It gets to a point in the year when what you really need is a change of scenery to recharge your batteries. If soaring rent and over-indulgence on Starbucks christmas drinks (it’s okay - we all do it) have left you a bit strapped for cash this December, it doesn’t mean you can’t still take a trip abroad. While you may not be able to afford a two week luxury break in the Bahamas, a long weekend away is certainly doable. From the unique nightlife of Berlin to the heated baths of Budapest, Europe offers anything you could want from a short winter getaway.
The cost of travel this time of the year is no issue - fly with budget airlines such as Ryanair or Easyjet for unbelievably cheap prices, particularly in early 2016 . Use www.skyscanner.net to help suss out the cheapest prices - a quick search reveled tickets from London Stansted to Amsterdam in early Janurary 2016 for just £52! Get buying! Alternatively, if you’re thinking about heading over to France, Belgium or Germany, why not hop on the Eurostar for just as low prices. While you’re there, buy a weekly travel pass for public transport to save money.
Forget hotels, if you’re going on a budget, Airbnb is the way forward. Get yourself a room or an entire apartment, rented out by its owners, right in the city center for a fraction of the price of a hotel. A quick scan of the website shows cute, quirky lodgings for as little as £20 a night. If all you’re looking for is somewhere to lay your head in between sightseeing and nights out, think outside the box with www.universityrooms.com, which offers student digs out of term time for awesome prices.
Avoid tourist traps and eat where the locals eat. Use websites such as www.tripadvisor.com for reviews of one off cafes and inexpensive restaurants. For a budget breakfast, grab a croissant or pastry at one of the many bakeries in France or Italy, and fill your stomach at lunchtime with some tasty market food. Don’t forget to taste the local delicacy; you’ve failed yourself if you leave Switzerland without half your suitcase full of chocolate.
Take a break from the blue skies and crisp wintry airs by heading to some of the city's hottest attractions. Before you go, research some of the free events going on in the city - from winter markets to free music events there's sure to be something up your street. For example take a tour of Copenhagen, on wheels with their free bike hire scheme, or head to the Louvre on the first Sunday of the month for a look at the Mona Lisa for free.
So, have a browse online, exchange some money into Euros and pack your warmest coat for a short break to remember!