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Keeping Travel Budget Friendly in Winter | City Break Money Saving Hacks

Merry Tuesday, folks!  Yes I’m replacing ‘happy’ with ‘merry’ because festive and all that.  And yes I had to double check that it’s actually Tuesday because I’m thoroughly discombobulated about days and times and everything at the minute.

I arrived home from Tallinn yesterday, and now it’s back to the reality of sitting at a desk with a cat incessantly trying to chew my sleeve or sit on my keyboard.  (Excuse any typos for that reason please).  So although I’m now home, I’d like to keep talking travel-y fun things here in the same way as I like to post 180410 throwback photos to Instagram when I’m sat at home in my gym gear drinking coffee no.4 of the day.  So yes, travel!  City breaks!  More importantly, saving money on city breaks!!!  That is what we like to hear, no?  Whilst I’m well aware it’s the 6th of December and OMG only 19 days til Christmas whatttt, there is still time to book last-minute winter break, if not Christmas. I think I’ve proven by now that you don’t need an awful lot of time or preparation to have an awful lot of fun. (1 day in Dublin, 2 days in Hamburg, etc.)

I’m hardly the world’s most seasoned traveler, but I’d like to think I’ve picked up a few tricks over the last year or so when it comes to saving your dollar.  Or euro.  Or pound.  Or forint (still a few of those leftover from Budapest) or whatever the hell you’re spending.


— Subscribe to ALL the deals websites and flight companies, to the point where your inbox is constantly pinging about offers and it does your head in when you’re waiting on important emails and the only ones bombarding you are ‘SALE!!!’ ‘New Deals!!!’.  Yep, it’s annoying when the majority are advertising 10% off holidays you don’t even fancy, but every so often there’s a gem.  So don’t tune out to the likes of cheapflights.com, when you can bag yourself an absolute bargain.


–This one isn’t winter specific, but avoiding pointless extra charges like changing your currency at the airport (don’t know about you but I’ve always just got mine from the Post Office – yes this post is sponsored but that is 100% true!) is always a good idea.  I had a lovely chat with an old lady posting Christmas cards all over the world in the post office whilst taking out more Euros the other day!  Not that that’s a legit reason but hey, she was cute and I thought deserved a mention.

— Avoid airport shopping altogether. Proud to say I’ve bought a £2.50 pair of earrings from Accessorize and that’s it this year! Airports are deliberately designed to make you walk through duty free to tempt you, so just whizz past and install yourself at your gate before someone else has chance to nab the seat with the good view to watch planes and a plug socket nearby.  100% sure it ain’t just me.  Because city breaks aren’t generally as expensive as week long summer holidays it’s easy to feel like you’ve already saved money and have the ‘treat yo’ self’ mindset kick in, but that can easily turn into spending as much as you would have done on a week’s getaway if you’re not careful.  You. Do. Not. Need. Anything. From. Duty. Free.  And don’t even get me started on airport food.  A little piece of me dies every time I have to necessity-buy a €3.25 bottle of water to avoid dehydration headaches on the plane.  Stock up on food beforehand if at all possible!

— You don’t need to eat out every meal (hands up who else spends the majority of their money on food?).  Eating only lunch out is a good call.  Typically you’d go out for dinner on holiday, but I actually prefer making a bigger deal of lunch, then grabbing something easy for dinner before going out for drinks maybe later.  I can vouch for a late evening glühwein or glögg being a good idea!


— If shopping is your thing on trips, check out beforehand whether you’re actually bagging a bargain or paying more than you would back home.  It’s easy to get caught up in the shopping moment whilst you’re feeling spendy in a fresh city, but if you could buy the exact same item for cheaper back home, ‘experience’ purchases aren’t really the way to go.  Even if you’re in one of the top shopping cities in the world like New York.  I wish I could talk from experience about NYC at Christmas time and share shopping experiences, but sadly not, so I’ll just point you in this direction to find the best bargains in New York collaboration by Cheapflights and the Post Office instead.  See, there are still discounts to be found even if you feel a little disenchanted about visiting the states at the minute.  (Guess who’s more tempted by Canada right now?).

— Use city cards where possible A) save you money and B) save you hassle.  Win win!  I also find that having a list of places a city card grants you access to gives you ideas that you might not have otherwise had.  In a ‘it’s included, so why not???’ kind of mindset.  All about the ‘why not’ mindset round these parts!


By the way my flatlay background is actually wrapping paper in case you noticed.  Mum and dad did very well choosing this one for my birthday presents (from Paperchase I do believe)!

This post is in collaboration with Cheapflights and the Post Office, however all words and opinions are my own. Obvs.

lily kate x

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  • Reply
    Abhinav Singh
    7th December 2016 at 9:52 am

    Those are such useful tips and insights. I am a well traveled person and yet I was not aware of some of these. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    23rd March 2017 at 2:09 am

    Thanks for sharing these money hacks!
    I love to travel, these hacks is a life saver for me, now I can enjoy my travel without worrying so much about my expenses.

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