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Sometimes we all need to escape the rate race, so why not use your next piece of free time to plan a last minute city break? You could travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit, or simply explore a new and exciting destination.
Planning a last minute trip may seem daunting, but we’ve packed this page full and tips and advice for planning the perfect city break on very short notice.
The key to being spontaneous is not being picky – it only slows you down. Before booking anything you will need to do some research on the best destinations to visit at the time of year you want to travel. You might find some amazing deals on certain destinations, but the cheap prices could be because you’ll get rain the entire time. Think about seasonality so you can make the most of the destinations – for example, September is a great time to visit Rome because the peak season is coming to an end but the weather is still great for sightseeing.
Tip: The EasyJet inspire me tool is great for looking at destinations around Europe. Simply select your dates, airport and budget and view all the destinations in Europe which you can visit. Again great for being spontaneous! http://www.easyjet.com/en/inspireMe
After deciding on a few destination options, start doing some serious research on prices. Websites such as Lastminute.com specialise in last minute trips, and many similar tour operators will have last minute deals which are worth a look. It’s also worth checking accommodation and airline websites separately to see if you can find a better price by booking each stage individually (remember, if you book independently you won’t have ATOL protection, but there is little threat of cancellation when the trip is last minute). Airlines are said to charge up to 15 different prices for each seat, so check a few times to get the best deal.
Before you book, make sure you do some sleuthing on your destination and accommodation. Not only do you want to ensure the accommodation has good customer reviews and won’t be a waste of money, you also want to check its proximity to key landmarks you want to visit, or good transport links. Make a plan of all the places you want to visit before you leave, and invest in a quality local map to ensure you fit everything in.
This totally depends on your destination of choice and the time of year, but its always advisable to pack a super comfortable pair of walking shoes which will support your feet – the last thing you want is to be in agony after only a few hours of sightseeing. A lightweight raincoat is always a good thing to pack each day (just in case), along with a quality local map, UV sunglasses, a camera, money and travel guide/translator (in case you get lost).
Unfortunately crime will always be higher in more densely populated cities, and some pickpockets or scam artists are known for targeting tourists specifically. Make sure you choose a day bag which zips up securely and is always in your sight (backpacks are comfortable but make sure no one can reach in behind you). Leave your passport in the hotel safe if at all possible (emergency travel documents aren’t cheap if you lose it), don’t carry all of your money with you, and make sure you know how to contact the emergency services.
Finally, before you depart make sure you invest in quality city break travel insurance, to protect yourself and your trip against any holiday disasters such as medical emergency or lost possessions.
10 Alternative City Break Destinations – http://www.holidaysafe.co.uk/10-alternative-city-break-destinations/
Top 10 short breaks from the UK – http://www.holidaysafe.co.uk/single-multi-trip-travel-advice/top-10-short-breaks-from-the-uk/
Top 10 city destinations in Europe – http://www.holidaysafe.co.uk/single-multi-trip-travel-advice/top-10-city-destinations/Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
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