There are two types of people in the world – those who like to holiday at the beach, and those who like to make the most of a city break. Generally speaking, people tend to visit the same cities for their holidays, such as Prague, Vienna, Paris, London, Oslo, Rome, and Berlin to name just a few. These cities are built around tourists, with businesses specializing in making the most of the passing trade.
To the people who actually live in these areas, they’re able to spot cheap ways of doing things and avoid getting scammed, but to the average tourist, a short weekend break in a top city could end up costing more than a week-long stay at an all-inclusive resort on the coast.
You need to be financially savvy to visit a city for a vacation but having the know-how can often come too late. To help you make the most of your vacation and retain as much of your money as you can, here are some top ways you can save whilst travelling in cities.
Stay in hostels
City center hotels are expensive, especially in tourist trap cities. This is because the owners know that people will pay the high fees purely based on convenience and location. The hotels are sometimes mid to low range and don’t have all the finest accessories or amenities, but they’ll still cost you an arm and a leg. You can avoid these ridiculously high nightly rates by opting to stay in a hostel instead.
The reason a hostel is perfect for a city break is because of the cheaper price tag. They’re often in the same great locations as some of the top hotels, but you don’t need to pay through the nose for the pleasure. It might be different if you were on a week-long relaxing holiday, but city breaks involve a lot of being out, so you’re likely only going to need a place to sleep and bathe. With this in mind, a hostel is the perfect alternative and could literally halve your overall accommodation costs.
Take public transport
Depending on which city you’re visiting, you’ll likely need to go from point A to point B with the help of a vehicle of some kind. Not every city is walkable, but every major city will have a good network of public transport. Take London as an example with its underground railway system and endless buses. This is far cheaper than relying on taxi hire for all of your transport needs – just make sure to ask for help before you get on so you can be sure you’ll end up in the right location.
Cities behave like any other holiday destination when it comes to holidays. This means just like beach resorts; a city is likely to become a lot busier and therefore a lot more expensive if you visit during the peak of summer. What differentiates cities from coastal areas, though, is that you also need to watch out for Christmas.
Wherever there is a city there are shops, and there’s no bigger shopping period than Christmas. With this in mind, save your money (and your sanity) and book your city break during an off-peak time of the year. Good times to enjoy a city break include April, May, June, September, October, and November.
If you have children and still want to go on a city break, consider going at the very beginning of the summer holiday period. The sooner you go, the more money you will save and the less hectic it will be.