It is not difficult to catch the travel bug. With cheaper flights and more access to a variety of airlines and even inter-city trains, you can be carted around the world in the blink of an eye! It is therefore not surprising that 78% of 25 to 45-year-olds answered yes when asked if they are planning to travel more over the coming year!
With various commitments such as work, property, family and pets, it can be less realistic to take a 2 week long holiday 4 times a year, even if you could afford it! For most of us, a weekend break is the perfect holiday that fits perfectly into our already jam packed schedules. Whether you are a weathered traveler or are looking to (literally!) dip your toe in the water, the worry of leaving a weekend break feeling unsasisfied is difficult to avoid. We are here to hold your hand through the various stages of your weekend break with various tips and tricks to ensure you have a weekend to remember!
Packing hand luggage will save you between 15 and 20 euros each way. In addition to this substantial saving, you will also skip the waiting process for hold luggage when you get to the other side so it really is win win. In terms of what goes inside your hand luggage, pack one jacket (something that you can dress up and down is perfect!) and one scarf because being chilly can ruin your break. Do not pack your heavy items in your hand lugguage and only pack one of everything. For example, pack one pair of sneakers and one pair of open shoes rather than two of each. We also recommend only taking one pair of jeans that can be transformed come night time and traveling in them.
One of the biggest, yet inevitable expenses are your flights. When booking your weekend break, as much as you may be waiting on that last-minute deal, the reality is that buying your tickets in advance is key to saving money. In addition, flying Friday- Sunday are the most expensive times to fly so it is best to try and get the Friday and/or Monday off work. Finally, when booking a city break it is cheapest to avoid the summer season. This will also help you slide into the holiday destination's culture as summer is renowned to be tourist season!
Apartments tend to be cheap in comparison to hotels. If you are traveling in a group for a birthday or a bachelorette party for example, apartments are great as they usually have more than one bedroom as well as a sofa bed meaning that you can split the cost and substantially reduce the cost of your break. What's more, you can save money by buying breakfast foods from the local market/ supermarket and cooking for yourselves before you start your day.
If an apartment is not for you then there is always a hostel. If the mere mention of a hostel sets your teeth on edge, think again! This does not necessarily mean grubby backpackers and wild teenagers as there are plenty of private rooms and comfortable dorms too so it is best to do some research! What's more, they are more social and you could even meet people that enhance your traveling experience.
If you are staying somewhere with cooking facilities, you should make the most of them and cook at least one meal a day. In addition, it is worth exploring before deciding where to eat. If you are known for being 'hangry' it is best to factor in a 20-minute browsing slot before making a final decision on where you will be eating. Restaurants that are tucked away on side streets are usually less expensive than those along main promenades or squares and if you are feeling brave you can even try somewhere without an English menu! Then you will really get a taste of the local cuisine and it will more likely be a fraction of the price!
If drinking is a big part of your holiday then this does not need to come at the expense of your budget. Why not buy beers or a nice bottle of wine to drink on your hostel balcony or apartment balcony before you hit the clubs?
If you have decided against changing your money before you arrive at your holiday destination then remember that ATM use abroad usually come at a cost so be sure to take out a was of cash at the beginning that will last you the whole trip. What's more, when asked at the ATM if you want to transfer the cost of the withdrawal into your home currency always say no. It costs more!
In order to reduce dithering time on deciding where to chill out or explore in the evening then apps such as Foursquare are a savior. Although it may be your least used app at home, abroad it will give you great options of the best places to visit and what's more, they are usually local recommendations! In addition, speaking to locals really can help you save time. Not only will you be able to get the lowdown on local events much quicker than trying to research things in a local language but they will always know the quickest and cheapest ways to get around the city.
Finally, spontaneity is one thing however if you only have a weekend to make the most of your break then finding the balance between asking locals and conduting previous research is key. It would be such a shame if you got sucked into tourist traps the entire time because you didn’t want to research the local gems.
The Bottom Line
Weekend breaks are what dreams are made of. A short stay in any city can leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized and sometimes even give you a different perspective on life! With so many cities becoming more and more accessible, traveling for a long weekend is an opportunity not to be missed. So, what are you waiting for? Keep our advice in mind and book that flight.
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