Friday, 19 May 2017

Planning A City Break

 After writing a post on how to save money on city breaks, it's time to share my planning process for those breaks. As I've spoken about before, sometimes planning and preparing for an event can be just as exciting as the event itself which is why I love getting stuck in and planning my trip before I head off. Not only does it build excitement for when you go, it also means you get a lot more out of your travels too, and you can really plan to see the things you want to!

How can you get from A to B? Including, how do you get to the centre from the airport?

This is definitely something I like to consider before heading off to a new country, especially if I know I am going to be arriving late at night. There is nothing worse than landing somewhere new and not knowing how to get to where you want to go. This is also another way to save some money! You can research the best options and the cheapest too. For example, I saved probably $100 dollars in New York, all because we got the train to the city centre and not a taxi.

What do you want to see?

Before I head off somewhere new, I love to read up on the things I can see in that place. I usually get a travel guide but another place I love to look is other blogs. It's nice to read about a place from someone else's point of view, and you never know what tips you may find that a travel guide doesn't include. One of the benefits of reading a travel guide before I go, is that it helps me to understand the background of a place I am visiting. Often I wouldn't know what I know had I not read up before my visit.

Where do you want to eat?

Food is definitely high up on the list of reasons why I travel. Researching and planning a few places where I might like to eat before I go is something I always do. I've found some gems by doing this; for example Pizzarium in Rome. If you're also on a budget, having a little look at how much you are likely to be spending on food will be a huge help when it comes to working out how much money you need to take with you.

A little bit of History and culture!

At school, I always enjoyed history and part of the reason I go to new places is to learn a bit more about the history and culture of a place. This is why I love reading up on the cities before I go, so that I can know the basic history of a place and be able to put it into context when I finally arrive. I usually turn to either my Marco Polo, or Lonely planet guides for this one as I find they are detailed without being too much!

These are the things I do before every single trip to ensure that I make the most of my city breaks. Whilst it's good to have some spontaneity whilst you are exploring a new city, I always need to know the basics so I know that I will enjoy the trip and not stress about everything whilst I'm there. 

How do you plan for a city break?


Friday, 12 May 2017

Travel Expenses | Warsaw

 I recently tweeted about my bargain deal to Warsaw, Poland, and the response I got was pretty amazing. Some of the comments prompted me to write a blog post on how I got such a good deal. I'll admit that quite a lot of it was luck, but equally I do spend time researching my city breaks which really helps. If you want to know more about how I save money on city breaks in general, I wrote a post which you can find here.

If you are looking for a city break that won't break your bank, Warsaw is the city for you! 

The exchange rate we recieved was £1 to 4.72PLN.

Hotel - £74 each - Our hotel, the Sofitel Victoria Warsaw was an absolute gem. It was the first 5* we had stayed in, and it was pretty amazing. We had a swimming pool, and upon arrival we recieved a free upgrade! Whilst you could probably get cheaper in Warsaw, at this price we had to go for the 5* experience. As always, I used!

Flights - £69.34 each - You can't argue with this price for return flights. We flew with Ryanair into Warsaw Modlin airport. We had good flight times (early there, late back) so we could make the most of our trip! My favourite website for finding cheap flights is skyscanner.

Airport Transfers - £8.05 - Whilst I should have done a bit more research before going, the transport to and from the airport was easier than initially thought - and so cheap! It didn't take too long, and I always enjoy using public transport in a different country. So much more exciting than just "getting a cab"!

Food and Drink - £50.08 - this included four meals out, snacks whilst we were there and drinks including a beer on the first night which is definitely very affordable!

Souvenirs - £3.81 - whilst we didn't buy much, I got some sweets for work, and a couple of gifts for my grandparents and parents! This is definitely much more reasonable than most other European cities I have visited.

Tourist Attractions - £1.06 - we spent so little on tourist attractions because we only had to pay to go up a tower in the old town. The Warsaw Uprising museum was free on Sundays, and obviously wandering the streets was free too! If there is something I want to see, I will always look to see if they offer a day for free/a discount so I can keep my travels affordable.

We had a lovely stay in Warsaw, and I'd definitely recommend the city if you are on a budget. You really can't complain about a long weekend in a different country costing you less than £210 - in fact, it cost me just over £206. There's enough to see, without you worrying about not being able to fit everything in. It really was the perfect weekend away!

Have you ever been to Warsaw? Did you find it as affordable as I did?


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

April In Numbers

April has been a very fast, and very busy month! I've been super busy at work, which has been making the weeks absolutely fly past. I ended the month with a city break to Warsaw which I have been looking forward to since booking it at the start of the year! Whilst the end of the month wasn't much to shout about weather wise, we have seen a bit more sunshine which has been gorgeous. Who doesn't love sitting out in the sunshine?

2 meals out with the grandparents - I am incredibly lucky to have, and be very close to, all four of my lovely grandparents. I've enjoyed catching up with them in April!

1 new car - After a year and a half of my little Nissan Micra, it was time for a bit of an update. I treated myself to a Mini One and I have a working radio, air con and cup holders! It's been a great change.

books read. I read half of two books, and four fulls books in April. I read 'The Storyteller' by Jodi Picoult, and whilst it was terribly sad, I'd really recommend it. Reading is one of the things I adore doing so it's nice to have been able to read loads of books!

2 weekends away with my first being a trip back to Canterbury to visit my friend Mary. I always love going back and we had such a fun weekend! Then we headed to Warsaw which was amazing. Watch this space - there'll be a post coming soon!

10 posts on instagram. After a day of blogging with Mapped Out Blog, I had loads of stock images for my instagram and I'm pretty pleased with how they have turned out. I need to have more days like this!

How has April been for you? What have you been up to?

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