Travel Goals Podcast

Episode 12: How to save money on a city break

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How to save money on a city break - top tips and hacks


On episode 12 of the Travel Goals Podcast, we talk about how to save money on a city break.

Saving money on a city break

On this episode, we talk about easy ways to save money on your next city break trip so that you will have more money to spend on your adventures.

If you are thinking about a city break in Europe, then one of the first things you can do to save is by getting off the beaten track and trying alternative city break destinations.

Utrecht Guide | 3 days in Utrecht

For example, you could try Montpellier instead of Paris, The Hague instead of Amsterdam, Bologna instead of Venice.

You’ll also be doing your bit to combat over-tourism in popular destinations as well.

Guide to Venice

We actually talked about why the Hague is a great city break on episode 4 of the podcast, so you should definitely download that show for some off-beat travel inspiration.

Off-peak travel 

First up on saving city break saving is to consider the city or country you are planning to visit and how expensive it will be during the peak season?

My advice to save money would be to travel off-season if you can? City break trips during the school holidays make everything so much more expensive.

If you aren’t restricted to school holidays, then I would definitely recommend city tripping during the shoulder season.

It will also be a much nicer experience as the city won’t be as crowded. I personally try to avoid popular European cities during the summer months. 

48 hours in Paris

Use Skyscanner to save money on your city break

searching for cheap flights number of cities with flight compression site Skyscanner.

If you have flexibility with your travel dates you can use Skyscanner to find the cheapest day to fly to your chosen city, or the cheapest month to get to your city break destination.

You can also use Skyscanner’s ”Everywhere” option if you are looking for some city break inspiration.

Select this option and from the drop-down list and Skyscanner will display a list of possible destinations, showing the cheapest place first

Eat like a local on a city break

Another way to save money on a city break is to eat like a local. Let’s face it, eating out on a city break can be super expensive if you’re not careful.

Unless you are travelling to try out fine dining in a new city or heading to specific restaurants try and make your own food or pack takeout picnics and lunches.

If you don’t have the facilities to make food where you are staying, head to the local supermarket, or farmers market, and see if you can pick up some local produce?

save money on a city break

You could also see if there are street food vendors selling authentic local eats or if there are budget cafes and restaurants where the locals eat?

Free city walking tour

Another tip for city break saving is to go on a free city walking tour. Free city tours or ‘pay-what-you-want tours’ have become massively popular in touristy cities in the last few years.

The premise is relatively straightforward, you check the tour’s website to find the daily meeting place.

You take the city tour with whoever shows up at the meeting time. You are then expected to leave a tip at the end.

I have been on some incredible free city tours in cities such as Budapest, Lisbon and Berlin.

Free city tours are perfect for travellers on a budget as you tip what you feel the tour was worth at the end.

Free events in the city

Another city break tip is to see what free events there are in the city you are visiting? Check local listings and websites to see what’s on and what is free?

I’ve found lots of free food festivals, screenings, exhibitions and even poetry slams on my city break travels.

Free events are often a great way to get a flavour of a new city and an insight into the arts and culture scene.

It’s also a great way of meeting new people and experiencing a different perspective on a destination.

You could end up at a cool art exhibition in a hipster part of town, watching an old B movie in the park or watch live music in a tram shed. The possibilities are endless.

Christmas markets 

One of my favourite free events is Christmas markets. I love browsing festive stalls and sipping on mulled wine whilst listening to lovely Christmas songs.

The great thing about Christmas markets is that you can spend as much or as little as you want.

Get in touch 

What city break saving tips do you have? What are your other travel goals this month? Tweet me, you can find me @travelgoalspod on Twitter.

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