If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll know that as a poor and lowly student I have to travel on a budget. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t go on holidays, it just means that we carefully plan and shop around to get the best deals… and that I save up rather than going out or buying clothes!
Last year Josh and I went on a group holiday to Dublin with two of our close friends, Lora and Leeann.We had a great time and packed it full of things to do on the cheap. You can read more about where we stayed and what we did on that trip here.
We also we went to Manchester for a few days for our anniversary last September and had a really great time having our own little adventures together. You can read about them here.
So we’ve been thinking about where we want to go this year already because it’s rainy and everyone’s skint at this time of year and looking at holidays and other places is quite frankly a good way to cheer yourself up, whether or not you actually end up going! While there’s no finalised plans yet, I thought I’d give a run down of my most-wanted destinations and what we’d do if we end up going there in 2016. As much as there’s some amazing global places, I’ve narrowed it down to those in Europe here because of the cost… but one day, the world!
There’s no need for me to list the reasons that I want to visit Amsterdam. Its quirky, vibrant scenes are something not to be missed and a few of my friends have already been. This is shaping up to be our group holiday for the August bank holiday with Leeann and Lora this year and as Lee’s been before, she can show us where to go. I am going to want to squeeze a couple of my own things in there though, including the Anne Frank House, the hofjes, the Alkmaar cheese market and the Munttoren for starters.
I’m leaving the transport and accommodation to Leeann too. The little travel bug that she is, she’s picked up a few hints and tips about how to get the best deals as she proved with our Dublin stay. We have discussed using AirBnB to find somewhere to stay but the girls want to opt for a house boat like this one and I’m petrified of water!
Despite having studied French for bloody ages, I’ve only been to France properly once and that was for Hellfest. Not a lot of speaking and listening practice at a metal festival, I can tell you that!
I want my first visit to Paris to be with Josh and not just for the romance but because he’s as big of a culture nerd as I am and I just know we’d have a great time doing all the cool things. Top of my list are all of the usual suspects of course: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Notre Dame… but I have also bookmarked the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Garden, Deyrolle, Musée des Arts et Metiers, Rue Crémieux and a few others that I’m keeping a secret…
I’d like to go in near September for our anniversary and get the eurostar from London, then perhaps stay in a quaint bed and breakfast just outside of the city. We don’t really spend much on transport once we’re there usually, I’ll be happy to walk into the centre during the day.
So I’m pretty crap with history but I know that Prague has a rich and vibrant story and that there’s some incredible things to see and do there. Whoever I went with would have to understand that I’d want to go to the Jewish Museum and see the Astronomical Clock, but I’d also want to pay a visit to the John Lennon Wall and walk across the Charles Bridge.
Being sneaky on SkyScanner using incognito mode (it keeps the flights cheap) I found that we can get there in two hours from a London airport for just £80 each way if we were to go around October time, but then of course we have to factor in the cost and time of travelling up to London. I think because of the language barrier we’d need a very tourist-friendly and central hotel but again I’d consider using AirBnB to ‘borrow’ our own self-catered accommodation.
I have wanted to go to Florence ever since we did our Renaissance module back in the first year. Everyone who had been there was amazed by the beautiful art and architecture and told me that I had to go when I got the chance. Again I think this would be something that Josh and I should do together on our own as it will be an enriching experience.
I’m most interested in going to the Duomo, the Piazza della Signoria and admiring views atop the Ponte Vecchio but the liberal arts loser inside me would have to go and see the greats at la Basilica di Santa Croce and the Galleria degli Uffizi too!
Using Skyscanner again, I found that we could go for a long weekend in June flying from London for only £120 each way. This is dirt cheap for two people but… there’s a catch. The journey would involve a couple of hours stopover in Rome, both ways. Perhaps this trip would be best planned well in advance and we could combine it with a couple of nights in Rome? This one requires more research.
I’ve also got a good grip on the German language but I’ve never actually been to Germany! It’s ridiculous, I know. I’d be happy to go to Berlin in a group or even just with one close friend and I’d want to take a trip to see some of the various historic Memorials and the Brandenburg Gate, maybe have a picnic in Viktoriapark and take a wander round Alexanderplatz to name but a few things.
Much like Prague, I can fly from London to Berlin in a couple of hours. Even in July, I’m getting quotes for about £75 per person per flight. Annoyingly though, I can’t return to the same airport that I departed from. This would make getting transport back home to Bournemouth a bit more complicated.
I will add that I wouldn’t mind paying a little more for a ‘luxury’ hotel if we went to Berlin, as there’s so many beautiful ones to choose from.
It was Rosie’s travel diary post on her blog about her stay in Copenhagen that first sparked my interest in going there. Her photos really captured some beautiful sights of the city and they did some great things on a budget so I fancy a go too!
First stop would probably be the Torvehallerne Food Market then a look at the magical Tivoli Gardens and of course, a visit to the Little Mermaid Statue. I’m also quite interested in checking out the Amalienborg Palace, The Round Tower and the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art while we’re there.
Gatwick to Copenhagen in early November was coming up at about £60 per person each way and less than a two-hour flight which is great! I would want to stay in an AirBnB apartment like Rosie did because there are so many cute ones to choose from there and we’d get our own privacy.
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Are you already planning holidays for 2016?
Have you been to any of these places? Do you have recommendations for us?
Let me know and leave me links in the comments below.