Have you heard about the trick you can do to get 18 days off straight this April?
Due to a load of bank holidays being either around or on the weekend this spring, you only need to take 9 days off to be free from Friday 14th April 2017 to Tuesday 2nd May 2017.
HolidayPirates found an incredible 7 European city trek for £145 last week, but, whilst I can’t have that huge stint off (WAIL), I wanted to see what could be done if we threw in a couple of beach destinations as well. Mostly because the thought of doing 7 major cities has me reaching for the compeeds… (WHAT A SEXY VISUAL).
Right, let’s kick this bad boy off.
Saturday 15th April – 3 nights – 16°C
First up is Ibiza.
Whilst the party season hasn’t quite kicked off yet, the beautiful scenery and great food more than make up for it and are a perfect way to ease yourself into 2 and half weeks of jaunting around Europe.
London Stanstead – Ibiza
1725 – 2105
Tuesday 18th April – 1 night – 20°C
It’s only a quick 45-minute flight over to Valencia to enjoy a one night stay and time to take in some of the city’s best bits.
Ibiza – Valencia
1240 – 1325
Wednesday 19th April – 2 nights – 17°C
It can be easy to focus on flights but with all the faffing of getting to the airport and checking in, it’s always worth taking a look at where you can go by train as well.
Valencia – Madrid
1410 – 1548
Renfe (via trainline eu)
The tickets for the 19th haven’t been released yet (they will be very soon!) so I’ve used the prices for the week before.
Friday 21st April – 3 nights – 20°C
After the winter rains, Porto is looking LUSH, making it the perfect destination for spring.
3 nights means you can explore the city, take a boat trip and also visit Foz beach.
Madrid – Porto
0920 – 0935
Mon 24th April – 2 nights – 14°C
After a beach day in Porto, it’s time to head back to a big city to check out the museums and galleries in Berlin. Oh, and to test out all those cracking beers as well.
Porto – Berlin
1635 – 2050
Weds 26th April – 1 night – 20°C
Next, we’re heading back south for an evening in the Greek capital of Athens.
Berlin – Athens
1300 – 1655
Thurs 27th April – 3 nights – 20°C
And in the spirit of not doing too much on holiday, it’s only right that we finish this whole thing off with one last beach stop in Mykonos.
Athens – Mykonos
1400 – 1450
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday 30th April – 8943894379 nights – 15°C
It can often be pretty sad when it’s time to come home but DON’T WORRY, you’ve still got May Day Monday off to wind down/do all your washing/start planning your next holiday.
Mykonos – London Gatwick
1305 – 1500
So, how have we done?
Well, in just 16 days we’ll have visited 7 different destinations for the total cost of £192.50.
Aye, that’s not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.
As I sat down to get my booking on, I had three things in mind.
- I wanted to go somewhere new
- I wanted to go some warm(ish)
- I wanted to go somewhere for 2 nights
I was also planning on going with the housemate, James, so everything I’d be searching for would be for two.
So with a quick stretch of my most prominent key-tapping fingers, I set forth, loose in the wily heaths of the world wide web.
Here’s how I got on:
1. Flights first
I bloody love Skyscanner because its nifty search tool allows you to search ‘everywhere’ when you’re not sure where to go, and ‘cheapest month’, when you just want a good deal.
This time, I knew my dates so just used ‘everywhere’.
After sifting through many a cold (but cheap) destination, I settled on Valencia.
Total cost – £61.98 each (yes, I really am counting that 2p!)
Tip – Whilst there certainly are last minute deals to be had, deals were pretty thin on the ground 10 days before. I saw some incredibly cheap flights (£38) to Cyprus at the same time just 2 weeks ago!
Cashback – No monies for easyJet, but we’ll let it slide… This time…
2. Getting to Gatwick
Since our flight is leaving Gatwick at 7:10AM, I’d rather put my head into a bag of wet prawns that leave the house at half three on a Saturday morning. Therefore, I had a quick look for a cheap hotel at the airport itself et voilà!
The BLOC hotel is actually IN THE TERMINAL. As in, roll out of bed, brush teeth, do 12 lunges (how else do you think I maintain my physique?) and walk through security.
What’s more, some of the rooms look out onto the runway which excited James so much, he asked if we could just stay there for the weekend.
I found a ‘no window’ room for £71 on hotels.com, but after hitting up trivago which is a great tool for comparing prices, I found one with a window for £67 on a site called Amoma. What’s more, when I checked if it did cashback, I saw that there was a 5% off code as well.
Total cost – £32.78 each
Tip – Always use a comparative site such as trivago to check you’ve got the cheapest price on your hotel.
Cashback – 9.2% cashback = £5.95 PLUS a cheeky 5% off code to boot (HOTEL5OFF – expires 31st March 2017).
3. A Valencia hotel worth of an Instagram (or six)
However, it was two others that caught my eye.
First, One Shot Colon because – well, yes, because of the absolute lolathon the name gave me (and its minimalist but cool decor, great reviews and a bargain price of £50 a night).
It’s also on the sea front (we paid an extra £15 in total to have a sea view) and comes with free breakfast each morning.
Total cost – £75 each
Tip – Sure, we could have done this bit for cheaper but a few extra pounds has got us a better room and we’ll save money on spends by eating in for breakfast.
Also, the hotel is part of Hotels.com’s loyalty scheme so we’ve banked 2 nights out of the 10 needed to get a free night stay at a hotel in the future.
Cashback – 9.2% = £8.15
Total cost = £169.72
Total potential cashback = £14.10
As the cashback is only a bonus once it comes through, there’s no deducting it from the final total (just yet) so for now, here’s what we’re left with:
Total left = £1543.29
Holiday one: BOOKED.