Taking time away from work can be a challenge, so many of us just let the time slip away. A recent study by Croner house found that a staggering 33% of Brits don’t use their yearly holiday allowance.1 Whether it be from fear or guilt, there is a large segment of society that doesn’t take full advantage of their allocated free time. The fact is, you may even need a holiday away from the daily grind. Studies have shown that taking time away from work actually improves productivity once you return.1
Even if you find the time, who knows if it’s in the budget! While there are plenty of ways to enjoy your weekend on a limited budget with enough planning and saving, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take a long weekend to one of the many affordable destinations surrounding Great Britain. Once you find the time and the budget, take the holiday you deserve! Here are some of the trendiest and most affordable weekend getaways you can take to relax, reset and have some fun. First, here are a few tips to make any trip out of the United Kingdom affordable.
- The cost is plane and simple: While planes are the most convenient, they aren’t always the most affordable. Since you’re only gone for the weekend, choose short flights through budget airlines. Pack a single large suitcase for your entire party rather than taking individual carry-ons. The larger bag may seem more expensive, but budget airlines charge per carry-on, so depending on your party you could end up paying much more than what you would for a single large bag. If possible, wear your bulkiest clothes on the plane and pack a small backpack (the size of a personal item) instead and pay nothing additional!
- Don’t be hostile about hostels: You may think you’ve outgrown the hostel world (and depending on your age, you may have), but it is popular amongst young travelers for a reason. Hostels typically provide basic breakfasts to help kick off your day — that’s already one meal saved! You can always buy groceries (which can be a very enlightening and fun experience in a foreign country) and cook them at the hostel to save on other meals. If it’s your privacy you’re worried about, book a room. You get the space to yourself at a much steeper discount than a typical hotel.
- Make memories, not purchases: The easiest way to spend more than you planned is allowing yourself to slip into the tourist mentality. Don’t limit yourself to the popular areas where restaurants are overpriced and every corner is filled with trinkets to take home to loved ones — if you can’t resist those purchases, don’t go there at all! In 10 years, you’ll remember the fun climb to the top of a hill and the great pic you snapped of the skyline once you got there, not the coasters you eventually wore through and threw out years ago. Some of the best experiences you could have while travelling are tucked away outside the touristy areas — they are those special spots untouched by over commercialization.
When you think of France, you probably think of one of the most expensive destinations in Europe. If you skip over Paris, you’ll actually find several smaller towns that are vibrant with life but without the hefty price tag. Explore the coast in Brittany in the northwest area. You can take a walk along the dramatic coastline or travel back through time at the cutting-edge World War II museum, Mémorial de Caen.
Depending on when you go, flights to Marrakesh can be as low as £250 roundtrip. Once you’re there, wind your way through the markets for some cheap and tasty street food or relax in the sun at Cyber Park.
Split into two by the Danube river, Budapest is full of adventure, even when you’re short on quid. Take a free walking tour and hear the stories behind the great architecture, learn how Buda and Pest blended together, and much more.
North of Lisbon on Portugal’s northwestern coast you’ll find Porto, a beach city that’s filled to the brim with museums, old book stores, charming cafes and more. From the lodging to the food, you can get far on very little in this old medieval and romantic town.
1Real Business. (7 March 2018). Taking more holidays can actually improve your productivity. Retrieved 15 July 2018, from https://realbusiness.co.uk/hr-and-management/2017/09/11/taking-more-holidays-can-actually-improve-your-productivity/