top tips on finding the best black friday travel deals

IMG_5834.JPG#ad #BlackFriday #Expedia

The wonderful thing about being obsessed about finding travel deals is that when a brand you know and love gets in touch and says things such as ‘we’re offering up to 75% off hotels for Black Friday, does that interest you?’ it’s the easiest decision in the world.

So here is a post brought to you by yours truly – and Expedia.

Here’s the deal. On Friday 23rd November at 9am, they’ll be releasing a hotel coupon from here that could see you saving up to 75% off (fan me down, lads).

This can only be used on their app so make sure you’ve got it downloaded and ready to go at 9am before someone else (read: me) swipes a bargain from right underneath your nozzle.

DOWNLOAD ME NOW

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As I’m also in the market for a hotel or two at the moment (when am I not?), I also got thinking about all the things that can help make Black Friday shopping an ease and not an effort. Starting with…

1. Mark your calendar

This year, Black Friday lands on Friday 23rd November however some brands may start to trickle out the deals a few days before and after.

2. Research

The best way to get a good deal is to prepare and have a think about where you’d like to go.

On my list at the moment is:

  • Santiago in Chile
  • Cape Town in South Africa
  • The Azores in Portugal

(so HOLLER AT ME if you see any deals for these come up)

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Who fancies a trip to the Azores with me?

So, what we all need to do before Black Friday is research those destinations a bit more:

  • Who flies there?
  • What routes do they take?
  • Will I need a visa?
  • Will I need to get injections?
  • When is a good time to visit?

Sure, you might find a proper cheap flight but if you find out you’re there for monsoon season and your £100 visa won’t even come back in time, you’ll be gutted.

3. Get ready

As you may need to pounce on a deal, it’s definitely worth asking yourself the following questions:

  • How much time can you take off?

Check your holiday allowances and remember, if you haven’t booked Christmas off yet (and you’re on a standard UK full time contract), you’ll need 4 days to take off between 22nd Dec – 1st Jan.

  • Can you get the time off work?

If you’ve got some dates in mind, it’s worth putting some feelers out with whoever controls your holiday allowance. In the very least, check when you definitely couldn’t take time off to avoid disappointment.

  • Who would you go with?

Be it a mate or a date, get them on board now. That, or just embark on your own solo adventure which makes things a hell of a lot easier to organise!

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I tend to holiday with the ‘housemate’…
  • Do you have everyone’s details?

Get all the travellers passport details ready to go!

  • How much can you spend?

This is really important because sales are EXCITING and before you know it, you’ve plonked £400 on your credit card that you can’t really afford. If you’re travelling with others, agree on your budget, and factor in a maximum price you’d go to if you find something proper lush.

  • Do you have the money?

Most sites will need you to put the full amount onto one card so if you’re going away with someone else, make sure you’ve got enough to cover the cost

4. Bookmark, follow and download

Now you’ve got an idea of where you’re going, it’s time to bookmark websites, follow social media accounts and download apps in preparation.

A good trick on Twitter is to create a list of airlines, hotel groups and comparison sites, which will compile all their social accounts in one place.

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If I was being coy, this is where I’d slip in the old ‘oh, did you know Expedia are up to something fun too?’ trick but I feel like I’ve blown that already. So, all I’m gonna say, again, is UP TO 75% OFF ON THEIR APP! DOWNLOAD IT NOW!

5. Check that you’re actually getting a deal

  • Check the location – nobody wants to stay 25km from where they intended
  • Check the reviews
  • And lastly, check what price it usually retails at

Right, I’m off to limber up for Black Friday morning. Do come and join me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing what I discover!

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cheap christmas market weekend getaways from london

Christmas may only be 6 weeks away but if you’re hoping to amp up your excitement with a festive weekend break, there’s still time to bag a bargain.

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All deals listed are:

  • 2 night weekend breaks – Fri to Sun or Sat to Mon
  • Decent flight times that allow at least 1.5 days in your chosen city
  • Based on 2 people travelling
  • Less than £150pp for flights and accommodation

First up, we’re taking a look at deals from London. Make sure you check back throughout the week to also find deals from other areas on the UK!

(Prices last updated on Monday 12th November at 7:30am)

30th Nov – 2nd Dec

Warsaw, Poland 

  • Christmas markets start: 24th November 2018
  • Poland is great value – the average cost of a pint is £2
  • As Poland’s capital, there’s lots to see and do around the city!

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Flight – £73pp

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Airbnb – £48pp

  • City centre studio apartment
  • Great reviews
  • Not booked with Airbnb before? Sign up here to get £25 off your first booking

Total cost – £121 per person 


Sat 1st Dec – Mon 3rd Dec

Toulouse, France

  • Christmas markets start: 23rd November 2018
  • Held in the heart of Toulouse, at the famous Place du Capitole
  • Airport is just a 18 minute drive from the city centre

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 21.24.01.pngFlight – £21pp

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Hotel – £81pp

  • Le Grand Balcon Toulouse
  • 4 star city centre top rated boutique hotel
  • You could find even cheaper hotels or Airbnbs but this is a great deal!

Total cost – £102 per person


Fri 7th Dec – Sun 9th Dec

Bucharest, Romania

  • Christmas markets start: 1st December 2018
  • Yes, you’ll pay more for your flights but you’ll spend a lot less when you’re there – we’re talking £1.50 a pint!
  • As the capital, you’ll have plenty to see and do

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Flight – £94pp

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Airbnb – £41pp

  • Just a 10 min walk to the Old Town (and 23 mins from the market)
  • Brilliant reviews
  • Not booked with Airbnb before? Sign up here to get £25 off your first booking

Total cost – £135 per person


Sat 8th Dec – Mon 10th Dec

Bremen, Germany

  • Christmas markets start: 26th November 2018
  • No one does German markets like the Germans, right?!
  • Bremen airport is super close to the city centre – only 10 mins away!

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Flight – £34pp

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Hotel – £95pp

  • Maritim Hotel and Congress Centrum Bremen
  • 4 star city centre and well rated
  • I do prefer a more modern hotel but for the location and the fact that most places (even Airbnb) is super booked up, it’s a good deal!

Total cost – £129 per person


Fri 14th Dec – Sun 16th Dec

Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Christmas market starts: all will be open from 17th November 2018
  • Often featured in top 10 lists of the best markets in Europe
  • Make sure to visit the city centre amusement park Tivoli which looks incredible at Christmas – park entrance will cost you 110DK (around £12) and then you pay extra for rides

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Flight – £67pp

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Hotel – £97pp

Total cost – £164 per person

FINE I WENT OVER BUDGET ON THIS ONE – but it does have free breakfast so… Can you let it slide??!

If you want something fancier than a 2 star, you could also try this lush 4 star hotel for the same price but it is a little further out. However, Copenhagen public transport is very good.

FINAL OPTION: you could also fly to the Danish city of Aarhus on the same dates for a mere £35! The flight times are mint too and, having visited twice before, I can imagine Christmas on its cute, cobbled streets being proper magical.


Sat 15th Dec – Mon 17th Dec

Gothenburg, Sweden

  • The second largest city in Sweden has plenty to offer – including the fact that it’s a hell of a lot easier to get to from the airport than its capital (if you’re flying cheap, that is!). The centre is just a 30 minute bus shuttle away.
  • Another Scandi country with a festival amusement park! Visit Liseberg for artificial snow and over five million fairy lights (110 SEK – around £9.50)

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Flight – £46pp

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Hotel – £91pp

  • Scandic No 25
  • The room may be on the cosy side but this hotel is well rated and in a great location
  • Free breakfast – this will definitely help in pricey Sweden!

Total cost – £137 per person


If you do end up booking any of these deals – or finding an even better one of your own – then please, let me know!

As well as commenting below, you can also find me on Twitter and on Instagram.

London done – Manchester deals are next!


watch related videos:

James and I visited the Christmas markets in Timisoara, Romania last year and for a two night break for two adults with B&B accommodation, flights, airport transfers, a three-course meal, coffee, mulled wine and cake spent the grand total of… £92.10 each.

I AM NOT JOKING.

how to stay in a €1,000,000 holiday apartment | barcelona wedding vlog

What’s even better than going on holiday and living like a local? Going on holiday and living like a LUXURY LOCAL!

Our apartment in Barcelona was stunning – and here’s exactly how you could stay here yourself for a whole lot less money than your average hotel.

ENTER STAGE LEFT: Love Home Swap!

This is the second time we’ve used Love Home Swap (remember that insane New York apartment with the Emmy Award? Yeah, that one was one of them too) so to say we’re impressed is a total understatement. I really love how not only the quality of homes on the site are proper BANGIN’, but also that there’s nice ‘community vibes’ – because no one’s there to make money out of you. Everyone’s just after the same thing – somewhere nice to stay.

In this video, I’ll break down how we found this particular apartment and how we used Love Home Swap’s clever ‘points swap’ feature to stay. We also go to our friends’ incredible Barcelona wedding, get a chronic hangover (standard) and properly explore the neighbourhood of Eixample.

next on the japanese trip – osaka!

Following a rather raucous night at the Park Hyatt Tokyo (you can can immerse yourself in our sozzled experience here), James and I hopped on the bullet train and travelled a casual 504km to Osaka – a city infamous for its food and drink scene.

Which we were finally able to endure after what I would call one of the ‘top 10 hangovers of my life’. Hurrah!

Expect castles, street food and helpful morsels of information including how the bloody hell do you use a Japanese laundry?

unlimited cocktails for £40 at the lost in translation hotel

With 24 hours left in Tokyo, we managed to cram in coffees and noodles in Ebisu, crossing and stationery in Shibuya, candy floss and cherry blossom in Harajuku and unlimited drinks in Shinjuku.

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?!!

go karting around tokyo is a REAL THING

Our first two days in Tokyo included yakitori in piss alley, maid cafes, the golden gai and even a whizz around the city that in no way resembled nintendo’s mario kart…

 

what’s flying with aeroflot really like?

The ‘deadliest airline in the world’ has got its act together in recent years but many are still reluctant to fly Aeroflot.

Yet at £258 for a return flight to Tokyo, we were willing to give it a go.

So, just how bad was it?