Sunday, 14 June 2015

Tips For Booking A City Break


City breaks are one of my favourite things to spend my money on and Karl and I have been on and have booked our fair share in the past year. We've been to London, Paris, Edinburgh and Rome in the past year and have trips to Chester, York and Amsterdam coming up in the next month too so it's definitely fair to say we love a good city! When booking our first one together we did find it a bit overwhelming so I just thought I'd write a little post including my top tips when you're about to book your city break, whether it's abroad or in the UK!


1. Make sure your hotel is central. For us this has been absolutely key in all of our city breaks. Granted, you will pay more for less if you book really central but for me I would rather that. While only one or two of our city hotels have been "fancy", the others have been very basic but clean and I think that's perfect for a city break. You spend hardly any time in the room at all so for me compromising the facilities for a central hotel is no problem. If you have a central hotel, you'll probably be within walking distance of most things, saving money on transport costs and it also means if you get lost you'll be able to easily find your way back. For example our hotel in Rome was right next to the Colosseum so we always knew where to go on our way back and in Paris it was next to the Eiffel Tower. It just makes your trip a whole lot easier!

2. Do your research. Trip Advisor is absolutely essential when booking not only these kinds of trips, but any trip at all. I always read the Trip Advisor reviews because I just couldn't stay in a hotel that was unclean. Also I'd advise to do your research about the city itself before you travel. In Rome, you can't sit down in most cafes (or bars as they are called there) without being charged triple or more for your drinks and food. We knew about this before we went so knew to head over to the restaurants rather than cafes if we wanted a seat!


3. Plan your whole trip. Because you'll probably only have three or four days in the city you'll want to make sure that you use your time wisely. Work out exactly what you want to see and on what day before you go to make the most of your time. However I would be wary about booking things online as they can take your eyes out! When we looked at booking things like the Vatican and the Colosseum in advance when we went to Rome, the companies online charged an absolute fortune in comparison to what you pay while you're there so make sure you find out the price differences so you don't get ripped off. It can help you save money though as Disneyland Paris was cheaper if you booked in advance, linking back to my previous point about doing your research!

4. Take a map. After all of our city breaks we've only just learned our lesson with this. Cities can be very, very confusing and we've been lost almost every single time trying to find our hotel. In Paris, we wandered around for about an hour trying to follow our google maps screenshot to what it said was our hotel and actually ended up outside a boarded up builing (I wish you could have seen Karl shouting that he was going to sue Thomas Cook if they'd booked us into a closed down hotel!!). The same happened in Rome and we spent over two hours walking up and down the winding streets in the pouring rain to find that we had walked past the hotel three times because the door was so small. Not really how you want to spend your first few hours!

5. Pack for all weathers. City weather can be very unpredictable so it's essential that you take versatile pieces so that you can pack light and still be prepared for rain or shine. I always take a jumper with me and a light jacket so that if need be I can layer up and every trip I've been on I have needed them at some point!

So they are my top five pieces of advice for booking a city break! What advice would you give to someone looking to book?

Amy x
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