Hi everyone and welcome back to The Coveted Lifestyle!
After doing my “Places I Want To Visit” blog post a month ago and talking about lots of city breaks I decided that I wanted to do a blog post on how I plan my city breaks. I do love a city break and the 2 I’ve been on this year I’ve managed to do on a budget. I know a budget is different for everyone but for me, a budget is around £200. I really like hearing peoples tips about how they plan holidays and I hope I can pass on some of my tips I’ve learned.
A tip not really relating to flights or accommodation is the time of the year you go. I wouldn’t expect to book a city break for under £200 in the middle of the summer because that’s never gonna happen. I looked into city breaks in August and the cheapest I could find was £300, the 2 city breaks I’ve gone on this year have been in Off-Peak months (January and May) so they were cheaper in price. My Paris trip in January cost an overall £190 for my flights and Airbnb and my Copenhagen trip in May cost just over £200 so both very affordable in my eyes. Also, some cities are more affordable to go to than others so keep that in mind, for example, Copenhagen is really affordable to go to (flights can sometimes be as low as £20) whereas Rome is an expensive place to go to.
Whenever I look at flights for somewhere I always go on to Skyscanner and Kayak. Everyone probably knows what Skyscanner and Kayak are but I now really couldn’t look at flights anywhere else. My first top tip for looking at flights is to look at flights on a private window on your Safari, Chrome etc. I found out that if you look at flights on a normal window they save your search history and when you look again another time they actually increase the prices as they know you’re interested, very sneaky right.
What I also like about Skyscanner is that they have a map that you can see how much flights are (approx) all over the world. All I put in is the month I want to travel in and it tells me the prices of flights to different cities. The only thing about using the map is that you can’t put in how long your break will be or the exact dates you want so it can be annoying. It’s happened to me multiple times where I’ve clicked on a city and it says the flights are £50 but for the dates, I need the flights are actually £200.
Another tip I have is that once I’ve picked a destination and looked on Skyscanner at the prices and seen what airlines fly to the destination I always look on the airline’s official website. Sometimes the airline has sales on the flights and are cheaper on their website than on Skyscanner. I know I’ve looked at flights on Skyscanner and went onto the Ryanair website and it’s been cheaper as they’ve had a sale on. Also, I mentioned before that I also look on Kayak, well I’d recommend looking on Kayak as well as Skyscanner. When I booked to go to Paris the flights on Skyscanner were around £80, I went on Kayak and the same flights were only £50. It was the same when I booked my flights to New York too, Kayak sometimes has cheaper prices than Skyscanner.
I know this isn’t really very helpful but I only have 1 tip for booking accommodation for city breaks. I never book hotels when I go away, they are so expensive and you don’t usually get what you pay for. I always book Airbnb’s when I go away, always. Someone I work with really recommended them to me as her parents actually own their own Airbnb in Edinburgh. I’ve stayed in one in Paris, Copenhagen and London and I’ve only ever had the best experience. I rent out a whole apartment and it’s usually 10x cheaper than staying in a hotel. It’s also a lot more homely than staying in a hotel and there is a lot more freedom. If you aren’t a person who is happy to stay in a hostel (there is nothing wrong with hostels, not trying to bash hostels) then Airbnb’s are for you as some of them can be really nice for what you pay.
When I booked to go to London in July a hotel with 3 bedrooms so me, my mum and gran could all have a separate room would have cost around £900, and that was just a Travelodge. I found a really nice Airbnb in the centre of London (Russel Square) for £450, so £500 cheaper than a hotel. I also forgot to say that all the Airbnb’s I’ve stayed in have been in the centre of the cities, imagine staying in a hotel in the centre of Paris or Copenhagen, it would cost a bomb.
A tip for Airbnb picking is to look at all the reviews before deciding. I never go for Airbnb’s that don’t have any reviews or low rated reviews as I’m never too sure what I’m getting myself in for with them. I only ever choose Airbnb’s that have high rated reviews and reviews that are in depth so I know what the Airbnb’s like. When looking at Airbnb’s in London there was a nice looking one that was affordable but the reviews said that the stairs up the apartment can be dodgy and even someone said drug deals are notorious to happen there. I would never have known that if I didn’t look at the reviews so it’s better to be safe than sorry, you never want to worry about where you are staying.
And that is all my tips for booking flights and accommodation on a budget for a city break. Like I said I know everyone will think that £200 is expensive for a city break but for me, that’s a good price. I’d love to know any other tips for booking affordable city breaks or holidays as it’s always great to have tips, always better to save some money on the holiday and save it for the holiday shopping.