If you’re anything like me, you struggle with hanging around in one country for too long. I always like to have travel plans sorted for the near future, because it gives me something to look forward to. And when it’s a particularly dreary day like it is in London today, it makes me want to book something even more.
However, like most people I’m not made of money (I’m still waiting to win the lottery but I remain in hope that it’ll actually happen eventually) so my trips are usually restricted to cheap travel around Europe. But that doesn’t mean I’m limited to taking the Eurostar to Paris or sitting on a coach to Belgium.
So today, I’ve rounded up five countries you can fly to this month for under £53 per person return. For reference, all flights depart from a London airport and are for this month, March. And don’t fret if you work full-time, because these dates are scheduled for a long weekend from Friday the 16th March until Monday the 19th, meaning you can spend four days out of the country while only using up two day’s holiday. And that’s definitely a good deal if you’re bored with England like I am.
Fly to Aarhus for £26, Billund for £30 or the capital, Copenhagen, for £40 return. The Copenhagen flights depart from Luton airport at 11:05am, meaning you’ll still have all afternoon to enjoy the sights. The return flight departs at 16:35am, giving you half of your final day for fun.
Where to stay: Copenhagen downtown Hostel. Rooms start at £24 per person for a 10-bed room and go up to £30 for a four-bed room. I often use Hostelworld when booking hostel beds, but if you book direct through CDH’s website you get free breakfast included.
Something unusual to do: Check out Bolsjefabrikken – a community-run art institution based in an old warehouse. Expect performances, café nights, underground concerts and weekend workshops all hosted by young artists.
Having visited Stockholm already, I can’t recommend going there enough. If you need a cheap break away full of relaxation and incredible landscapes, definitely consider Stockholm. You can fly there from Stansted to Skavska for £40 first thing the morning on Friday and return at midday on Monday – again, letting you take only a half-day on the Monday if you’re short of holiday time.
Where to stay: I’ve recommended it before on my blog and no doubt I’ll do it again. Stockholm’s City Backpackers hostel is my favourite hostel to date, and there’s free pasta and other foods available throughout your stay. The breakfast is huge and filling and the common room is a fab place to chill out. Prices start at around £27 for a bed in a dorm, but considering Sweden is an expensive place, it’s not a high cost at all.
Something unusual to do: Ever wanted to control an entire building’s light display just using your iPhone? Visit Colour-by-numbers in Stockholm’s Telefonplan tower, where the upper half of the 20-story spire can be controlled by anyone with a smart phone. The building was created in 2006 and lights up for any special occasions. Simply choose which floor you’d like to light up and pick any colour.
Fly direct to Basel from Stansted airport for £33, or from Gatwick for £50. The Gatwick flights are better time-wise, leaving at 8:10am and arriving at Basel airport at 10:50am, but the return flight is better for Stansted, giving you most of your final day to relax still.
Where to stay: Basel is somewhere I’m yet to visit but I’ve heard great things about the Generation YMCA hostel in the centre. It has not only a common area and courtyard but a gym?! Prices start at £23 for a bed in an eight-bunk dorm room.
Something unusual to do: If you’re a fan of art then it’s definitely worth taking a visit slightly outside the centre to the Fondation Beyeler. Inside you’ll find incredible pieces including 23 Picassos and work by Vincent van Gogh, Francis Bacon, Lichtenstein, Pollock, Warhol, Monet and Cézanne.
I visited Warsaw last march and, despite being a bit chilly, it was great. The food was amazing, the people were so friendly and I can’t go on enough about the cheap prices. I think I spent around £20 a day on three meals, sightseeing and going on nights out. Poland should definitely be top of your list if you’re short of money but need a break from England. Warsaw return flights are currently £41, or, if you’re already visited or fancy going slightly off the beaten track, you can fly to Gdansk for £40.
Where to stay: I stayed at the Oki Doki hostel in Warsaw and would go there again just for the cool decor. Each room is designed differently in every colour you could imagine. Mine was bright yellow and had bird cages painted all over the walls. The hangout area was comfy and filled with sofas, and there’s also a bar serving breakfast and cheap drinks in the evenings. It being Poland, you can stay there for just over £10 a night.
Something unusual to do: Go to the beach! Being completely landlocked, Warsaw might not be the first place you think of for a beach break, and I’m not suggesting it, either. But if there’s good weather during your trip and you’ve exhausted the sights, it’s worth checking out La Playa for sand, palm trees, late night parties and just generally a great time.
Fly to Kaunas for £53 return, leaving from Luton. the flight times aren’t as great; they leave at 4:0pm and arrive at 9:10pm. But this does mean if you have the option to start and finish work early, that you could work a half day on Friday and fly back a day later than Monday.
Where to stay: The Monk’s Bunk in Kaunas has almost 1000 positive reviews on Hostelworld. It’s been rated as the best hostel in the whole of Lithuania and 50% of the space in the hostel is the common room. So either it’s a huge hostel or there just aren’t many beds! The huge kitchen and foosball table means it’s an easy place to make friends while making dinner. Lithuania is another excellent option if you’re traveling on a shoestring because hostel beds start at £9 per night.
Something unusual to do: Shut your eyes for a couple of hours and visit the Museum for the Blind. It’s a great contrast to the usual because, although you’re technically still sight-seeing, you can’t really see much at all. This museum lies deep in the catacombs of Kaunas and was originally created to support those who were blind. Now, you can experience strange textures, soundscapes, aromas, and other sensory objects as you wander around.
Have you traveled to any of these places before? Let me know your top tips in the comments!