Whether you’ve just caught me on Channel 4’s ‘Holidays Secrets: Is Last Minute Best?‘ or have stumbled across me another way, let me take a moment to say hello, my name is Chelsea and I’m a bit obsessed with searching for cheap holidays.
First things first, make sure you’re following me on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for loads of cheap holiday tips.
I’ve got a new site in development at the moment so for now, let me show you a few posts that may help you save money on your next holiday.
You can also check out some discounts on your favourite brands here too!
I also do a weekly holiday hotline on Instagram where I ask you guys to submit your requests and then I go in search of the best deal for you.
You can check out the findings of my last hotlines here.
I also love capturing my own cheap holidays over on YouTube.
From now on, I’ll be selecting just one holiday query a week but I’ll be going IN on it, and covering all the bases.
If you want me to help you in the future, make sure you’re following me over on Instagram.
So, Amy’s been in touch, and here’s what she’s after.
End of March
Cherry blossom season
Flying from Manchester
As someone who visited Japan last year in cherry blossom season and booked it all pretty last minute – not advised, by the way – I know that this can be done!
Cherry blossom season is always super popular – with both tourists and the Japanese – and you can check out the best dates to visit the different areas here.
For 2020, Tokyo’s supposed to start flowering from 21 March and be in full bloom by 27 March.
But be aware that last year it came early and so it’s not quite an exact science!
I was so lucky as I found our flights for just £258 (ridiculous, I know!) and so the first hurdle is gonna be getting Amy to Tokyo on a budget…
Let’s do this.
So, as Amy wants the end of March, it does make things a bit pricier (it’s getting close to Easter!) so as a quick aside, if you can fly between Thurs 12th – Fri 27th March, you’ll pay £133 each less.
But anyway, onwards!
Tues 24th March to Tues 7th April Manchester to Tokyo Nippon Airways / Swiss Air £670 each
£670 may not seem a great price initially but actually, according to the stats on Google Flights, it’s not too shabby at all!
There is also a £469 flight on the 29th March yet the connections are a total horror show. But… I guess an option if you love flying and long layovers???!
What about other airports?
Alright, alright, I suppose I can help a few others out as well.
London – Tues 24 Mar – Tues 7th Apr – from £370 each
It does involves a long layover in Shanghai both ways but they do have a 72 hour visa pass for people in transit and there are plenty of hotels in and around the airport for that overnight layover on the way home!
There’s also this option with much shorter layovers for £433 each.
If you wanna fly direct, the best price is from Mon 16th for £780 but if you want to go later on like Amy, it’s going to set you back £979 each!
Edinburgh – Tues 24th Mar – Tues 7th Apr – £706 each
It does involve a 19 hour layover in Amsterdam on the way out but it’s timed really nicely for you to enjoy an evening there and get up with loads of time for your early afternoon flight.
Inverness – Tues 24th Mar – Tues 7th Apr – £630 each
Another long layover in Amsterdam on the way outbut again, a nice excuse for a quick trip there too!
Cardiff – Tues 24th Mar – Tues 7th Apr – £695 each
Once again! KLM with their Amsterdam breaks!
The hilarious thing is that if you were to fly direct from Amsterdam on all of these KLM flights it would cost MORE than any of these listed above. How does that even make sense?!
Normally I’d move onto accommodation but for exploring Japan, the rail pass is a very important component.
But first of all, what is it exactly?
The Japan Rail pass – also known as the JR Pass – is a special discounted ticket available for tourists. It offers unlimited travel on trains operated by Japan Railways Group and includes the high-speed service known as the Shinkansen, or the Bullet Train.
Can you find a discount? No. There aren’t any, so don’t waste your time looking for one (I did).
For a two week trip, I think 7 days feels too short and 14 feels too long but I think if you’re trying to save money, think about doing a stint in Tokyo either side of your travels (that’s what we did!) so you can go for the shorter pass.
However, I’m going put Amy down for the full whack – £319 each – just to cover all bases (and because I love to make life difficult for myself).
There’s no set website to buy your rail pass on – a load of third parties do this – but I can personally recommend Japan Travel Centre as they offer free delivery (they also offer free pick up if you’re in London which is what I did).
Top tip: You cannot reserve seats on most trains outside of the country so make sure you head to a travel centre when you arrive to get a seat! You’re travelling at peak times so it’s deffo worth doing this. More details are here.
I swear I’ll get to accommodation next but more important is to first work out where you want to go.
There are loads of great two week itineraries available online – one of my fave things to do is to look at a professional tour and then try to recreate it – but for the purpose of this challenge, I’ll be following this:
25th – 29th Mar / 4 nights / Tokyo 29th Mar – 1st Apr / 3 nights / Kyoto 1st Apr – 3rd April / 2 nights / Hiroshima 3rd April – 5th April / 2 nights / Osaka 5th – 6th April / 2 nights / Tokyo
This is loosely based on my own journey but do your own research and see what you fancy.
Here we go then! We finally made it!
As the flight arrives in a day later, we actually need to find 13 nights accommodation for this trip.
Given that the total for flights and a rail pass is already £931 each (jeez) this means we have £519 each left for places to stay.
That’s just £43.67 a night each.
Can we do it?
YES WE CAN!
Hold on a second…
Before we get into this, what I found was the best way to keep to budget in Japan was to change accommodation every couple of nights or so. This allowed us to explore new areas, work around a hotel’s busy calendar and also save money on some nights and splurge on others.
Due to this, I’d also recommend packing light. I actually only took my 45L Patagonia rucksack and James took a small wheelie case and a backpack. It made it so much easier.
Please be aware that Japanese rooms are MUCH smaller and if you’re staying in an Airbnb, it can feel pretty basic, but it’s a great insight into how many live in the city. Plus, make sure you check out some pod hotels because they are AMAZING/BIZARRE AF.
My top advice would be to get on trivago, enter your dates and just see what you can get for your money.
I’ve done some searching for you, but please do see the following places as a pick’n’mix selection!
Andon Ryokan – £84 a night / £42 each Pssst – make sure you’re signed in to Booking.com as the price can go down more!
Traditional Ryokan style (you sleep on fold out futons on the floor) but with a modern twist – and a cracking breakfast included too!
Bizarrely, the price is often cheaper for men than women on the same night. It can also fluctuate from night to night and as you have to fully check out in the morning, I’d only recommend this as a first night or last night in an area. But a great experience!
Check out when we stayed in this type of capsule in Kyoto here!
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!
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 😂
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… 🤣
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 🤣