Cheap city breaks

Cheap flights are no longer few and far between. Every few weeks, Ryanair or Aer Lingus seem to come out with a flash seat sale that lasts about thirty seconds. You can go to places like London, Amsterdam, or Paris for as little as €9.99 each way. While that may seem like an incredible deal, it’s easy to forget that there are other costs involved with travel besides the flight. Just because you got the flights for next to nothing doesn’t guarantee your accommodation, food, public transport will be as cheap. Look into all of these aspects before making any quick booking decisions to ensure you don’t end up spending a fortune because you wanted to save some money on your flight.

First of all, try and avoid tourist areas as much as possible. The food and drinks are always overpriced. You could have to pay admission into wherever you’re visiting. Instead, search for free things to do in your chosen destination. Visit local parks, museums, beaches – anything that will keep your bank account from shedding a tear. All the fun with minimal cost.

Accommodation is often the biggest cause of a seemingly cheap holiday being sneakily expensive. While hostels are the obvious choice for the lowest cost place to stay, Airbnb is another option to consider. While the idea of staying in somebody else’s home might be a bit weird it can be very inexpensive. You also often have access to cooking facilities which will save you money on dining out as well.

When you do venture out on a culinary adventure, use Tripadvisor to get the best price for restaurants. Try to avoid restaurants right on the main city streets of wherever you visit and instead go off the beaten track to discover some amazing places to eat that will also save you some valuable money to spend on tacky souvenirs.

Another big cost is transportation. Tourists can easily be fooled into paying more money than they need to in a foreign country, especially when a language barrier exists. Use public buses or trains whenever possible and try to book your tickets online to save money. However, make sure you check what time public transportation ends for the night. You don’t want to end up paying €100 for a taxi after you end up stranded outside the Eiffel tower at 2am because you were distracted by the pretty lights.

It might sound boring, but if you really need to save some cash then do your research before booking a ‘cheap’ holiday. Don’t be fooled by cheap seat sales and make sure you’re getting the best price for everything.  As important as saving some money is, don’t let it be the sole focus of your holiday either. Remember to relax as you take a sip of that sweet, sweet free tap water.

Orla Dwyer 

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