Shop with any retailer on Quidco and spend £10 or more before 31st March 2020
Earn cashback on your purchases for just being a Quidco member
Receive a £10 cashback bonus from Quidco
Withdraw your cashback to your bank, PayPal or as vouchers
You can find the full terms and conditions and a load of helpful pointers here.
How I used Quidco to save £45 on this amazing Greek villa
I signed up on the original offer myself and earned a £25 bonus by booking this UNREALprivate villa on the island of Paros in Greece.
It should have been £367 for 4 nights but because I’ll earn £19.18 in cashback and then get an extra £25 on top of it, it works out at just £80.55 a night!
Watch how I found and booked this amazing place – thanks in large part to throwing a dart at a map of Europe whilst blindfolded…
If you’re new to Quidco, and cashback in general, here’s what you need to know.
What is cashback?
Cashback is the money you can get back on your purchases as a reward when you are a member of a cashback site and buy online using their partners.
What is Quidco?
Quidco are the UK’s #1 cashback and voucher site and they have over 4,500 retailers on their website that their members can earn cashback from.
Is this just for UK residents?
Yes, you must be a resident of the UK to register for a Quidco account.
Do I have to pay to sign up?
No, Quidco earns money from sponsored advertising paid by their retailers and they also have a Premium membership. There is a free membership as well.
How much money can I earn?
It all depends on how much you buy but on average, active members earn £280 a year.
How do I sign up?
Visit Quidco, enter your email and a password, select what options you want and then click ‘Join for free!’
How do I get cashback?
Select which retailer you want on the Quidco website and click the relevant links to start shopping. Quidco will track your visit and your purchases.
How do I know that Quidco has tracked by purchase?
Once you’ve made a purchase, Quidco will track the amount of cashback you’re due and send you a confirmation email. It will also show as ‘Tracked’ on your personalised homepage.
How do I get paid?
Once the retailer confirms your purchase, your cashback will be paid into your Quidco account. From there you can transfer it to your bank account, Paypal account or have it paid as an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card.
How often will this get paid?
Payments are made on request.
How long will it take for me to get cashback on my purchases?
This varies so check the ‘Retailer Stats’ given on the retailer’s page.
How can I make sure that my purchases will get tracked?
Clearing your browsing data can help. You can follow Quidco’s advice on this here.
My purchase hasn’t tracked, what should I do?
You can raise a claim by clicking on ‘Missing Cashback Claim’ in Support.
How do I get a £20 bonus?
Quidco are currently running an offer where if you are a new user who signs up via this link and spends £100 or more on travel before 31st March 2020, you will receive an additional £20 on top of the cashback you earn.
Can I spend £100 across multiple retailers?
At present, this needs to be purchased through one retailer.
I’ve got the £20 bonus – can my partner sign up too?
They can as long as you don’t live at the same address. You can only claim one bonus per household.
For any additional help, pleae visit the Quidco support pages.
A big thanks to Quidco for supporting small creators, like me, and giving us all a chance to save some more money on travel this January.
Remember to come and follow me over on Instagram for more holiday hotlines and a chance for your request to get answered for free!
And if you want to support what I do, come and check out my Patreon for extra perks like hotel upgrade templates and holiday itinerary planners!
Top tips for cheap summer holidays
Book your flights sooner rather than later
Long gone are the days when you could rock up to the airport on the day and ask for a cheap flight. The stats show that flights costs almost always go up in the last week before travel – and that’s before even taking into account travelling at peak times.
The fact is that the summer holidays are always going to be popular travel times and so waiting for the price to drop is always going to be a tricky game.
My advice is if the price is an ‘typical to lower’ than the average cost, then book knowing that you will have spent less than more than half of the people on your flight.
You can find this out by popping your flights into Google Flights, selecting them and looking out for their helpful price bar (though remember to check the flights on Skyscanner too as they can often be even cheaper!).
Hopper is also a good app that uses stats to predict whether it’s the right time to book.
Book a hotel with a good cancellation policy and then check for last minute deals
The good news is that it is still possible to score a last minute deal when it comes to your accommodation – hotels do not like leaving rooms empty and so last minute price slashes are known even in peak times.
However, there is an element of risk here and so a good way to get around that is to book a hotel with a good cancellation policy early. Some hotels will offer this as standard.
Then, closer to your holiday you can scour to check for last minute bargains and cancel your original booking if you find a deal.
Book a holiday rental insteadof a hotel
Whether it’s an apartment or villa with pool, the great thing about a holiday rental is how much money you can save by buying food, drinks and snacks for the duration of your stay!
If you want an Airbnb or villa, book early
Whilst many owners do higher their costs for peak times, some just have a basic rate that runs across the whole year. However, to find these cheap deals you’re going to have to get in and book early before someone else does.
And remember, if you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get £25 off your first booking here!
If you want an Airbnb or villa and have left it late, get ready to haggle!
Similar to hotels, Airbnb hosts don’t want their place going empty so put an offer in instead!.
Read my full guide on how to haggle on Airbnb here – there’s even a template email to send!
Booking a package holiday? Do it yourself for less!
One of my favourite things to do is to use package holiday sites as a springboard for my own searching. If they’re advertising a mega deal, before you hit ‘click’, have a search for the flights on Skyscanner and accommodation on Trivago to see if you could do it cheaper – often you can!
What I also like about this is that it’s a simple way to discover cheaper flights to popular destinations and then you could always swap out their chosen hotel for something more you, or perhaps even a villa or an apartment.
Do bear in mind that if you’re booking your flight and accommodation separately you will not get the ATOL or ABTA insurance offered by most package holiday companies so make sure you’ve got travel insurance and buy on a credit card or a visa debit card for added payment protection on purchases over £100. Read up on more ways to protect yourself here.
House sit for free accommodation
Did you know that you can bag free accommodation by looking after someone’s house, watering their plants or even feeding their pets? I’ve done it twice and it is amazing.
There’s also a list of alternative ways to whittle down that price at the end too.
Get £25 off by booking with cashback
This isn’t supposed to be part of the work I’ve been recently doing with Quidco but I thought I would highlight here that you can get a £25 bonus plus cashback by signing up to Quidco and spending £250 on travel before 9th Feb 2020 by using this link.
Visit a non traditional summer holiday destination
Yes, I’m sure you’d to relax at the beach but if you’re really after a great value holiday, I’d recommend heading inland or to a city. As there’s less demand for these destinations, you could end up finding a much better deal and just because it’s not by the sea doesn’t mean you can’t score yourself a hotel with a pool!
Fly inland and travel to the coast another way
If you’re really gagging for that beach holiday try flying inland instead – big capital cities that aren’t on the coast are normally a good shout as there’s lots of flights going there – and then look at either taking the train or driving to the coast.
Whilst not a beach destination, we once took a 2 hour train in Italy to get between Rome and Perugia and it cost just £10 each and was a lush way to travel (though that may have something to do with the bottle of prosecco we took on board…)
The great thing about summer holidays is that it’s warm and you really don’t need to pack much. Make a clothes plan before you go away and stick to it. Use a big fabric backpack (this is what I use) that you’ll be able to use for flights with even the crappest allowances. If travelling in a group, book a suitcase between you for liquids if you really need them or order your liquids through click and collect at a Boots after security. Yep, THIS IS A THING!
I used to pack LOADS but now I love going travelling light – give it ago on your next holiday!
Not sure where you’re going to go? Use clever search enginetools
When you just want to get away, there are loads of search engine hacks that can help you spot a cheaper fare.
My favourite is the Ryanair fare finder which allows you to select date ranges. DREAMY.
WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE ELSE DO THIS??!!
Other search engines have great tools but a lot of them clump your searches into month blocks. This can be really helpful for August, but not in July when you only want to search for school holiday dates and the cheapest prices will obviously be those outside of that.
Here’s one way you can kind of hack your way around it – though it’s a bit long winded!
Kayak let’s you search for ‘anywhere’ and they also allow you state the duration of your trip – LOVE IT as it allows flexibility.
They also make out that you can search for 4 weeks around your selected date but it’s a lie mate.
Once you click search it forgets that date and then you can only select a whole month to search.
WHY ARE YOU TEASING US KAYAK?!!
However, I did find this helpful…
Once you’ve selected a destination, look to the right as this graph does allow you to toggle through the trip duration and you can spot where the cheaper prices will lie.
But then again, if you know what destination you want, you’ll also get this from the banging calendar view on Google Flights!
Google Flights also have a clever search tool that allows you to search for weekends, weeks and two week return flights in a certain month (though annoyingly we’re note quite at the summer holidays yet!).
On the homepage, leave your destination blank, click search, and then click into the dates and toggle over to ‘flexible dates’.
And as always, check your flights on Skyscanner before you book.
Skyscanner also allow you to search for ‘everywhere’ in a certain month but I’d like to see some more options from these guys in the future!
This week’s holiday hotline is a culmination of a few people asking for cheap summer holidays so I’m going to show you some of the deals I’ve rustled up for couples, families and groups of mates.
Remember, if you want to be involved with the next holiday hotline, make sure you’re following me over on Instagram.
Cheap summer flights from all over the UK
Before I give you some solid holiday options, here’s some cheap flights from all over the UK that might intrigue you but remember – check the accommodation prices before you hit buy on those cheap flights!
Berlin, Germany – 5 nights – Weds 19th Aug – Mon 24th Aug – £58 each Ibiza, Spain – 4/5 nights – Sat 8th Aug – Thu 13th Aug – £60 each Nice, France – 7 nights – Tues 28th July – Tues 4th Aug – £67 each Budapest, Hungary – 7 nights – Tues 18th Aug – Tues 25th Aug – £86 each Seville, Spain – 7 nights – Thurs 6th Aug – Tues 11th Aug – £86 each Porto, Portugal – 5 nights – Sun 26th July – Fri 31st July – £102 each Luqa, Malta – 9 nights – Tues 21st July – Thu 30th July – £106 each Faro, Portugal – 7 nights – Tues 28th July – Tues 4th Aug – £115 each
Copenhagen, Denmark – 5 nights – Wed 22nd July – Mon 27th July – £41 each Amsterdam, Netherlands – 5 nights – Wed 12th Aug – Mon 17th Aug – £48 each Prague, Czechia – 7 nights – Thu 6th Aug – Thu 13th Aug – £80 each Lisbon, Portugal – 7 nights – Thu 20th Aug – Thu 27th Aug – £107 each Barcelona, Spain – 5 nights – Sat 15th Aug – Thu 20th Aug – £110 each Luqa, Malta – 7 nights – Wed 12th Aug – Thu 20th Aug –£130 each Malaga, Spain – 8 nights – Wed 12th Aug – Thu 20th Aug – £136 each
Dublin, Ireland – 7 nights – Wed 5th Aug – Wed 12th Aug – £58 each Paris, France – 5 nights – Fri 7th Aug – Wed 12 July – £112 each Malaga, Spain – 7 nights – Wed 22nd July – Wed 29th July – £118 each
Milan, Italy – 7 nights – Sun 16th Aug – Sun 23rd Aug – £75 each Munich, Germany – 7 nights – Mon 3rd Aug – Mon 10th Aug – £76 each Girona, Spain – 7 nights– Sun 16th Aug – Sun 23rd Aug – £97 each Faro, Portugal – 12 nights – Sun 23rd Aug – Weds 2nd Sep – £105 each Dubrovnik, Croatia – 7 nights – Thu 13th Aug – Thu 20th Aug – £114 each
Amsterdam, Netherlands – 7 nights – Sun 9th Aug – Sun 16th Aug – £73 each Luqa, Malta – 7 nights – Tues 25th Aug – Tue 1st Sep – £75 each Krakow, Poland – 7 nights – Thu 13th Aug – Thu 20th Aug – £124 each Venice, Italy – 7 nights – Mon 27th July – Mon 3rd Aug – £156 each
Dublin, Ireland – 7 nights – Sun 26th July – Sun 2nd Aug – £44 each Amsterdam, Netherlands – 5 nights – Sat 25th July – Thu 30th July – £94 each Limoges, France – 7 nights – Thu 23rd July – Thu 30th July – £112 each Pisa, Italy – 7 nights – Fri 14th Aug – Fri 21st Aug – £118 each
Hopefully that will give you some ideas but let’s put a few of them into motion to show what cheap accommodation you could find as well.
Cheap summer holidays for couples
Berlin is a great example of non-traditional summer holiday destination that’s a lot of fun in the warmer months.
James and I went last August and had the best time zipping about the city of e-scooters, drinking bottles of beer out in the sunshine and even travelling out to one of the many lakes Berlin brags on its outskirts.
What’s more, there are loads of great 4 star hotels available for around £60 a night – even in the summer – though do check whether there will be aircon. Ours didn’t have any initially and it was SO WARM!
London to Berlin, Germany Weds 19th Aug – Mon 24th Aug £57 each
What’s more, if you book with Quidco you can earn 8.4% cashback if you book with a credit card, as well as qualifying for the bonus £25 back if you sign up with this link.
Without cashback – £204.50 each for 5 nights With cashback and bonus – £179.61 each for 5 nights
Cheap summer holidays for families
So, I’m going to show you hear how you can use package holiday sites to find a good deal but then book it yourself to save even more money.
Here’s a week long holiday to Mazagón, a beach town in Andalusia, Spain. The Mazagon hotel has a kids club, entertainment and a pretty bad ass pool (hello pirate ship and slides) and the price per night includes half board which should help keep your daily costs down.
I found this deal on loveholidays which is great website to use if you’re a fan of package holidays as I love the fact you can select multiple departure airports – for this I selected ‘Any North West’ – and that you can select a date but then add up to 5 days flexibility either side.
However, let’s take these details and break it down.
The total cost for a family of four comes in at £1460 – that’s £104 cheaper than booking it as a package.
That works out at £365 each.
Again, check out the cashback deal I’ve got running at the moment to earn a bonus £25 plus cashback on the hotel, meaning you’d save £117 pounds bringing the overall total in at £335.75 each.
It is worth noting that booking your holiday as a package can mean you can put down a small deposit (though in this case, LogiTravel also allow you to put down a small deposit for just your hotel) and that you won’t get the same insurance that comes with booking parts of your holiday together.
However, there are some straight forward ways to cover yourself – including buying on a credit or visa debit card and making sure your travel insurance covers insolvency.
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 😂
This time, it was all about looking ahead to September for some great value weekend breaks.
For most of these deals, I’ve used a website called Cheeky Weekend which has been a REVELATION to me as someone who loves a trip that only takes up a single day of annual leave. But I’ll talk more about that at the end.
London Stansted to Gothenburg Fri 27th Sep – Sun 29th Sep Ryanair £38
Gothenburg is Sweden’s second city, and a brilliant way to experience a bit of Scandi bliss without having to fork out an arm and a leg (we’re looking at you, Norway).
Average September temperature – 17 degrees
Pint of beer – £5.79
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £55.70
Having been for a weekend break this year myself, I’d put the prices just a tad more expensive than London but there are plenty of options to choose from if you’re wanting to stick to a budget.
Airbnb 2 nights £109.50 each (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
This gorgeous Airbnb is close to the hip area of Haga which is full of cool bars, restaurants and shops. Plus, it has a cute balcony! Winner.
Total = £147.50 per person
Check out what I got up to on my weekend trip to Gothenburg back in January!
FROM MANCHESTER AND EDINBURGH
Manchester to Brussels South Charleroi Fri 27th Sep – Mon 30th Sep Ryanair £30
You can also depart at 0750 on the Friday for just £42 return, or from Edinburgh between Thurs 19th – Mon 22nd Sep for just £39 return as well.
Now look. This isn’t Brussel’s main airport but if you don’t fancy stumping up £133 for a return to its International hub, then this is the one for you. There’s a shuttle bus that departs every half hour that costs £13 each way, and takes an hour to get into the city, and there’s even more cost effective options if you wanted to head straight to Bruges or Ghent.
Oh, that was a spoiler for what I’ve got planned…
Whilst Brussels may not be the sexiest of destinations, the great thing about it is its quick and easy connections to other parts of the country, and so why not make this a tri-city break and hit up the picturesque cities of Ghent and Bruges as well?
Average August temperature – 20 degrees
Pint of beer – £3.75
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £56.22
Airbnb 3 nights £59.50 each (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
If you want to keep the price down once you’re actually there, then I definitely recommend taking a look into Poland.
Total = £119.50 each
FROM DONCASTER SHEFFIELD
Doncaster Sheffiled to Vilnius Fri 20th Sep – Mon 23rd Sep Wizzair £61
Lithuania’s capital is becoming a really exciting destination. Whilst it may be compact, it has the largest medieval old town in central and eastern Europe. Expect fairytale style buildings and a bustling cafe culture.
Plus, it’s pretty damn cheap.
Average September temperature – 17 degrees
Pint of beer – £2.81
Three course meal for 2 at mid range restaurant – £32.80
Airbnb 3 nights Self check in (good for that early morning arrival!) £67 each (you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
Total = £128 each
How to find your own weekend bargains
As I mentioned, a few of these deals were found using a new website called Cheeky Weekend that’s been set up by two travel mad mates. I’m a big fan of supporting new startups and this is such an easy way to discover what weekend getaways are available in your price range.
The site currently works for departures from London, Belfast, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh and Manchester (there’s more to come!) and my favourite things is that you can set what time you’re able to sneak away from work at on a Friday.
The lads have a totally free version of the site available if you’re looking to getaway in the next 4 weeks.
There is a subscription fee (around £2 a month) if you’d like to unlock trips up to the next 6 months, but my recommendation would be to see how you fare with the free site first.
If you do want to sign up, you can get a 25% off your membership by using the code HOWMANYHOLIDAYS (I emailed Dave the CEO asking if he could give us a discount – CHEEKY). Since Dave’s a right gem, he’s set it up so that I will get a little kickback from this, but again, give the free site a go first before commiting to spend any money.
WE GOTTA KEEP IT SAVVY, GUYS.
If you want more cheap travel tips, give us a follow on Instagram or check out my YouTube.
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 🤣