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With so many fascinating places to see in the world, it’s no wonder that we all want to try and get away as often as possible to explore them. The weekend get away is a great compromise between a full length holiday and a day trip, and often it’s a way of seeing somewhere new without having to spend too much money.

Here are six ways you can keep down costs on your next weekend getaway, so you can still have a fantastic time whilst ensuring you come in under budget!

1.     Avoid peak weekends

It will come as no surprise that august will be more expensive to book a weekend package than, say, the 13th September. With this in mind, try to book your mini breaks over low traffic weekends to get the best deals.

Also try to keep an eye on what’s happening locally. A quiet weekend in Barcelona may be a festival weekend in Lisbon, so don’t get caught out; do the research to make sure that your destination prices will be as you expect.

2.     Don’t over pay for accommodation

This doesn’t mean you can’t stay in a comfortable hotel, but remember that you’re just sleeping in it, not living in it.

Alternative accommodation options like b&b or home rentals offer good deals too, although the advantage of a 24 hour staffed reception desk is useful if you will be arriving late or early and need someone to speak to in order to check in or out.

3.     Plan your time

If you have specific landmarks or heritage sites that you want to see, then make sure you have planned enough time to get to see them, including travel to and from your hotel. By planning ahead you can use local public transport instead of rushing around in a taxi, which will be much more expensive.

You can’t do everything in one weekend, so make sure you know why you’re going away. Is it a cultural trip? A romantic getaway? Or a party weekend? Don’t be overly ambitious with your time or finances and try to fit everything in. Just pick a few things and do them well.

4.     Decide how to travel

Often you’ll be looking at cheap flights if you want to go to a nearby European destination. However, don’t overlook the possibility of driving your own car, as this can be cheaper than flying if you are visiting a country that is relatively close by.

Furthermore, by driving, you will also have your car to use whilst you are there and won’t need to spend extra money on transport. Just make sure you have the appropriate driving licence to drive on foreign soil!

5.     Don’t blow the budget on food

Sampling local cuisine is one of the best parts about being on holiday, however eating three meals a day in a restaurant can become expensive. To combat this you can hire a self catered apartment and visit a supermarket when you arrive, as cooking your own food is cheaper than buying it in a restaurant.

Alternatively, you can decide to eat local street food for lunch and breakfast, which tends to be cheaper, and then spend money on a fancy restaurant meal for your dinner. If you have a customised saving Step set up you can also make savings whilst you dine out: a win win.

6.     Pack light

Hand luggage is all you should take with you if you’re flying anywhere for a weekend break. As you are only away for two or three days it should be possible to pack light, and then purchase anything you can’t bring with you at your destination country (like deodorant or moisturiser).

Paying for hold luggage on airplanes is expensive, and many coaches or trains will also now charge you extra for additional luggage you decide to bring over the stated limit. By packing light you’re saving money before you even arrive!

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