Plus, it’s just a 20 min walk from the Christmas markets!
Top Tip: Be sure to click on ‘rooms’ rather than ‘packages’ to get this deal.
Want to stay somewhere cheaper? A private room woth ensuite in Hostel Galia is £56 a night and this simple £44.50 a night Airbnb is a 40 min walk or a 15 min public transport journey away from the markets.
Remember, if you haven’t used Airbnb before you can get money off your first stay here!
from £158pp for 2 nights
Okay, it may not be the cheapest once you’re there but if you’re gagging to see some snow, you’re not too far from the Alps here! Placing #15 on the best Christmas Markets, Basel is known as the Switzerland’s biggest and most beautiful Christmas city.
Manchester to Basel Fri 6th Dec – Sun 8th Dec – £78 return
What great timed flights!
There’s also some great times from London for £97 return.
Top tip: You get a free Baselcard when you check in to a hotel in Basel which offers discounts on local attractions. More importantly it also gives you unlimited public transport in the city and to the airport as well. If your hotel reservation is marked ‘mobility ticket’, you can use this to travel from the airport to your hotel. More information is here.
Hotel Stücki is a really well rated 3 star hotel that’s a mile from the historic old town where the Christmas festivities take place! For Switzerland it really isn’t bad for £80.90 a night.
from £78.50pp for 3 nights
With average temperatures in December coming in at 17 degrees, you may think Seville is a bizarre choice yet it was voted amongst the Best Sunny Christmas Markets in Europe and was visitors top market in Spain last year. Expect traditional style markets, an ice rink and delicious food, of course!
You can fly Fri – sun from London from £83 return and from Manchester for £122 return but I wanted to shine a light on this amazing deal instead.
Bristol to Seville Fri 13th Dec – Mon 16th Dec – £20 return
What a bargain!
WHY IS SEVILLE SO DAMN CHEAP FOR GORGEOUS HOTELS?
LET’S ALL GO TO SEVILLE.
A room at the 4 star One Shot Palacio Conde de Torrejón 09 (mouthfull or what?) comes in at just £64.66 a night.
This cute Airbnb is just £57 a night and if you want to keep it really cheap, this one bedroom Airbnb is only £39 a night (the reviews are amazing, I just think they need better photos!!).
If I’ve helped you out, why not pay back the love by sponsoring me over on Patreon? It costs less than the price of a coffee a month (especially if you like fancy ones!) and means that I get to do more of this.
Today, British Airways have announced a flash sale on flights to and from London Gatwick. They’ve got over 200,000 seats up for grabs for £30 or less each way based on a return fare for journeys until 29th March 2020.
So, what have they got on offer?
Nice from £47 return
I cannot think of this place without recalling a VERY OLD episode of BBC’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ where he visiting and repeated the line ‘Nice is nice‘.
Just googled. That episode was on in 1999.
You can find your own deals here, or perhaps some of these work for you?
Click to book!
Verona from £47 return
Home of star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Verona holds many charms beyond its links to Shakespeare.
You can find your own deals here, or perhaps some of these work for you?
Click to book!
Amsterdam from £52 return
I can’t believe I STILL haven’t been to Amsterdam on holiday and for this price, it’s gonna be hard to say no. In fact… HAND ME MY PURSE.
You can find your own deals here, or perhaps some of these work for you?
Once a month I join Penny Smith on talkRADIO to chat all things cheap holidays and this time, following the news of Thomas Cook going under, I’ll be sharing where’s still cheap to fly to this October for sunshine.
Before I share my top picks, here’s some general tips to take on board when looking for yourself:
Avoid traditional October sun holidays (unless they’re well served by multiple airlines)
Due to Thomas Cook going bust, the demand for these destinations has sky rocketed as people try to rebook holidays and flights have been cancelled. Therefore, I’d actually avoid the usual suspects of The Canary Islands and Turkey as right now, the flights are much more than you’d normally pay.
Check Thomas Cook’s destination list to find places that haven’t been affected by their closure
From a quick look at their destination list, I can see that they served a lot of resorts and therefore a warm city break may be a better option this Autumn.
If you’re desperate for a traditional destination, check one stop flights
Need to get to Turkey, or got your heart set on the Canaries? Make sure you’ve unclicked ‘direct flights’ as there’s still some deals to be had for flights that have one stop.
Or hold off until November
I’ve started to see some less inflated prices start to creep back in November, so there’s always the option to hold off – if you can bear it!
Look at other airports in the same area you want to get to
For example, if your holiday to Orlando has fallen through, or prices are just too expensive now, try Miami instead.
Miami is seeing some of the cheapest flights in the next month or so (hello return flights for £255) and being just a 3.5 hour drive from Orlando, it could be a way to do the beach AND the theme parks.
Check to see if you’re getting a good deal on your flight
There’s a really easy way check if the flight you’ve found is more expensive than usual by using Google Flights.
Once you’ve selected your flight, it will bring up a bar that shows you where the price sits.
As you can see, Tenerife isn’t looking too cheap this October!
Right, let’s plough on with where I recommend!
There’s a reason why four million visitors are drawn to the Algarve each year. Be it golden beaches, fresh seafood or a spot of golf, Portugal’s southernmost region has a lot to offer.
What’s the weather going to be like?
Algarve in October 14°C / 25°C 7 hours of sunshine 8 days of rain
On arriving in Faro, most people go west up the coast but there are also options going East.
Twice, I’ve stayed in the small fishing town of Olhão which, when I told a Portuguese friend they pulled a face and went ‘but nobody goes on holiday there?!’ – which is exactly what we wanted!
Just 25 minutes away from the airport, we absolutely loved the early trips to the fish and fruit markets, buying pasteis de nata from the tiny bakeries and getting a ferry out to the beaches!
Oh, and buying bottles of Mateus for £3 a pop.
I do believe it’s become a bit more of a go to destination since I last went in 2015, but it will still be a lot quieter than the resort towns!
Once known as Barcelona’s ‘boring sibling’, the Spanish capital has upped its game as a food and drink destination with a great arts scene. What’s more, with travellers often opting for other Spanish cities, you’ll find that this capital is more affordable than others across Europe.
What’s the weather going to be like?
Madrid in October 9°C / 21°C 6 hours of sunshine 10 days of rain
However, at time of posting, the weather forecast until the 10th October is looking SO GOOD. Mid twenties and sunny every damn day.
Where do I fly into?
Madrid Barajas International Airport which is 8 miles from the city centre. The airport has buses, trains, taxis and even a metro so getting where you need to be is super easy – and super affordable.
Any good flight deals this October?
So many. Get on Skyscanner and in the dates section, select ‘October’ to see a full range of cheap, cheap prices.
Sat 5th Oct – Sat 12th Oct London to Madrid From £54
Tues 22nd – Sun 27th Oct Birmingham to Madrid From £58
Weds 16th -Sun 20th Oct Liverpool to Madrid From £80
Where should I stay?
Want to hit the city but still get a feel for a late summer break? Search for a hotel with an outdoor pool to allow you to have the best of both worlds!
If you’re after something a bit kinder on the purse strings, how about the simple but stylish rooms at 115 The Strand Hotel and Suites? With rooms starting at £56 a night and overlooking the waterfront in popular Sliema, it ticks a lot of boxes for me!
How expensive is it once we’re there?
Average costs in Malta Domestic beer – £2.21 Cappuccino – £1.77 Three course meal for 2 in a mid range restaurant – £48.73 One way local transportation ticket – £1.33
Every time I look the car hire in Malta is ridiculously cheap.
This is the cost for a week in October. That’s £5.42 a day.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY?!
So why not make the most of the cheap prices and explore the whole island?
Found any of this useful? Come say hi over on Instagram where I share top travel tips on the regular.
I even host a weekly holiday hotline where I help find you getaways for less money!
Some of the links on this page are affiliated meaning I might make a small cut if you book using them. It doesn’t make the price more expensive for you, but it does help me run this site! So cheers pal!
Once a week, I open up the holiday hotline to see what travel queries I can answer from you guys.
So let’s see what’s on the cards this week!
THE REQUEST: 3-5 nights in Ljubljana in July or August
Will got in touch and gave me the following brief:
Flights & accommodation
Based in Shrewsbury but can fly from anywhere
Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, is getting some real traction at the moment and with the average cost of a pint coming in at £2.20, I CAN SEE WHY!
There’s lots to see and do in the city and you’re also not too far from the devastatingly beautiful Lake Bled!
Since Will is coming from Shrewsbury, his nearest airports are Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham. Unfortunately, only Manchester flies direct and DAMN it’s expensive (and only once a week). However, I have found a couple of cheap one stop options from Manchester – albeit with lengthy layovers in Brussels.
This means that this 3 night getaway could cost Will and his travel partner as little as £178 each – not too shabby, eh?
THE REQUEST: September mini moon with beautiful views
Joanne asked for:
I’ve been lusting after this hotel for AGES so please Joanne, go live out my dreams for me!!
Gillham Vineyard Hotel Cyprus Adults only (the mini moon dream????!) Rates start from £114.47 and come with breakfast and a bottle of wine Half board options are also available
The restaurant on site is great, and you’re not too far to head out in a hire car to explore what other foodie options Cyprus has to offer! I’d recommend looking at the Rose Suites which come with their own balcony overlooking the vineyard – and the great news is that they’re not even the most expensive type of room!
THE REQUEST: Family accommodation for £150 total in school holidays
So this next one for Abbie is TOUGH! She’s after:
Between 25th July – 31st August
2 adults and 2 kids
£150 all in
I tried using Ryanair’s fare finder but the closest cheap flight I could find in this date range was £33.80 return to Dortmund in Germany which would have only left £14 for the accommodation…
So it looks like it’s going to be a UK stay!
Whilst this is a super tight budget, the good thing is that you can search ‘United Kingdom’ on Airbnb and then bring down your budget.
I’ve popped in £50 a night and here’s what I’ve found that wasn’t a tent in a field (honestly way too many of them on Airbnb???)
Airbnb – 2 double rooms Tillicoultry – 20 min drive from Stirling, Scotland £46 a night (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Airbnb – 2 double rooms Blantyre – 20 min drive from Glasgow, Scotland £46 a night (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Whilst this one has no reviews yet, this is a great way to bag a place for a cheaper price as the cost is usually low as they try to get their first bookings!
Another great website to try searching is hometogo which is the world’s largest holiday rental search engine.
Unfortunately there wasn’t anything available coming in at under £50 a night – but it’s definitely one worth checking in the future if you’re after an apartment or villa. Airbnb is not the only option!
My last search was on trivago as it could be that we could swipe a family room for a good price!
Holiday Inn Aberdeen West Aberdeen, Scotland Queen room with sofa bed £43 a night
Hampton By Hilton Aberdeen, Scotland Family room with free breakfast £50 a night
Holiday Inn Express Stafford Stafford, England Family room with free breakfast £54 a night
Okay, perhaps Aberdeen and Stafford aren’t the most ‘traditional’ holiday destinations, but both would serve a great base for exploring the area!
Now these don’t work for the exact dates but house sitting can mean totally free accommodation so if you wanted to get out of the UK, this may be a good option to look into.
I’ve used Nomador twice before (it’s free to sign up and message three owners) and from a quick peruse I’ve found two housesits in France that could work a treat. One even has its own pool!
Here’s all my tips on bagging that free house sit!
THE REQUEST: One night cosy UK stay for cheap
This one comes from Roushan who’s after:
End of July
Easy to get to from London
Cosy to chill in
If you’re after super cheap, a really good place to look for a cute place is definitely Airbnb as you’re likely to get much more space for your money – and if you’re lucky, you may get an additional living room space to chill out in.
To help narrow down the search, I’ve decided to look for Saturday 27th July 2019:
Airbnb – Farm Home Annex Stanton near Bury St Edmunds – 1 hr 47 mins drive from London £49 a night (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
B&B in Georgian House Wymondham near Norwich – 2 hour drive from London £65 a night (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Airbnb – Studio flat Thorpe Langton – cute village in Leicestershire – 2 hour drive from London £64 a night (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Whilst the next options aren’t quite as cheap, they’re much closer to London and they also tick the ‘couples break’ box really well as they both feature on Mr and Mrs Smith – a hotel site that compiles chic stays for romantic getaways.
Aviator Farnborough – 1 hour 30 mins drive from London Views across their private airfield £105 a night
And finally, I’m adding in this one because you can get there via the overground from London meaning you’ll cut down significantly on your travel costs.
The Crown Hotel Amersham – Zone 6 on Metropolitan Line (peak – £7 / off peak = £4.10) This was the inn from Four Weddings and a Funeral! £122 a night
I’ve stayed at this place before and it just serves up so many country pub vibes. I loved it!
Not quite as close for Roushan but still worth sharing are:
Sean’s off to Seville with his mates and has already bagged himself some cheap flights. So what does he need?
Accommodation for 4 people
5 nights between 4th – 9th Sep
3 beds – no sofa beds
This was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be, but here are some great value options that I rustled up:
City Centre Sevilla ARCO MACARENA £543 total – £135.75 each
This apartment currently doesn’t have many reviews so maybe it’s worth enquiring and asking if they have any more reviews (they may have this listed elsewhere!) before booking. However, what they lack in reviews they make up for in PRICE!
Airbnb £565 total – £141.65 each (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
And whilst the next one would cost £314 each, I couldn’t resist click on this place 😍😍😍
Luxury loft with pool in Seville centre £1259 total – £314.75 each
And because I couldn’t resist, I did two quick ones on insta as well:
And the great news is that unlike Ryanair and Wizzair, TAP still allows 8kg for hand luggage (55x40x20), as well as an additional small personal item- such as a handbag – up to 2kg.
Accommodation wise, Amy was looking for somewhere lux for her and her girls (and didn’t mind paying for the pleasure) so I recommend getting on trivago, whacking in 5 stars and seeing what she can find in budget. I’m also a big fan on the Telegraph’s best hotel lists.
But if their own places is what they’re after, these options are pretty nice too!
Designer Penthouse Apartment 4 bedrooms – 5 bathrooms £665 a night – £332.50 total each
I initially found this as one of Airbnb’s ‘plus’ range (‘hand picked high quality homes known for great reviews) yet I actually found it on tripadvisor for £400 cheaper across 3 days! (Always shop around!!)
Stylish apartment with terrace 5 bedrooms – 3 bathrooms £527 a night – £263.50 total each
Lastly, Abi asked about car insurance and my tips are always:
Check if local firms are cheaper (you may need to use Google Translate for this!)
When chosen, opt for the basic insurance package
Buy additional excess insurance from moneymaxim separately – you will save a FORTUNE and it’s fully endorsed by Martin Lewis and his crew
We saved £54 by doing this on a recent 4 day car hire in Croatia!
THAT’S A WRAP!
Again, so sorry if I didn’t get around to your request but I hope the above may have given you some tips or offered some general holiday inspo that you may be able to use in the future.
Make sure to give me a follow on Instagram if you want to be involved in the next one – and let me know if you end up booking any of these!
Let’s end with a photo of me drunk, sat in a basket from my holiday in Croatia last week.
I have used 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 🤣
Following the success of. the first holiday hotline (Will is currently planning his trip to Jordan – wahey!) I thought I’d get back on the search to find someone else a proper great holiday for less.
Make sure you’re following me on Instagram so that you know when the next hotline is live!
THE REQUEST: August bank holiday birthday fun – 4 days – somewhere hot
So, this week’s main hotline request comes in from Vicky who’s wanting a getaway over the August bank holiday as it’s her birthday that Friday and her work give her the DAY OFF – what a perk!
Heres what she’s after:
Ideally leave on evening of Thurs 22nd Aug
4 days but could take more time off
Going with someone so can share a room
So, where are we going?
Looking at Thursday eve – Monday, there were plenty of options under £50 (including Cologne, Copenhagen, Oslo and Gothenburg) yet none were really giving that ‘hot’ vibe that Vicky was hoping to get.
Unfortunately, flights to warmer destinations such as Lisbon (one of my faves) were starting at £150 so I made the decision to change the return date to Tuesday 27th August instead.
London to Madrid Thurs 22nd Aug – Tues 27th Aug £84 (there’s also a flight back at 1310 for £94)
As the Spanish capital, there’s so much to see and do but having visited recently, I was really enamoured by the fact that it didn’t come with big city price tag.
With many menu del dia’s (three course lunches with wine – HALLOH) costing less than €10 and €1,20 rides on their well linked metro system, you’ll find that your money goes pretty far in this capital city.
As well, with its brilliant connections, you can easily get a train out of the city and visit the UNESCO sites of Toledo and Salamanca, or how about a day trip to Madrid’s Wine Country?
As for the weather, Madrid in the summer gets HOT and August hits an average of 31 degrees – there’s a siesta for a reason. Which is why I think it’s important to find Vicky a hotel with not only some decent air con, but also some outdoor space and maybe, if we’re lucky, a pool.
Where are we staying then?
For this, I simply hopped on trivago and changed my filters to include:
Up to £100 a night
Guest rating 7.5+
City centre location
With pool (fingers crossed)
With trivago, I always leave a bit of wiggle room with the price because annoyingly, they only filter based on the price they offer you in bold which is not always the cheapest price out there. That can be found by clicking on ‘more deals’.
So, as you can see above, if we’d been looking for a room that cost £85 or less, this option wouldn’t have come up.
As Vicky will be staying 5 nights, I’m going to try and find a place around £80 a night so that she and her travel partner aren’t going to be spending more than £200 on accommodation each.
Better photos can be found here (Booking.com always create such good picture galleries!)
I wouldn’t have picked up on this at all had I not checked out their own site, but Axel Hotels are a chain that focus on the LGBTIQ+ community who are proudly heterofriendly! They welcome everyone, no matter their sexual orientation, without prejudice which I think is a great business to support.
Incredible rooftop pool and terrace (H10 always NAIL this)
Again, you can peruse a better photo gallery (in my opinion) here
Airbnb – Duplex with terrace in Central Madrid £74.40 a night (£37.20 each) (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Well rated with great reviews
Okay so NO POOL – but you do have your own cute terrace
The sofa bed means that two adults could have a bed each
A kitchen with everything you could need to help you save money on food whilst in Madrid
So how much is this costing?
Based on going with the cheaper hotel, this 5 night birthday getaway will set Vicky back £289.
Which for a long capital city break across a popular bank holiday staying in a well rated, central hotel with a pool seems a pretty good deal to me.
I hope you have the best birthday holiday EVER, Vicky!
Any time for a few more requests?
Sure, let’s razz through a few more.
THE REQUEST: Venice – August bank holiday weekend
You lot are mad for your bank holiday getaways it seems!
Flights to Venice are not cheap but the best deal I could find was flying out later on the Friday and coming back early on the Tuesday morning.
London to Venice Fri 23rd Aug – Tues 27th Aug £126
If you can get the time off, you can also fly back on the Tues at 2125 for £134.
Venice isn’t necessarily the cheapest destination and is already pretty booked up that weekend but there’s still some decent deals to be had!
Airbnb – Sky Tower Suite £65.67 a night (£32.84 each) (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
In the same building as a hotel, what it lacks in personality it makes up for with its clean, practical and low cost. The hotel reception also means you can check in 24/7 and you’re just a 10 minute bus from the historic centre of Venice.
Airbnb – Venetian Bridge Private Room £81.67 a night (£40.84 each) (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Hurrah, we’ve made it over to the main island but it does mean we’ll have to stay in a private room… But it’s a very cute one if that helps?!
As I wasn’t sure on what formation the 3 adults would need to sleep in, The Bicycle Apartments have a range of options that would work and if you can stretch to the Design Duplex at £55 a night each, you can all get a double bed!
An 11 min walk from Plaça d’Espanya and has plenty of transport options in its midst.
Total cost = £183.50 each leaving plenty of money for food and fun!
Went went to Barcelona last year and managed to bag ourselves an INSANE apartment for next to nothing so you could try giving Love Home Swap a try too!
THE REQUEST: Booked flights to NYC for 30th November – 5th December… Now to find a hotel? Under £700 please!
Ah yes. New York accommodation. It’s never fun 🤣
Now, there are some options in Manhattan for around £140 a night but they are – pardon my French – absolute horse shit. And I refuse to recommend anyone stay anywhere so crap!
So instead, I’m going to take us across the East River to Brooklyn. It has easy access over to Manhattan and is a place to visit and enjoy in its own right. In fact, it’s my favourite area of New York!
It’s also particularly helpful if you’re flying in from JFK as it’s the same side of the city.
Great location – just a 7 min walk from L line over to Manhattan (20 mins to Union Square)
Less nice but cheeeap, is the Bogart Hotel for £519 and much more expensive, but super lovely is the Hoxton Williamsburg for £933.
THE REQUEST: Mid August trip in Scotland. Ending in Glasgow. Car hire, beautiful roads & good value
Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here but here are my headlines:
Look into the North Coast 500 road trip. James and I did it in 6 days last summer and it was phenomenal
Whilst in many places you may have no choice, but always choose B&Bs over hotels. Much better value for money and the breakfasts are EPIC!!!! Check Airbnb too for B&Bs
For car hire, Skyscanner is great at giving an overview but also check Turo – it’s like Airbnb but for people’s cars!
Also, if you’re very lucky you may be able to relocate a campervan from Edinburgh for £1 A DAY with Spaceship Rentals! The only problem is you’ll probably have to return it to London… But hey, did I mention the £1 a day??!
We also ended our trip in Glasgow and went all out by staying at the Dakota hotel. It’s not cheap but we got their Friday night offer (can only be booked via their website) where we both got a cocktail, £25 each towards dinner, a cooked breakfast and a LUSH ROOM for £200 (£100 each). It was a total treat but I would absolutely recommend it, especially after a week of B&Bs!!
THE REQUEST: More drunk videos of James
Hahaha. We’re off to Croatia on Wednesday so I’m sure there will be more to come. But for now, skip to 37 seconds to keep you going.
This is from the FIRST VLOG I EVER MADE!!! #classicdrunkjames
So, thats it for the second every holiday hotline! I’m so sorry to all the people I didn’t get to – I do hope I can help you out in the future.
Make sure to give me a follow on Instagram if you want to be involved in the next – and let me know if you end up booking any of these!
If you’re following me over on Instagram, you may already know that I’ve opened up shop and am taking your holiday requests once a week!
And in the first official ‘holiday hotline’, I had so many requests through that I literally could spend all week searching for getaways for you all.
Alas, I only had a couple of hours to properly research one meaty request and then I thought I’d give my fleeting thoughts to a few others as well.
All of this is over on my stories today and remember, if you’re after a holiday of your own, follow and get ready to submit your own request next time!
THE REQUEST: Perfect solo retreat in Europe first week of July
What a great first query to get stuck into!
Now, if I was planning a solo trip, I’d definitely want to spend some time chilling and enjoying my own company but then I know that I’d definitely get bored and want something or someone to entertain me a little. So what I’m going to suggest is a nice mix of the two.
Now, I’ve clocked the word ‘perfect’ here and thought SHIT THIS IS NOT AN ALL INCLUSIVE CALIPPO ON THE BEACH JOBBY. They want something special. So that’s exactly what I’m going to deliver.
So where are we going?
Well, here’s the flights:
London to Paphos Sat 29th June – Sun 7th July £121
Paphos is full of incredible food, archaeological sites, and road trips to beautiful beaches. Plus, at a whopping 4 hours 30 mins flight out there, it’s literally as far as you can get in Europe without hitting the middle east.
YEH BOI. Not only are we doing Cyprus, but we’re gonna fly on over to Jordan. JUST COZ WE CAN.
Told you this was gonna be spesh.
The top tip here is that you can fly to Jordan from Cyprus for disgustingly cheap. In fact, flying Tuesday to Saturday will cost just £14 return, but the flights for Weds to Sat worked better for what I’ve got planned.
To put into perspective just how cheap these flights are, do you want to see how much it would cost to fly direct from London to Amman on the same dates?
But before we get excited by Jordan, let’s get back to Cyprus to talk car hire and accommodation.
Paphos and the surrounding area is definitely worth exploring so renting a car will help you to get out during the day if you don’t fancy just chilling at the pool.
There are still so many options available for a whole range of budgets but given what’s coming up in Jordan, I think keeping it on the cheaper (but definitely still cheerful) side will help level out the costs later on.
Paphos AirbnbStudio Sat 29th June – Weds 3rd July £47.25 a night / £196 total (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
This studio apartment is the perfect base. With a small kitchen, air conditioning, balcony and access to a shared pool, it ticks a lot of boxes.
You’re also just 700m from the sea and in easy access to sights, restaurants and nightlife. What’s more, you get access via a lockbox meaning you won’t be charged more for that late check in.
I was really impressed with how many options there were both in Paphos and the nearby area so here’s a few more if you’re interested:
The Wednesday is an early start back to the airport to embark on the next adventure.
Named as one of Lonely Planet’s ‘top places to travel in 2019’, now’s your chance to get ahead of the pack before it gets TOO popular.
Some of the most popular reasons to visit include ancient ruins in Petra, the epic desert wilderness of Wadi Rum and the incredible buoyancy of the Dead Sea.
Now, it’s absolutely possible to visit all three of these places from Amman yourself HOWEVER, as a solo traveller you won’t be able to split the cost of a hire car, hotel rooms or a tour guide, so I think this would be a great chance to embark on a group tour. It also gives you the chance to meet new people!
For our trip to Jordan, I’ve found a 4 day tour, that begins with a pickup at Amman airport. Given our early arrival, this also gives us time to explore the city for the day before we get on the road.
Across the next three days, we’ll explore the desert, Petra and visit the Dead Sea all before being brought back in time for our flight home on the Saturday.
3 star hotel accommodation for 3 nights (though you may well be sharing will a fellow group member)
Tour guide in Jordan (for min 5 persons)
3 breakfasts & 2 dinners
All transportation and English speaking driver
Not included are your entrance fee to Petra ($60), tips and additional meals but for what works out as £93 a day, I think it’s exceptional value.
This particular tour worked really well for these dates but currently has only 1 review, so I’d definitely recommend chatting more to Tour Radar (they’re the middle man who sells on the tours) before you book. This 3 day tour has loads of great review but didn’t work as well for our dates.
Back to Paphos!
After an incredible four days of exploration, we’ll be ready to relax so for the last evening in Cyprus, I think it’s time to go ALL OUT and stay somewhere lush.
Staying a hotel will also help with that late flight the next day home as they’ll be able to keep hold of our luggage, and we should be able to still chill out by the pool all day should we want to!
Almyra Sat 6th July – Sun 7th July £129 a night with breakfast
As I said, I’m all about going cheaper at the beginning so you can stay the last evening in LUXURY.
This hotel is gorgeous. It even features on the Mr & Mrs Smith website which if you don’t know, is like a directory of bloody beautiful hotels. They don’t let any old muck on there.
However, if you’re hoping to spend a little less, there are plenty of other options including:
Flights – £151 Paphos car hire – £35 Paphos Airbnb Accommodation – £196 Jordan 4 day tour – £372 Paphos luxury hotel – £129 Total = £883
It may not be a ‘budget trip’ but for the price, I think it’s pretty damn special (I TOLD YA SO!!)
What if I don’t have £883? Is there anywhere else you’d recommend?
Yes! For a solo trip I’d definitely recommend getting a cheap flight out to Germany (so many in July for under £60) and using their great train network to visit a few different cities.
Germany in the summer is gorgeous and thanks to the popularity of Europe’s interrail passes, many cities are so ready to embrace people travelling on their own.
Stay in trendy hostels for under £20 a night to meet new people and act as a base for exploring historical cities with GREAT BEER!
Now for a few quick requests.
THE REQUEST: 4 day Italian escape
I went to a wedding in Italy last year and flew into Perugia – a place I’d never heard of before but would definitely visit again.
Explore the beautiful city (and eat at La Taverna – INSANE FOOD!), hire a car and explore the Italian countryside – you’re not far from Tuscany either!
There’s loads of decently priced flight options but I found Fri 28th June – Tues 2nd July for £109 which is pretty good considering it’s the summer.
When I went, I stayed with three friends in this sweet apartment which is set in the grounds of a families LUSCIOUS garden. There’s just two or three other apartments so you often have the pool to yourself. It was GORGEOUS.
THE REQUEST: Can take our 20kg dog without a passport, no/few kids, nice accommodation, good nature
I stayed in dog-friendly The Gallivant right on the beach of Camber Sands in East Sussex last year and it is gorgeous.
With spa treatments, yoga on the beach and a great restaurant, it ticks all the boxes for a boutique getaway that feels like a treat.
What’s more, they only allow babies under 18 months and children over the age of 12.
Rates start at £115 a night and they even have a ‘dog lovers escape‘ deal which is £330 for two nights (Mon – Thurs in Sep-May) with breakfast, afternoon tea, a 3 course dinner, endless dog biscuits and a dog rug, toy and water in your room!
THE REQUEST: The best comparison site?
My go to is Skyscanner but I like to check Momondo for prices, particularly for long haul flights.
I also like Google Flights for spotting cheap fare patterns but then I’d always check the price against those mentioned above.
THE REQUEST: Villa in Portugal (Vilamoura are) for 8 adults, a 4 year old and 6 month old
Get on the ol’ Airbnb and my top tip is to not forget about the other websites too!
Hometogo is a handy website for comparing holiday rental sites (it saves you a hell of a lot of time!) – though unfortunately they don’t compare Airbnb!
Also, sites like Booking.com now offer apartments and villas so try searching there too.
THE REQUEST: Looking to go Copenhagen for 2 nights in Dec for 3 adults & 2 children
Manchester to Copenhagen Fri 6th Dec – Sun 8th Dec £69 each
Central Airbnb £388 for 2 nights (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Right, that’s all for the first official holiday hotline!
Make sure to give me a follow on Instagram if you want to be involved in the next – and let me know if you end up booking any of these!
I have used affiliate links throughout this article. They don’t charge you more (in fact, I’ve put non-affiliate links where that’s the case), but if you book through them you’ll be helping me to continue my cheap travel booking hobbies. For full transparency, I make around 10p if you book a flight through one of my links so… Yeh. NO ONE’S GETTING RICH HERE PAL 😂
First the mad scurry to get to the Champions League in Madrid and now both Chelsea and Arsenal have made it to the final in Baku on Wednesday 29th May 2019. Cue airfare meltdown.
Unfortunately, Baku isn’t going to be quite as easy as my deep dive into cheap ways to get to Spain. But let’s see what we can do here, pals.
Before I crack on, if you find that this helps you at all, feel free to help a gal out by giving me a follow on either YouTube, Instagram or Twitter and I promise even more top money saving tips when it comes to your future travel.
In this post, I’ll be exploring the following. Either scroll through or click on which bit applies to you:
Where the bloody hell is Baku? And WILL I NEED A visa?
Baku is ‘the capital and commercial hub’ of Azerbaijan. A place I literally only know of due to their yearly inclusion in the Eurovision. But if they’re in Eurovision, surely we can all jump in our cars and embark on an epic road trip, right?
I mean, if driving 60 hours is your kinda ‘thing’, then go for it pal. But just remember that you’ll need to get an eVisa sorted for scurrying through Turkey.
Speaking of visas, you will need an eVisa to get into Azerbaijan but fortunately, it’s a simple process that you can do over the internet that will set you back around £20. Make sure to select ‘Europa League Final’ in the ‘purpose of visit’ and give yourself at least three working days to get it sorted.
On to the flights…
DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM LONDON TO BAKU
This section should otherwise be named, ‘let’s all have a big laugh, shall we?’
Direct flights are as good as gone, unless you fancy a 12 day trip to Baku for £609 instead:
Seems a bit of a hassle.
The next best thing I could find was this weeklong schlep with one direct flight for a cool £764.
It is worth saying that airlines are obviously aware of the demand and so may put extra planes on. Sure, they’ll hike up the prices, but if you really need get there and back in a sharpish manner, it may be worth keeping an eye on Azerbaijan Airlines.
CHEAPEST 1+ STOP FLIGHTS FROM LONDON
Remember – if you’re not flying direct, you may have to re-check your bag and even go through security again so make sure there’s enough time. My top tip would be to not check in any bags at all to make this as simple as possible for you.
Tues 28th May – Thurs 30th May
Let’s pause for a moment here to rinse our eyes out with bleach.
£1566 for a NOT EVEN DIRECT FLIGHT to Baku? Get a grip, love.
Unfortunately, these really are the cheapest flights you’re going to find that don’t involve 15+ hours with multiple transfer. But, because we don’t have many options here, let’s take a look at these too:
TOP TIP: when searching for a flight that needs to get me into somewhere for a certain time, I always search on Momondo as they allow you to filter by landing time.
Weds 29th May – Fri 31st May
With the game kicking off at 11pm Azerbaijan time (thanks to @Mattswfc1 for pointing this out on Twitter 🙈) the following flight might just work… But it would be tight!
Search engines like Skyscanner and Momondo are good, but they can’t always show you every single possible connection. So this is a little trick may be useful now, and worth holding onto for the future too.
To do this:
Open a new browsing tab – we’re going to call this tab one – and go to Skyscanner and in ‘From’ type in your departure airport
Next, in ‘To’, write ‘Everywhere’
Select the date you’d like travel on
This will bring up a list of countries in price order – leave this open
In a new tab – this will be referred to as tab two – again, go to Skyscanner but this time, write ‘Baku’ underneath the ‘To’ box
In the ‘From’, you’re going to look back at that list of cheap countries in tab one
For a European city (I used this tactic to find super cheap flights for the Champions League final in Madrid), I’d usually go through the list one by one but for Baku, we know that not many places are going to fly there. So whilst we may find a cheaper fare from these places listed (and therefore they may be worth checking) it’s likely that they’re going to be pretty gnarly flights.
Therefore, I’m going to now head over to the Baku arrivals page to see where may be a good place to invest my efforts.
Straightaway I’m getting Turkish vibes so I scroll through the list of cheap countries listed to me in tab one and find direct flights from London to Turkey for £53 on Tuesday 28th May
Next, I head back to tab two and enter ‘Turkey as my departure country to Baku and hit search
Unfortunately Antalya’s one flight is really early in the morning but there are a few viable options for Istanbul, so I head back to tab one and see what’s available from London to Istanbul on Tues 28th May:
Now, there are cheaper flights with Pegasus but these fly into Istanbul SAW airport which is the other side of the city. HOWEVER – I have actually had to travel between SAW and IST airports in rush hour before and it took around 1 hour 45 minutes and just £35 in a taxi using their app, Bitaksi – BUT, you would have to buy an eVisa for entering the country so I guess it all adds up!
Heading back to tab two, I see if any of the flights from Istanbul to Baku work and they do!
THE BORING BUT IMPORTANT PART:
As you are booking two flights separately, it will look like to Turkish Airlines that you are ending your journey in Istanbul and therefore they are well within their right to check that you have a Turkish eVisa before allowing you to board the flight. It may be that by showing them your next booked flight they accept that you do not need it, but PLEASE CHECK THIS WITH THEM DIRECTLY BEFOREHAND. It’s only $20 and is a quick process online, but check before you turn up to the airport.
Secondly, whilst 2 hours and 25 minutes sounds like more than enough time to connect to your next flight, each airport has a different process and whilst you may not want to leave the airport, you may be obliged to go through immigration and re-check in to get onto your next flight so again CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINES!
Update: Joe who has family in Turkey has done us a solid and given his first hand experience of all of this!
I would definitely recommend not checking in a bag so that you won’t have a reason to leave the airport!
If you can indeed stay in transit then that 9 hour trip for £289 is a pretty sweet deal (and just £306 for a longer, but much less risky journey) – especially when you look at the one way options that Skyscanner offer up. That’s a saving over over £661.
Now, you just need to do the same trick for the flight back and believe me, finding it and knowing you’ve saved hundreds of pounds is half the fun!!
I hope this has helped you find a flight that works for both your budget and your schedule. If you end up booking something, let me know so I can holiday vicariously through you!
And if you’ve found this useful, give me a follow over on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter for even more cheap travel tips.
I have used 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 – and make me feel better about spending my Saturday morning in bed researching this!! For total transparency though, I’ll have you know my post about the Champions League directed thousands of clicks to sites and I made £6 from it. SIX POUNDS. And that bad boy took me 8 hours to write up 🤣🤣🤣