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?
So, a weekend getaway in a top 10 Christmas Market destination from just £81pp?
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR BBZ?!
THE REQUEST: Boxing Day Flights to Moscow
From: London To: Moscow Dates: Leaving 26th Dec and coming back end of Jan Budget: £200pp People: 2
London to Moscow Thurs 26th Dec – Thurs 30th Jan Wizzair – small bag included From £167 each
You can also fly on Christmas day, returning on the 30th Jan for £138 each.
Please note: you will need a visa to visit Moscow which will cost around £100 and will need to visit their visa centre in either London, Manchester or Edinburgh and allow for at least 20 business days for it to process so do it sooner rather than later! There is also an urgent option but it will cost you a lot more. Here’s the info you need as a British national.
THE REQUEST: Christmas getaway from Manchester
From: Manchester To: Anywhere Date: Leaving 24th Dec Duration: 3-5 nights Vibes: Fun!
Fun you say?
Well, there’s no place quite as fun as Berlin!
Manchester to Berlin Tues 24th – Sun 29th Dec Ryanair – small hand luggage only easyJet – carry on case £99 each
This is the hotel that James and I stayed at this summer and we loved its cool, boutique vibes and most importantly the AMAZING breakfast place downstairs. The best bit about staying is that you can ring down to reserve a spot and not have to wait in their huge queues!!
However, if you fancy having your own space so that you can properly enjoy a cosy day in on Christmas Day, here’s a cute Airbnb that may suit too!
However, since this is for a mini honeymoon, let’s see if we can also find a great hotel choice.
Artemisia Domus 3 nights for £334 total Breakfast included
Fancy the best room in the hotel? It’s £165 a night for the King Suite with spa bath!
That’s everything fo this week’s holiday hotline.
Once again, I’m so sorry if I didn’t get to yours this week but make sure you’re following me over on Instagram to get involved with the next one!
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.
Until next time!
I have used some 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 so… Yeah, I’m rolling in it la!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it all before, but how does that explain how I was able to do 6 nights around the ring road of Iceland for £600? All in?!
I captured all of this on my budget Iceland series but I realised that whilst there were lots of tips, tricks and travel hacks across six videos, there wasn’t one place where they could all hang out.
So here we have it!
And, just to make it even easier, here’s all the tips written in one place for you. Before you scroll down, why not follow me over on Instagram for daily top tips?!
Right, let’s start with things you should do before you get to Iceland.
1. Use Google Flights to find the cheapest flights Go to Google Flights, pop in your departure and destination and then click on your the date box. This brings up a calendar view which clearly shows you the best days to travel. You can also toggle between how long you want your trip to me at the bottom, and the costs will updated instantly!
2. Search for weekend dates to use less annual leave Google Flights also has you covered for this, but this time in your search you need to leave the destination blank, click on the dates and find the ‘flexible dates’ option and then select ‘weekend’. You can also select the month you want to travel in too if that’s helpful. Then zoom in on Iceland on the map and voila.
IMPORTANT: Before you go ahead and pay, always put the dates you find into Skyscanner.
9 times out of 10, it will find you a cheaper price.
3. Check local car hire companies I tend to use Skyscanner to find hire cars yet when looking for Iceland, I realised it wasn’t pulling in any local results. So, after a quick google I found Northbound, an Icelandic broker who were consistently cheaper.
We found a 4×4 for 6 days for just £26 a day.
4. Get a card that lets you spend abroad for free If your regular bank card charges you for spending abroad, take a look at online banks or top up cards that have no fees and are free and easy to sign up to. We use Monzo but Starling Bank and WeSwap are other good choices.
Iceland is a pretty card friendly place and we only took money out once.
5. Make a meal plan and a shopping list Do this before you arrive in Iceland and then stick to it when you get to the supermarkets. Be clever with your choices and think about how you could reuse leftovers for future meals.
Here’s what my meal plan looked like beforehand:
Of course, some items changed but having this and then making a shopping list from it really helped keep me on track and meant no food waste!
6. Buy a check in bag It’s an initial hit of money but you can use that extra space to pack things, like food items and towels that you would have to pay for further down the line. If you’re going with someone, why not share a big case between you?
7. Pack some basics With that extra space, go around your kitchen before you leave and pack a tupperware box with some basics. I packed some rice, sachets, cutlery, plastic bags, smaller tupperware boxes, loads – it saved me a fortune.
8. Use travel mini pots Use mini cosmetic pots for things like salt, pepper, sugar, washing up liquid – those items that you only need a little bit of but would really add up if you bought them in full
9. Bring a thermos flask If it’s cold out you will want hot drinks and you could easily spend £4 every single time you fancy a tea or a coffee
Next, let’s chat booking accommodation.
10. Choose the guesthouseover the hotel! When deciding on hotel versus guesthouse, choose the guesthouse. Icelandic design is pretty minimalistic and so you’re not going to miss out loads by going for the cheaper option. A lot of them are really clean and highly rated – they’re really good value for money.
11. Choose a place with cooking facilities Most guesthouses have them (and many hotels do not!) and you’ll save a fortune by making sure to check this out
12. Check Airbnb Don’t forget Airbnb. We used it to stay in a cute little cabin in the middle of nowhere for £75 a night – and there’s also a lot of guesthouses on there too. However, always google to see if you can book direct as that will usually be cheaper than booking through a third party.
You can get money off your first Airbnb booking if you haven’t used it before!
13. Try House Swapping We stayed in a ridiculous house on our first two nights thanks to a website called Love Home Swap. We didn’t actually have to swap our house with anyone (you can read the details here with a 25% link off membership) but basically, this place was only £27 a night each.
14. Flip your road trip on its head! Struggling to find availability? Try turning your road trip on its head. Most people go anti-clockwise but there’s nothing stopping you from doing it the other way around which may free up some rooms for you.
Before we get to the holiday itself, there’s one more thing you should do before you board the plane.
15. Buy alcohol from duty free Iceland isn’t part of the EU so you should get the cheapest price at the airport, which will be so much cheaper than buying it in Iceland. You don’t need to buy mixers too, you can easily get them at the supermarket.
Arriving in Iceland.
16. Ask for petrol station loyalty cards When you collect your car hire, ask if they any petrol station membership cards. Northbound found us a car with Lava Rentals and they provided us with a sticker on our keys which got us money off every fill up at that particular petrol station, and a free coffee!
17. Fill up at the cheapest stations in Iceland If you are a Costco member, bring your card as there’s one 15 mins outside of Reykjavik and it is easily the cheapest place on the entire island. If you’re not a member, there’s a nearby petrol station that does it’s very best to match without the need of a discount card.
By the way, when filling up, don’t choose the ‘Fill-Up’ option as the station usually makes a hold of about 200 euros on your card. This hold should be released immediately but it can be delayed so it’s don’t choose it, just in case.
18. Share your parking ticket If you’re parking at a tourist attraction, look around for people leaving whose ticket may still be valid. Also, why not pass yours on when you’re done too – then you’ll have the gods of karma on your side too!
19. Shop at Bonus, Kronan or Netto When shopping, the cheapest supermarket is Bonus but Kronan and Netto are well priced too. If your flight arrives later on in the day, Bonus will probably be closed. Don’t worry, just shop at one of the others. You’ll save more money getting it done straightaway versus going out for dinner and waiting for Bonus the next day.
I extensively cover the prices in Netto here:
You can also find a list of our costs written up here.
And some of the costs in Bonus here:
20. Don’t go to the Blue Lagooon This is a controversial one… I know it looks beautiful but it’s so expensive and there are plenty of other geothermal pools that are either cheaper, or completely free. Here are some! And remember to take your packed towel to get the cheapest rate.
21. Make the most of happy hours It is possible to go out drinking if you use the happy hours. Your best bets are in Reykjavik or even cheaper, Iceland’s second city Akureyri where it’s possible to find happy hours ranging from 4pm to 10pm where beers are less than a fiver each.
If you haven’t heard of the holiday hotline before, it’s something I do over on my Instagram stories where I ask you for what cheap getaway I can help find for you.
As I can only get to a few every week, I’ve decided to include how I go about finding deals so that even if you weren’t picked, there will hopefully be something here to help you with your own booking.
Well, as long as you don’t want a group trip to Amsterdam…
More of that coming up!
THE REQUEST: CHEAP Winter weekend getaway FROM MANCHESTER
From: Manchester To: Krakow/Finland/Latvia/Slovakia When: Jan/Feb weekend People: 2
Manchester to Krakow Fri 7th – Sun 9th Feb Ryanair – small hand luggage only £84
If you’d like a bigger bag, you can also fly with easyJet and Jet2 for £111 who both allow a carry on case.
Not interested in Manchester? Here’s where else you could fly to that weekend:
London – from £42 Liverpool – from £104 Glasgow – from £136
As Krakow is so good on the pocket, I always like to make the most of it by staying a lush hotel that I normally couldn’t afford.
PURO Kraków Kazimierz is that rare partnership of incredible style and incredible value, coming in at just £53.50 a night.
If you book with Hotels.com (who are currently offering the cheapest rate), you’ll also collect 2 nights stay as part of their loyalty programme. Once you’ve collected 10, you’ll get a free reward night!
However, if you’re wanting to keep the budget down, check out this cute little Airbnb instead which is just £32 a night.
You can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!
Between two, that means you could have yourself a cheap getaway from just £116 each!
THE REQUEST: GROUP GETAWAY TO AMSTERDAM
From: Liverpool To: Amsterdam When: 14th May Duration: 4 nights People: 10 Budget: £300 each
Liverpool to Amsterdam Thurs 14th – Mon 18th May EasyJet – who still allow small suitcases in hand luggage. Hurrah! From £59
Note: this price is for 8 travellers – unfortunately you can’t book 10 at a time on Skyscanner though interestingly, this price is cheaper than booking for just 2 people by a few quid!
Top tip: Most airlines will do group bookings and whilst unfortunately it’s for a minimum of 15 for easyJet, it’s definitely worth keeping in mind as most give you the option to confirm the names of all your passengers last minute. This can be slightly more costly than if you booked in advance, but it can really take the stress out of organising big groups.
Now, I’m a bit nervous about trying to find a place for ten people as Amsterdam is NOTORIOUSLY SPENNY when it comes to places to stay.
This isn’t because it’s a super expensive destination, it’s just really popular and places get booked up fast, thus driving the price up so my biggest tip if you want to visit is book sooner rather than later!
From a quick look on Airbnb, I could see that there was absolutely nothing coming in under budget for a large group.
By thousands of pounds 😬😬😬
Well, apart from this which looked very promising but after clicking through the pictures I stumbled on this:
Do not trust anything that directs you away from Airbnb! This is totally against the rules and I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets pulled sooner or later.
I did find this Airbnb which comes in just over budget but boy, it looks a bit bleak for the money… I mean, where are the windows??!
Anyway, on with the search!
Next, I went over too hometogo which is like the trivago of holiday rentals – it searches loads of different sites including Airbnb, Homeaway and Booking.com, and brings you all the options in one place.
However, that wasn’t bringing up anywhere either!
Time for PLAN B!
I’ve headed over to Booking.com’s apartments and what I’m looking for are smaller apartments that are in the same complex.
The only thing I found that could work was Cityden The Garden Amsterdam South – but if you haven’t clocked it from the name, it is 30 minutes from the city by public transport.
For 2 x two bedroom apartments (each has a sofa bed as well), the total cost would be £182.50 per person for 4 nights for ten people.
It looks lovely, but it seems quite far out, doesn’t it?
What about if we tried to find hotel rooms instead?
Just sneaking in – in budget – is the ibis Amsterdam City West. Whilst it’s still not super central, you’re not far from a metro that will get you to the main train station in a couple of minutes.
Selecting 2 x triple rooms and 2 x double rooms comes in at £221.80 a night each for 4 nights for ten people.
As a bargain hunter, I’m still not completely satisfied so my last search will be at the complete opposite that Sarah was looking for.
This time hopping over to hostelworld, where I find Clinknoord. A very well rated hostel in a fairly central location.
A 10 bed dorm with private bathroom for £179.30 each for 4 nights for ten people.
I’ve spent about an hour looking and these are genuinely the best deals I can find. So, do I have any final thoughts?
Just go somewhere else.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand is paying a lot of money for something not that good.
Spending just 5 minutes looking at alternative options, I’ve already found flights from Liverpool to Barcelona for £91 and numerous apartments in the centre of the city that easy house 10 people.
If you’re adamant that you want to go to Amsterdam – then find the accommodation first. Go to Airbnb and whack in your amount of guests without the dates. Find what you want and then check to see if it’s in budget, and when it’s available.
Then check for flight prices.
I hope that’s been on some help!!!
THE REQUEST: OCTOBER BUDAPEST WEEKEND FOR TWO
From: London To: Budapest Dates: 11th – 14th October People: 2 Budget: £200
London to Budapest Fri 11th – Mon 14th Oct Wizzair – small hand luggage only £107
Plus, as the cheapest price is with Hotels.com at the moment, you’d earn yourself 3 nights on their loyalty rewards programme where you get your 11th night for free.
However, I don’t think anything is gonna beat this BEAUTY from Airbnb which costs just £50 a night including fees.
(You can even get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Check out those high ceilings!
Between the two of you, that brings your three night trip to Budapest in for £182 each.
Okay, time for one more!
THE REQUEST: 50TH BIRTHDAY BREAK IN NEW YORK
From: Manchester To: New York Dates: April Duration: 5 nights People: 2 Details: 4* – it’s ma birthday innniiitt (okay fine Angela didn’t add that bit)
For this, I want to show you a brilliant function that Google Flights has.
As you can see above, once you pop your dates in, you can toggle the duration of the trip at the bottom which will really easily show you the best prices for the month you’re after.
THANK YOU GOOGLE.
So I’m going to go for the trip starting on the 22nd April et voila, a direct fare to New York with Virgin for just £319.
(Shit, people are going to start to realise that my cheap holiday skills aren’t that difficult to grasp… 🤣)
However, whilst Google have done the hard job for us here, they don’t always show the cheapest prices and so my next step is to put the dates into Skyscanner, and this is what comes up.
£302?!! YES PLEASE.
The reason Skyscanner is able to offer this cheaper is because, as you can see above, you’re actually buying from a third party. They are the exact same flights that you could book direct with Virgin, it’s just that these companies often offer discounts to entice you in.
Skyscanner do vet all their third party companies and clearly show how customers rate them.
I’ve used them many times before and have only once had an issue when the price had increased and so they returned my money. In hindsight, I should have known it was going to happen as the fare was half the price of what everyone else was offering 🤣 (god loves a trier!)
Okay, so we’ve got the flight, now onto…
Now, Angela wants 4* and as someone who’s often cursed the prices of nice hotels in New York, I’m gonna do something a little rogue here…
🎉 CUE PACKAGE HOLIDAY 🎉
Since our flight is with Virgin, it does make me wonder if Virgin Holidays will have a good deal for these dates…
The cheapest deal is at Row Nyc for £912 per person (other sites list it as a 4 star but Virgin use their own rating system).
To work out if that’s a deal, we need to pop to trivago and whack in the same hotel.
Once I click through, I can see that Travel Republic are offering the room for 5 nights for £857 – which once split between two and added to the flight price comes in at £730.50 per person.
FFS VIRGIN HOLIDAYS.
I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU.
WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU.
However, before we call it a day, I want to see if I can find a slightly nicer hotel for Angela.
ANGELA’S 50TH DESERVES MORE THAN A 6.5 RATING OKAY?!
So this time sticking to trivago, I’ve whacked in the dates and used the filters to find us a 4* hotel with at least a 7.5 guest rating.
A Queen Room at the Westgate New York City is coming in at £148 per night on loveholidays (it’s £267 on Booking.com!)
And finally, this Queen Room at Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York is just £185 a night if you book through loveholidays.
This hotel is GORGEOUS – check out the photos on Booking.com (in my opinion, they have the best gallery!) and also check out how much more expensive it is if you book with them 👀
This would cost £764.50 each for everything.
Have a great 50th birthday, Angela!
That’s everything fo this week’s holiday hotline.
Once again, I’m so sorry if I didn’t get to yours this week but unfortunately the business of finding the best deals isn’t quick work!
Remember, you can get involved in the next holiday hotline by simply following me over on Instagram and looking out for it on my stories.
Until next time!
I have used some 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 so… Yeah, I’m rolling in it 😂
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!
It’s time for this week’s holiday hotline where I ask you to submit your requests via Instagram and I go on a search for you.
If you’re not following me already, head on over and you can be part of the next one!
Let’s see what we’ve got this week.
REQUEST: Family European Christmas Markets for less than £150 each
So, for today’s main Holiday Hotline deep dive, we’re getting festive. Yes, in June. But I’m all for people getting their plans together for some super cheat Christmas Market getaways.
So, let’s hear what Fiona is after:
European Christmas Markets
28th Nov – 1st Dec 2019
From London Stansted (and flight back not too late)
2 adults & 2 thirteen year olds
Flight & accommodation needed
£100 – £150 each
I’m gonna give Fiona two options. One will be a well established Christmas Market, the other will be less known – but cheaper.
For this, I went straight to European’s Best Destinations ‘Best Christmas Markets in Europe 2019‘ list. Seeing Tallinn as number one, I got VERY excited however there are no direct flights for Fiona’s dates. BOO.
So instead, I’ve opted for the capital of Czechia, Prague, which is sitting snugly at number 9.
Important: the main Christmas Market in Prague does not open until Saturday 30th November 2019 HOWEVER, the Prague Castle Christmas Market opens from 23rd November 2019 and there’s so much to see and do in the capital at all times of the year so I’m sure Fiona will find plenty to see and do!
Flying from Stansted, there are loads of flights to choose from for as cheap as £57 each! However, I’d personally either go for the £69 flight (to make the most of the first day) or the £107 flight (for great flight times there and back that mean no early mornings!!)
London Stansted to Prague Thurs 28th Nov – Sun 1st Dec From £57
As Fiona is looking for 2 adults and 2 teenagers, I think Airbnb is the perfect choice here.
I found this gorgeous apartment with great reviews which is within walking distance to both the Old Town and Wencelas Sq where both of the main Christmas Markets are.
What’s more, you check yourself in with a lockbox meaning that you don’t need to plan your day about meeting someone at the apartment.
Opening on 22nd November 2019, Fiona will be able to enjoy the markets straight away and having spoken to a friend who used to live in Wroclaw, she said the main square looks pretty magical come Christmas time!
What’s more, Poland is ridiculously well priced and so your money will go really far here.
Again, a few choices but I’d go for the third one down if it was me to make the most of the trip!
London Stansted to Wroclaw Thurs 28th Nov – Sun 1st Dec From £45
You can definitely find cheaper (this newly listed £38 a night 2 bed for instance) but I just had to share this apartment which is just SO BEAUTIFUL – especially for the price!
Or, if you want somewhere cheap (but still lovely!)
Airbnb 1 bedroom – 2 beds – 1 bath £46 a night (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Opting for the Airbnb means you could bag yourself a 3 night Christmas stay in Tallinn for two from just £123 each.
REQUEST: Reykjavik accommodation in December
Next up is a request from Boudicca who’s after:
19th – 22nd Dec
Having returned from Iceland back in March, I’ve got a bit of a feel for what kind of accommodation there is on offer in Iceland’s capital.
A great option if you’re wanting to save money as many have free breakfast and shared kitchen facilities so that you can prepare food for the day ahead
Don’t baulk just yet – many offer private rooms and offer a vibrant bar with plenty of happy hour deals. Plus, many have kitchen facilities too.
Often at a similar price to the two above but you may not get any of the extra facilities that can help when you’re saving money. And if you want somewhere fancy, expect to pay a lot!
There are plenty of Airbnbs but for your own place, expect to pay more than an average hotel! But worth a browse as plenty of guesthouses and private rooms are on here too.
Here’s a couple of good value options I found for Boudicca’s dates:
Hlemmur Square – Hostel Private Room with private bathroom Shared kitchen 0.5 miles to city centre £72 a night
If you’re willing to spend more, this place has also got some really beautiful rooms that still allow you to embrace the fun that comes from staying at a hostel, and the shared kitchen facilities for saving money down the line.
Hotel Reykjavik Lights – Hotel 4 star Free breakfast 1.7 miles from city centre £66 a night
Now, Boudicca didn’t actually mention a budget so let’s go WILD and throw in a pricey but alternative option too.
These are a 22 min drive north of the airport (and 5 miles from the Blue Lagoon) and are luxury cabins that offer a view over the harbour in Grindavik. They also have plenty of space saving gadgets so if tiny houses are your kinda thing, this place is for you.
Yes, it’s pretty pricey but hey, what’s wrong with a big of cabin porn to peruse for fun?! If you are interested in spending your hard earned cash on a night here, I’d recommend giving Matt D’Avella’s video of them a watch.
Another hotel that I absolutely DROOL over is the Ion Adventure Hotel which is a 50 min drive from Reykjavik set in the middle of nowhere.
But at £299 a night… Perhaps we’ll just stick to looking at it online.
REQUEST: 5 night sunny September getaway for under £250pp
I couldn’t not pick Becky’s request after she sent the most beautifully laidd out summary of what she was after. Just look at it:
So, I’m thinking FRANCE. I’m thinking COASTAL. I’m thinking:
Biarritz is a popular beach resort right at the bottom of the west coast of France. Wiki calls it ‘elegant’ whilst it also retains a youthful edge as a major surfing destination.
What’s more, my Mum and Dad go all the time and say it’s lush.
In September you can still expect an average temperature of 24 degrees and you’re also just a 45 min drive (or bus!) to San Sebastian in Spain which is revered for its food. What a great day trip that would make!
London Stansted to Biarritz Weds 11th Sep – Sun 15th Sep £40
Thanks to those cheap flights, that leaves us with just over £400 to find some nice accommodation for 5 nights.
Airbnb 1 bedroom – 1 bathroom Fantastic central location Self check in £59 a night – £295 total (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Picking the Airbnb, this trip would be just £187.50 each for Becky and her mate.
That’s it for this week’s holiday hotline. If I didn’t get you then I’m SO SORRY but blimey, there was a lot of you to get through and I hope I can help you out in the future.
If you fancy being involved with the next one, make sure you’re following on Instagram and checking on my stories.
I have used some 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 so… 🤣
And if you’re all ‘what you on about Chels?’ then let me explain. Once a week, over on Instagram, I ask you to send in your holiday conundrums and then I go off in hunt of some cheap holiday deals for us all.
So, what have we got this week?
Well, the one thing that I saw a LOT of were requests for group trips this summer so let’s delve a little deeper…
REQUEST: Summer group holiday for no more than £450 each
What’s Holly after then?
Week of August 19th
Close to the action
Max £450 each
Phew! Holly is wanting a LOT of boxes ticking here but let’s see what we can find for the ultimate group getaway this summer.
Manchester to Faro Sat 17th Aug to Sat 24th Aug £126
TOP TIP: Remember when you’re searching for groups to always put in the correct number of travellers. This is because airlines often sell seats in price tiers and so they may only have a couple of tickets available at the cheap price you see in front of you – which gets a bit awkward when you click through to book and the prices suddenly rocket up!
Faro airport is the gateway to the Algarve – Portugal’s southernmost region known for its Atlantic beaches and golf resorts. What’s more, Portugal is really well priced and so you don’t need to spend a fortune once you’re out there as well.
Also, since Holly requested 5-7 days, this is a good way to get 6 whole none travel days for less. What’s more she won’t feel like she’s wasting money on that first night accommodation because the place I’ve found has to be booked for a 7 night minimum anyway.
That’s just £275 each for a group of 8 for a whole week – and since it sleeps 9, it could be as cheap as £245 each if they could recruit an extra person.
Whilst this villa isn’t quite in the thick of the action as some I found on Airbnb, it is easily the nicest l found in this price range and I was honestly shocked at how cheap it was compared to what else was on offer. Especially for 7 nights.
Also, you’re just a 15 minute drive from Albufeira which has a VIBRANT nightlife meaning if you wanted a big night out, your taxis are not going to cost you the world.
As well, there’s lots to do in the area including beaches, golf courses, mountain bike trails, surfing, water parks, deep sea fishing and scuba diving.
If you’re wondering how you’d even get to Villa Avios, do not fret.
At 40 mins drive away from Faro airport, I’d definitely recommend hiring a car for any stay on the Algarve. Car hire is cheap and there’s so much going on along the coastline that it would be a shame not to explore it.
In a group, I actually think 2 cars are better than one big people carrier as it normally much cheaper (the cheapest 9 seater I found was £530 for the week!), 2 cars will give you more space to cram luggage, and lastly it gives you the option to split up to try out different activities during the week.
So, for flights, accommodation and 2 cars for Holly’s group of 8 mates, the entire trip comes in at £418 each.
Right, we’ve got time for a few more quickies.
REQUEST: London to Boston November group trip
London to Boston
30th Oct – 3rd Nov
Accommodation close to the city for under £1000
First things first, the flights.
London to Boston Weds 30th Oct – Sun 3rd Nov £270 each (pssst it’s only £255 if there’s only two of you)
We’ve started seeing cheap flights to Boston for a while now but damnnnnn son that’s a sweet ass deal.
Both fares only include a 10kg carry on bag but for a 4 night trip, YOU CAN DO IT. I BELIEVE IN YOU!
If not, it will cost you an extra £35 each way with Norwegian (add your bag separately rather than selecting LowFare+ as that is an extra £50 each way but does include meals and a seat reservation) or an extra £100 return with Virgin (this also gives you a seat reservation and extra air miles).
Now for the accommodation which, knowing America, finding a place for 6 people for 4 nights under £1000 is gonna be TRICKY.
For big groups like this, I do find that you get more value out of booking a holiday rental as three hotel rooms can really add up.
So, I’ve headed to Airbnb and have popped in the dates, 6 guests, selected ‘entire home’ and have specified at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms because too much sharing never makes for a nice trip – AMIRITE?
Then, using the map, I’ve zoomed into Boston so I can find something that isn’t too far away.
Straight away, I can see our budget is going to be a struggle. But what can we get that isn’t too far from it?
Airbnb Dorchester – home next to subway that’s 20 mins to Downtown 3 bedrooms – 3 beds – 2 baths £278.75 a night – £1115 total (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Airbnb East Boston – short walk to transport for easy access to Downtown 3 bedrooms – 4 beds (2 are sofa beds) – 2 baths £291.75 a night – £1167 total (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Airbnb South Boston close to Downtown 3 bedrooms – 3 beds – 2 baths £325 a night – £1300 total (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
But still, how do we get to that £1000 pricetag?
By taking away a bedroom.
Airbnb East Boston – Very close to airport and 15 mins drive central 2 bedrooms – 6 beds – 2 baths £257.75 a night – £1029 total (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Given that there are 6 of them travelling, if they went with the cheapest Airbnb here, their whole trip would only cost them £441.50 each.
TO THE US OF A!!!
REQUEST: Warm June getaway from North West for two
Sophie is after:
3 -4 nights
22nd June +/- 1 day
Leaving Liverpool or Manchester
Not Barcelona or Rome
Right, with a small budget it’s very important that we find… CHEAP FLIGHTS!
*spends lots of time searching and realises that if you want warm in June, you’re still going to have to spend a bit for flights*
Manchester to Dubrovnik Sat 22nd June – Weds 26th June £98
Whilst the price might be nudging £100, this is actually a great price for Dubrovnik. The least expensive flights for similar trips to Dubrovnik usually cost between £145 and £215!
If you haven’t heard of Dubrovnik before then CONGRATS because how you’ve managed to escape all that ‘it’s where they film Games of Thrones’ chatter is quite the achievement.
It’s a city in Southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea and it’s known for its Old Town which is LUSH AF.
And the good news is that weather wise, it looks sunny and around 28 degrees.
But the big ol’ question – is there anywhere decent enough to stay given that Sophie has just £200 left to cover 4 nights in a popular tourist destination?
*spends lots of time searching and realises just how damn popular Dubrovnik is especially when you’re searching for a trip that’s in 2 weeks*
If we’re really trying to keep to budget, this new listing could work really well.
Airbnb – Apartment Tonci Dubrovnik £49 a night – this includes all the additional fees (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
An 8 min drive from the old town (you’re close to a bus station), this apartment is based in Babin Kuk which is a wealthy district known for its high-end hotels, stylish spas and yacht clubs. It’s also got a beach and plenty of supermarkets, bars and restaurants.
Whilst it currently has no reviews, you benefit from this by the 20% special offer that the host is offering for the first 3 guests who book a trip before now and 4th September. Yes, there is an element of ‘risk’ here, but it’s also a great way to bag a real bargain.
Hotel wise, you’re going to be looking at guesthouses in this budget but there are plenty well rated rooms for under £200.
So, going with the cheapest flights and cheapest Airbnb, Sophie’s got herself a trip to a TOP DESTINATION for just £196 each.
That’s £4 each left for a pint at the airport.
I’m having fun, let’s do one more!
REQUEST: Accommodation in Sofia from 16th – 20th July
Okay, so Dani’s request is pretty straight forward.
Accommodation only in Sofia, Bulgaria
16th – 20th July
So, let me take you through how I look for hotels if I’m looking for something more than just a cheap place to stay.
I start by googling ‘best hotels in Sofia’ or wherever I’m looking and normally, an article written by The Telegraph is a top result. For Sofia, it’s not, but I do instead find a ‘best hotels in Bulgaria‘ list instead which is a great place to start.
Oh no hang on, it’s three hotels long. FGS BULGARIA – I’M TRYING TO DO A BIT HERE.
Anyway, it does show us one hotel in Sofia called ‘Maison Sofia Hotel’ and so next I open up Trivago and I whack that name in, alongside my dates.
Straightaway, it’s showing me that we can get Dani a room at this four star hotel from just £47 a night (always click on ‘more deals’ for the cheapest price!)
However, at 2.2 miles to the city centre, I’m interested in what we can get even more central.
So now I adjust the filters and I select 3 star+ hotels, a guest rating of 7.5+ and within 1 mile of the city centre.
Straight away I’m VERY interested in this 5 star, well rated, LUXURY COLLECTION hotel from just £84 a night.
The 5 star InterContinental Sofia is also just £88 a night.
Finally, if it is price that Dani’s after, this also looks like a great deal for just £34 a night.
If you’d like some holiday help then make sure you’re following me on Instagram for the next instalment of the holiday hotline!
I have used some 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 🤣