The perfect city break - on a budget!

* This post was written by a contributor *

Travel is one of the most exciting, mind-opening things that you can experience in your life. And sure, living and working abroad or extended trips exploring remote parts of the globe can give us so much, but a short city break can be just as stimulating.

Visiting fantastic vibrant cultural hubs – from Dublin to Bangkok, New York, Barcelona or Venice – is an unbeatable travel experience. You really can cram a whole lot into the littlest amount of time. There are so many options for incredible city breaks, choosing which one really is the hardest part. Now, once you've finally selected a destination and got your flights booked, it's easy to settle back with a simple travel guide and switch off. But with a little more forward planning you could save a fortune, and the more money you save, the more fun you can have when you get there. Yes, it is possible to have an amazing urban break on a budget, while still enjoying every minute.

Make Sure You're Covered

Yeah, travel insurance cover doesn't seem very exciting when there are sightseeing tours to research, but it is incredibly important. Getting ill, having an accident or going through something like a robbery abroad is something none of us want to think about, but if the worst did happen, you'd want to be covered. Getting a high level of coverage for a decent price is possible but it takes a little forward planning, perhaps using a travel insurance comparison service. As a minimum, shop for a travel insurance policy which can offer you emergency medical cover, loss of luggage or theft, any cancellations or flight delay and personal liability.

Plan Your Onward Travel

If you're travelling to a busy city, the airport is very rarely located anywhere near to the heart of the city itself, for obvious reasons. So making your way to your ultimate destination can be unexpectedly costly if you haven't prepared properly. Whether you need a Prague transfer company or a shuttle bus in Hong Kong, looking into your options is a much better bet than spending extortionate amounts on a taxi. Not only can pre-booking save you money, but it can also help you avoid a lot of last minute stress. You might find an airport transit guide app can help you make further savings by identifying the best value transport option in hundreds of popular destinations.

Learn To Pack Like A Pro

What is the worst cost to have to pay when travelling? Definitely the baggage charge. Luckily, if you're smart about what you pack, you can fit everything you need into a carry-on bag. It also means less time waiting by the baggage carousel! There are lots of tips out there on how to pack for a week in one bag, and some of the best tips involve using packing cubes to compress clothes and save space, while also keeping your bag impressively neat. Some travellers also follow the 5-4-3-2-1 rule of packing to limit the items they bring and make sure that they have a cohesive travel wardrobe where all of the individual pieces can be worn together. Bring some light layers such as a foldaway jacket that can be stashed in your case or worn as needed. Always follow the wisdom of wearing your bulkiest items to the airport, including your heaviest pair of shoes. Plus, purchase sun cream and items like that once you get to your destination, rather than adding them to your luggage – no major city is going to be short of places to buy things like that.

Hunt Down Sightseeing Deals

If you want to really get to know the city you’re flying into, there will definitely be a list of must-sees that you want to get through. But all those museum entries and tour costs can quickly add up. Fear not – technology can come to the rescue! Many cities now have guidebook apps which can take you around the city with audio narration and point out all the major sights – most can be used offline so you don't incur huge data roaming charges. A lot of cities also run card schemes where you can sign up in advance for special discounts on popular tourist attractions, inter-city transport and even cheaper meals out. A good guidebook can also be invaluable for pointing out purse-friendly options for dining and accommodation – while also giving you valuable insight into your destination.



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