european summer holidays for under £300 that you can STILL BOOK

With schools breaking up this week, it really does feel that summer is finally upon us. And for those of us who are yet to firm up those summer getaways, it can often feel like we’ve left it too late.

OR HAVE WE?!

I’ve taken a look at where you can still book from all over the UK for a 7 night getaway for under £300 per person.

FROM LONDON

London, with its wide array of airports, has more cheap options than other UK locations but I’ve gone with this flight to Split in Croatia.

FLIGHTS

London to Split, Croatia
Tues 16th July – Tues 23rd July
£80 return

As Croatia’s second city, Split has a lot to offer. Bars, restaurants, Roman ruins and endless spans of turquoise sea. There’s also plenty of beaches within easy distance of the city centre so if you’re looking for a more traditional summer getaway, this could be the one for you.

The sandy beach at Kašjuni– but don’t be surprised to find pebbles at other Croatian beaches!

Average July temperature – 31 degrees

Pint of beer – £2.19
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £30.99
Cappuccino – £1.83
One way ticket on local transport – £1.34

For more prices, check out Numbeo!

ACCOMODATION

Airbnb
£58.29 a night – £408 total
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Total = £279 per person


FROM LIVERPOOL OR ABERDEEN

The great thing about the next destination is that so many airports fly there, but here’s two flights that I thought were a great price!

FLIGHTS

Aberdeen to Gdansk, Poland
Sat 24th Aug to Sat 31st Aug
£87 return

Liverpool to Gdansk, Poland
Weds 21st Aug to Weds 28th Aug
£102 return

Now, you may think ‘Poland? That’s not a summer destination’ but THINK AGAIN. Not only does Gdansk feature a beautiful old town with numerous places to eat and drink, but it’s also a quick train away from the beach leading up to the seadside town of Sopot.

I’ve visited Gdansk twice before – both in temperatures a little bit nippy – but I can only imagine how fun this city would be in the sunshine. When I was there in March there was a lot of redevelopment happening and so I only expect this destination to keep growing and growing!

The city isn’t huge, so I’d definitely pair it with some time in both Sopot and Gydnia which make up the Tri-City metropolitan area.

Lastly, no one can argue with these prices – and what’s better than a holiday where you’re not constantly worrying about your purse strings?

Average August temperature – 22 degrees

Pint of beer – £1.68
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £21.06
Cappuccino – £1.90
One way ticket on local transport – 67p

For more prices, check out Numbeo!

ACCOMMODATION

Serviced Apartment
£57.57 a night – £404 total


Aberdeen total = £289 per person

Liverpool total = £304 per person

There are so many choices for Gdansk that I couldn’t possibly leave it at just that. Whilst not in the Old Town, this cute apartment is just £285 for the week!

And this place in Sopot is just £253! Very budget friendly.

If you were looking to spend a little more, I love the design elements of this Airbnb which would cost £476 for the week.


FROM BRISTOL

FLIGHTS

Next up, we have:

Bristol to Budapest, Hungary
Thurs 22nd Aug to Thurs 28th Aug
£118 return

As so wonderfully summarised by Lonely Planet:

Budapest has something for everyone – from dramatic history and flamboyant architecture to healing thermal waters and a nightlife that is unrivalled in Eastern and Central Europe.As so wonderfully summarised by Lonely Planet.

And if you fancied getting out of the city a little, you could even get the 1 hour 40 mins train to Lake Balaton which is a major holiday destination with its beaches, volcanic hills, resort towns and high-rise hotels.

Average August temperature – 28 degrees

Pint of beer – £1.24
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £27.50
Cappuccino – £1.27
One way ticket on local transport – 96p

For more prices, check out Numbeo!

ACCOMMODATION

The good news is that there are plenty of Airbnb’s within budget.

Airbnb
£52.85 a night – £370 total
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)

Total = £303 each
(okay FINE I’m £3 over but the flights were £25 less last night so use this as a reminder to book soon!)


FROM LONDON

Yes, we’re looking at London again but for a different purpose – we’re looking at package deals!

FLIGHTS & ACCOMMODATION

London to Gran Canaria, Spain
Via ThomasCook.com
Mon 22nd July to Mon 29th July

This is your classic holiday getaway – sun, sea and sand. Plus, having 15kg luggage included sure is a perk, and what a deal for £269 per person! And for just £24 more, you could get a room with a side view of the sea.

Average July temperature – 22 degrees

Pint of beer – £1.12
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £31.41
Cappuccino – £1.12
One way ticket on local transport – £1.26

For more prices, check out Numbeo!


FROM ANYWHERE

For our last top destination, we’re going to be taking a look at France. Yes. We’re going that broad.

I find that people often overlook France – perhaps it’s too close to us – but the great thing is that there’s beaches, sunshine, incredible cities and most importantly – WINE.

Yes, the prices will be higher than other destinations on this list but that’s okay, because I’ve got a special trick up my sleeve… But first, let’s talk getting there.

EUROTUNNEL

As is often the case with most forms of travel, it is cheaper if you book in advance but given that prices start at £85 each way for staying a week, I quickly found options for very close to that in July.

What’s more, this is a perfect option if you’re travelling as a family, or, if you’re popular, with friends.

ACCOMMODATION

Now, here’s where the magic happens. Let me show you how you can get totally FREE accommodation.

Enter side stage: house sitting.

When people – often with pets, or perhaps they have a luscious garden or post to bring in – want to go on holiday, they put their homes up and invite people like you and me to stay for free.

IT’S A TOTAL WIN WIN SITUATION.

I’ve done this twice – once in Paris and once in a multimillion pound home in Germany (it was awful) – and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

Now, you can do this absolutely anywhere across the globe but I’ve mentioned France because house sitting website, Nomador, was originally a French site and so there are so many places to choose from our mate across the channel.

In fact, when I looked before, there were over 889 results coming up when I searched for France this summer!

There are lots of different house sitting websites – Trusted Housesitters, Mind My House and House Carers – but I like Nomador because it has a totally free option that lets you send three messages to owners out for absolutely nothing.

You can see what the home in Paris we stayed in was like here!

And find all my top tips on applying for your own house sit here:


That’s it for this post – I hope this gives you some holiday inspo and remind you that there is STILL TIME to book a cheap getaway this summer!

7 day iceland ring road trip for cheap – flights, car hire and supermarket prices

I’ve enjoyed frolicking around, making the most out of £5 flights but recently I realised that I was eager for a new challenge.

And what better place to flex my money saving muscles than Iceland?

Renowned for its beauty – and the price tag that comes along with it – I thought it would be the perfect destination to do on a budget.

The challenge (which I do indeed accept) is to get flights, accommodation, 4×4 car hire, petrol, food, drink and activities for a 6 night road trip around Iceland’s ring road for less than £600.

In the first video, we nab flights with Wizz Air for £57.98 each, a 20kg suitcase for £29.50 each (we shared!), 4×4 car hire via Northbound for just £78 per person and our first supermarket shop for £28.50 each.

Total spent so far = £193.98 each

Total left = £406.02 each

FLIGHTS

We flew with Wizz Air from London Luton for £57.98 each. Being Wizz Air club members (€29.99 a year for two people) we saved around £15 each but we could have flown for just £55 without the discount (£39 with!) the week prior – alas, the flights didn’t work for James’ work!

Is it worth joining Wizz Air’s discount club?

If you’re planning on more than one trip per year with them and you’re travelling with the same person, then yes. They also do a group membership for €59.99 where the member + 5 companions get discounts so if you often travel as a family or social group, it’s definitely worth looking into.

The flight itself was more than fine. Wizz Air has a very similar offering to Ryanair so sure, it’s not luxury, but for the price you really can’t complain.

As we were travelling in the winter, we decided to add on one 20kg suitcase which cost £59 – ouch. However, as well as helping to keep us warm with the numerous jumpers packed inside, it also made financial sense as I was able to pack some food bits and towels that we’d later get charged to hire at the geothermal pools.

CAR HIRE

I usually jump straight onto Skyscanner yet I quickly realised that it wasn’t bringing up any local rental companies. Some googling later, I found Northbound who consistently offered the cheapest prices.

Northbound are a broker, so they’ll scour a whole host of local companies to bring you the best price.

As we were there during some pretty icy weather, we definitely needed a 4×4 and I quickly found a Suzuki Jimmy for just £156 for 6 days. At just £26 a day, I think that’s unreal value!

One tip – if you’re searching from the airport, make sure to change your pickup destination to their local office as this can often save you even more money.

On arriving at Keflavik Airport (that’s Reykjavik’s international airport), we looked out for our name on a board and were greeted by a very friendly fella from Lava Rentals. Two minutes later, we were in their minibus and five minutes after that, at their Keflavik office.

We lucked out being the first to be served at the desk (there were around four people behind me) and five minutes later we were in our car and ready to go.

We were honestly so impressed with speed and efficiency of the people at Lava Rentals and would definitely recommend the whole process!

It is worth saying that I reached out to the folk at Northbound asking for more info after noting their cheap costs, and they gave us a Dacia Duster. Lava Rentals show this model online at £40 a day but I bet you could find it cheaper via Northbound‘s site.

All in all, we saved around £60 by booking with them over Skyscanner. NOT TOO SHABBY PALS!

SUPERMARKET COSTS

Finding cheap flights and a cheap car was simple enough, but I quickly realised that if one thing was going to catch me out, it was going to be the cost of food on the road.

I knew that we’d be cooking most of our meals but I was nervous about the prices and whilst I’d watched numerous videos about what to expect, I did feel that this area could be my downfall.

My top tips here are to:

  • Make a food plan at home
  • Work out what you can bring from home (small packets of salt, pepper, etc.)
  • Make a list of everything you need to buy

List in hand, we rocked up to the Netto which was just 400m from the hire car company. The other budget supermarkets are Kronan and Bonus – the latter being undeniably the cheapest – yet as we were fast approaching 9pm, Netto was one of the few places still open.

This is what we ended up buying in our first big shop:

ItemQuanitityISKGBP
Beef mince500g936£5.99
Bags140£0.26
Tortellini pasta1 pack498£3.19
Frozen pizza575g679£4.35
Semi skimmed milk1 litre182£1.16
Orange juice1.5 litre299£1.91
Heinz baked beans400g can99£0.63
Heinz baked beans400g can99£0.63
Red kidney beans in chilli400g can189£1.21
Fusili pasta500g199£1.27
Schwepps tonic2 litre339£2.17
Ham1 pack (6 slices)309£1.98
Sour cream and onion crisps165g pack230£1.47
Spring onionBunch205£1.31
Iceberg lettuceHalf (220kg)94£0.60
Bread1 loaf 820g479£3.07
Coca cola1 litre239£1.53
Salad tomatoes365kg127£0.81
Carrots500g389£2.49
Onions635g98£0.63
Potaotes1.15kg277£1.77
Strawberries250g579£3.71
Chopped tomatoes400g can179£1.15
Chopped tomatoes400g can179£1.15
Red pepper200g96£0.61
Mystery item I can’t rememberN/A156£1.00
Bananas4 (740g)181£1.16
Leek1 (400g)144£0.92
Lemon(1) 190g64£0.41
Lime(1) 95g46£0.29
Lime(1) 90g43£0.28
Skyr yoghurt500g277£1.77
Butter400g459£2.94
Eggs10 pack498£3.19
TOTALS.8907£57.00

Overall, I was super pleased by how affordable most things were. Yes, a little pricier than normal but no where near as bad as I had built it up in my head! I also could not believe that Heinz baked beans were cheaper there than in the UK – MADNESS!!!

The list definitely helped and I found this particular Netto (this one!) had a really good range of items. Everything I looked for, I found!


A great start to the trip – and the money saving – but how will we fare further down the line??!

£5 flights to gothenburg

I know I say this all the time but I genuinely wasn’t planning to go away but when I stumbled across some £5 flights to Gothenburg (cheers Ryanair), I simply could not resist!

That and James had NEVER been to Scandinavia before so we basically HAD to go. Right?!

Now, all things Scandi are known for being chic and… Well, bloody expensive. But the good news is that Gothenburg is probably one of the cheapest places you can visit if you want to get your Nordic on.

Finding your own £5 flights is super simple – watch from 1 min 39 secs to find out how!