Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog. It is a pleasure for me to inform you of the wonderful cheap holiday I went on to Budapest. For those of you who don’t know, I created a poll on Twitter of 4 different blog posts that I wanted to write and this had the most votes. Ok, so this blog post is going to let you know of the best ways to save money and/or have a cheap holiday away to Budapest. I went to Budapest with 4 other people and of course, we were on a budget. I am going to share with you total and individual costs of the holiday.
Tips: If you’re going with a group of friends, you should definitely create a group chat and delegate one person to plan, arrange and book the holiday. I was delegated to plan, arrange and book the holiday. I think this is a good idea as it doesn’t get confusing. As long as these steps are covered the process will run smoothly. You must always update the group chat of new findings, costs and any details that would be important to everyone else.
STEP 1: The Ultimate Destination – Where do you want to travel to?
At first, my group of friends and I decided to think of the places where we wanted to visit and then soon after look for flights and hotels etc. The places we were deciding between were Amsterdam and Budapest. It was pretty easy to choose between these two as half the group had already been to Amsterdam, so we were more leaning towards Budapest. To be honest, the place we were going to choose was down to the price. We kind of knew that no matter what the cost was we would either travel to Amsterdam or Budapest. I am happy to say that we choose to go to Budapest purely because of the prices at the time of our booking.
STEP 2: Set a Budget – What is your own personal holiday budget in total?
It is very important that you all set your own personal budgets in a group. This is because everyone has their own financial allowances and also peoples perception of cheap might not be the same as others. I believe that city breaks are always a little bit more expensive in total including spending money, due to the fact that you are likely to go sightseeing by visiting tourist attractions and needing to pay for food and drink whilst you’re away. The budget should always be variable depending on the type of holiday you are going on. For example; you could go on a last minute holiday to Spain for a week all inclusive for approximately £350-500. You should keep in mind that city breaks are always more expensive due to the destination being in the city centre and tourist attractions will always be pricey. As a group, we decided that we would be happy to pay: £300 – Hotel and Travel & £200 – Spending money, meaning the whole short city break to Budapest would be no more than £500.
STEP 3: Set the Dates – What dates work well for you? How long would you like to go away for?
Of course, it is important to ensure that you are all free when you want to go away and it is important to all agree on the dates and duration of the holiday. We decided that it would be beneficial to go on Friday 3rd August 2018 for 3 days to Monday 6th August 2018. For a short city break, this was perfect. I felt like we had done everything that we wanted in that time and we were all ready to come back home when our time was up.
STEP 4: Search for Flights – Who do you want to fly with? Is it in your budget?
The first point of call, who I will always go to is the Skyscanner app. It is a website that compares all airlines providing you with the prices from all flights available to you for your chosen destination and duration. It is honestly perfect and has provided me with cheap flights to all destinations I have been to. It is always good to check or consider different dates to travel as the prices vary depending on the seasons and the days of travel… I have noticed weekends are always a higher price. Once, I have found a price that I am happy with, I always double check on that airline’s website just in case if there are any deals on to ensure I am not paying any more than what I should. Below, I will show you an example of the website and what should typically be shown on your screen:
If you put into the search bar the dates you want to travel, your departure airport and leave the destination blank; it will bring up all the places with the cheapest travel cost. This is a good idea if you have no idea where you would like to go and want to just have a cheap holiday away. As you can see from the image above the dates I have selected in September have brought up flights from £29. This is an incredible price and will ensure that you’re travelling as cheap as possible.
The next thing to do is to search accurately to ensure you get the right prices, destination and the correct dates you’re travelling. As you can see, I have searched for a return flight for one person to Budapest for 3 days… more specifically Friday-Monday as they will be the maximum price. I have also chosen this as when I went to Budapest these where the days I went. Ryanair and Wizzair are the most popular airlines for travelling to Budapest which is why you will more than likely be travelling with these if your departing from London. The only issue with the prices shown is that they have selected the times of the flights for you. However, you normally get a few different flights to choose from for the way there and way back, so that the travel times suit your convenience. The cheapest flight shown is £118 which will be a selected flying time and you will be travelling there with Ryanair and the way back with Wizzair. When my friends and I went to Budapest, we travelled with Wizzair costing us £158.98 each. Our flights were a little bit more expensive from the prices that are being shown today which could be based on the date of travel that we chose, as we wanted to make sure that we were able to get to the airports at decent times.
STEP 5: Book somewhere to stay – Do you have any preferences where you’d like to stay?
The only advice for me to give you is that you shouldn’t stay in hotels as they will cost your budget as a whole. It is very important that you look on websites that allow you to search for hostels and apartment. When travelling to a European country these are perfect, cheap and very reliable. There are two websites that I 100% recommend you to use when booking somewhere to stay either for yourself or as a group, which are: Airbnb and Booking.com. I have just had a look on both websites for the dates that I selected the flights for and these are what I have found:
Airbnb – These are the top searches for the best rated, best prices and located in the city centre of Budapest. These would all be perfect for a group of friends staying in an apartment for 3 nights together. The prices range between £54-£60 a night, but I am sure if you kept looking you could probably find one at a much cheaper price. If I use the maximum price it works out £36 each for 3 nights which is £12 a night. This is an exceptional price and I can honestly say it’s worth the money being paid.
Booking.com – Another place you could look for cheap hotels, hostels or apartments is Booking.com. These are usually really good as you pay when you arrive at the place you’re staying at and you get free cancellation up to 2 days before you are supposed to stay there. As you can see from the images below the prices range from £139-£268 which again is brilliant for value. This works out to be £27.80 for 3 nights meaning you pay £9.26 a night. If you were to go for the higher price you would still only be paying £53.60 for 3 nights which works out £17.80 a night each.
Both of these websites are 100% reliable and are used on a daily basis. They both have plenty of reviews are rated 5 out of 5. When I went to Budapest, I used Airbnb to book our apartment. The apartment was brilliant and was so beautiful. It looked exactly like the photos shown and was everything we expected it to be. It had 2 bedrooms and one main living room that had a king size bed and a sofa. It was definitely big enough for the 5 of us… if anything it was bigger than what we expected. It had a fitted kitchen with appliances for us to use and we were pleased to have received towels and soap. I would definitely stay here again because I cannot fault it at all. Everything about it was perfect even the hosts and location. My questions were always answered within a day and there was no hassle at all. I honestly recommend everyone to use Airbnb to find great places to stay at cheap affordable prices. We paid a total of £201.17 for the whole apartment for 3 nights/4 days which is incredible. For 3 nights it cost us £40.23 each meaning each night was £13.41.
I can’t help but you inform you that even with the prices I paid which seems to be slightly higher than what I have found today, my flight and apartment cost me £199.21 in total. This is an incredible price and definitely worth it. It is a great price for what you’re getting. Of course, you would pay a lot cheaper for somewhere which isn’t in the centre as well as somewhere that isn’t 5 stars. I hope you found this little blog post somewhat useful and would consider using the websites I have shown you today. I think that under £200 is an amazing price for a mini holiday city break. If you have any advice or better websites for me to use then please let me know as I would love to see what bargains I can get.