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
- 3-5 nights
- 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.
However, the best prices for direct are – you guessed it – from London.
3 night trips
London to Ljubljana
Fri 16th Aug – Mon 19th Aug
London to Ljubljana
Sun 14th July – Weds 17th July
4 night trips
London to Ljubljana
Mon 15th July – Fri 19th July
Top tip: Skyscanner has a great calendar view that normally shows really easily the cost of a return flight, HOWEVER, it was not playing ball with this combination and kept showing up blank dates.
Therefore, I headed over to Google Flights instead which was much clearer in its prices.
For Will’s query, I’m going to go for the 3 night trip between Sun 14th July – Weds 17th July for £98.
Let’s crack on with the accommodation!
First of all, let’s take a look at a central apartment.
With Airbnb, the average entire home is coming in around £103 but I’ve found this cute and well rated studio for just £73 a night.
If he fancies something lighter, brighter and with a balcony, I also found this home for £85 a night.
£255 total for 3 nights
(you can get £25 off here if you haven’t used Airbnb before!)
There’s also two separate beds should he be travelling with someone he’d rather not share a bed with 😂
Lastly, let’s have a quick look at hotels.
As always, I recommend hopping over to trivago and using the filters to help narrow down your results. For this, I’m selecting 3 star+, a guest rating of 7.5+ and near the city centre.
Quickly I found the 4 star Grand Hotel Union which is super central, extremely well rated and £97 a night including free breakfast.
Grand Hotel Union
£291 total for 3 nights
Another great find is this 4 star hotel that’s just £78 a night and even includes breakfast.
£234 for 3 nights
However, if Will’s wanting to keep the budget small, there’s also this super affordable option which is just 850 yards from the old town, is very well rated and is just £53.33 a night.
AURA Guesthouse Ljubljana
£160 for 3 nights
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:
- Mini moon
- Beautiful views
- Nice food
I’ve been lusting after this hotel for AGES so please Joanne, go live out my dreams for me!!
Gillham Vineyard Hotel
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
- 3-7 days
- 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???)
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
Queen room with sofa bed
£43 a night
Hampton By Hilton
Family room with free breakfast
£50 a night
Holiday Inn Express Stafford
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!
Normandy housesit with pool – 20th July – 27th July
Parisian apartment – 25th July to 5th Aug
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
- One night
- Easy to get to from London
- Cosy to chill in
- Super cheap!
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:
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.
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:
Airbnb – Private Room
£35 a night
Airbnb – Private guesthouse
£58 a night
THE REQUEST: Edinburgh to Tokyo trip in April 2020
- Edinburgh to Tokyo
- April 2020
- 1 week
Whilst I’ve ran out of time to plan Liam’s whole trip for him, I can recommend staying at The Millennials pod hotel. IT’S AMAZING!
I did a full review with pictures about my stay in their Kyoto hotel and it was just such a good experience.
The Millennials Shibuya
Upcoming rates from £45 a night
You can also watch how our stay went down for yourself!
REQUEST: Hot summer holiday from Dublin
Viv has asked for:
- Dublin to anywhere cheap af
- Flight out Weds
- July or Aug
- Warm please
Here’s some flights that might help you on your way, Viv. Lisbon is one of my FAVOURITE cities and it’s really affordable, especially for a capital.
The same goes for Madrid – check out last week’s hotline where I spoke about this more in full!
Palma in Majorca is more of the ‘touristy’ vibe you may be after and if you find yourself your own villa, you could save so much money on food and drink across the week.
Dublin to Lisbon
Dublin to Lisbon
Dublin to Lisbon
Dublin to Madrid
Dublin to Palma
REQUEST: Seville rental for group stay
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
- Kitsch vibe
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!
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:
London – Lisbon
Thurs 8th Aug – Sun 11th Aug
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:
- Compare costs on Skyscanner
- 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 🤣