On a recent trip to Spain, we decided to take a different route from our normal holiday which would usually consist of good weather, beaches, walking and food. So this time we looked into how we can immerse ourselves into the culture of the region without having to spend two weeks and a lot of money. Having visited many cities before, usually as a few days stop over en route to our final destination, we knew already that this can be a great way to get the full experience of the region you are going to and also get a glimpse into many different customs and cultures due to the multiculturalism of most large cities nowadays. The cities in Spain are no different as there is an abundance of ethnicities from all walks of life.
The Options for City Breaks
A traditional City Break that I was used to would be getting away from work early on a Friday or taking that day off and then heading to an airport to catch the afternoon flight to the continent. Arrive at the hotel in the evening and spend the weekend walking around and visiting the main tourist attractions. If it were Paris it would be to the Eiffel Tower, The Arc de Triumph and maybe the Louvre Art Gallery. We did this as it seemed what you were supposed to if we came back and our friends asked what we did on our break, they would be mortified if we didn’t tick the usual tourist trap boxes. This trip we knew we had only three to four days at our chosen destination and we also knew that we needed to keep the cost as low as possible so as we can still take a two week holiday later in the year.
After a little deliberation, we decided on Seville as we had been here previously for a day trip when we stayed in the Algarve in Portugal and knew a little about the area. Picking a city which is within commuting distance to the sea was quite important as, like many Brits, we do like a bit of the seaside. Seville suited our needs and being just a relatively short flight for us helped to keep the cost and travel times down. When you sit down to research and book a city break, put a list together of a few of the things that you want. Make sure you do them when you are there. This will help with keeping the cost of travel low and will help to ensure you come back happy with your choice. If like us you want to see the beaches as well as the city culture there are plenty of destinations to suit, depending on the time of the year of course.
Not Breaking the Bank
A few days in a foreign city were at one point only really affordable and accessible to the well off. Fortunately for us the options are endless which also means there are very good prices for those who can be a little flexible. For this trip, we looked at going for a long weekend but then after a little research we realized if we just went during the week, not on a school holiday that we could save some money which we can now put towards our two week trip later in the year. Don’t think just because you are going on a CITY Break that you have to travel at weekends, there are huge savings to be had. For the hotel, we decided to stay in one of the less well known boutique hotels in Seville; again doing this has probably saved us half the original cost of the recognized brands.
When in the city there are ways to keep the spending money down without compromising on quality or enjoyment. After flights, accommodation and any tours, the most costly part of most of our holidays is the food and drink. We found that as we were staying slightly away from the main tourist areas of the City that the restaurants near the hotel were full of locals, which is how I normally decide where to eat. Follow the locals as if they like it and keep going back then it is more than likely that you will find excellent local food without the tourist prices. This is also a great way to experience how the locals live and what they do for enjoyment. Using the internet and following the steps detailed above have helped to make this trip on the cheapest holidays to Spain we have had in recent years.
Ted Hunter is a traveler who is well versed at holidaying on a budget, without compromising on quality. He likes to share his knowledge so that future travelers can keep the cost of their holiday down. Ted refers to Travel Republic reviews before making a trip. He travels at least four times per year and has written this to encourage others to break from the norm.