Whether working or retired, we all love a relaxing holiday, jetting off and spending a week or so doing absolutely nothing—other than lounging on the beach or reading a book under a shady tree. But a well-earned break doesn’t always have to mean sun, sea and sand.
With this in mind have you thought about a city break? A vacation or, perhaps, even a staycation like this can be a perfect way to break up the year whilst waiting for your “big” holiday.
Here are five reasons to take advantage of a mini getaway now:
1- They work with any budget
If you think a city break is going to blow your budget, think again. A couple of days away needn’t eat up your savings, it’s all about making the right choices.
Not every meal needs to be a big three-course affair that’s costly and calorie-laden. If you are careful at the start of your trip, you can buy a fancy dinner and drinks on your last night without any guilt.
Also, don’t be tempted to skip the local beer or wine in favour of your favourite beverage from back home; you could be stung by some exorbitant prices. Don’t forget, holidays provide the opportunity to find your new favourites, ones enjoyed by locals.
You can often ditch local transportation costs whilst you’re away, too, because some of the most popular European cities are so compact that everything is close by and easily navigated by foot. (Walking can also help keep any weight gain at bay.)
You’ll find that nearly every city has things can do for free to save some cash. Take a look at the website of the local tourist board, which will often list free walking tours, museums and much more. There are also often parks and architectural attractions to explore on self-guided tours, all for free.
2- They suit any weather
While it’s never fun to contend with rain or other inclement weather on vacation, even in the nastiest of weather you’ll still find something to do on a city break. It could be a case of whiling away an afternoon in a local bar or cafe, or people-watching with a hot chocolate or a glass of vino in hand.
Plus, those popular museums and galleries are all inside experiences. It really doesn’t matter what time of year you choose to go on your city break.
3- They are great for experiencing new cultures
To get the best out of a new country, there is nothing better than visiting galleries, exhibitions and museums. A city break gives you the opportunity to mingle with locals, and get a real taste of different cultures and experience a whole new way of life – all in a weekend.
You can plan trips around your personal interests whether that be food, music or films and even visit festivals and bigger events while you’re there too.
Then there’s the architecture and the history of your chosen destination. There is nothing better than watching a story of a city unfold, listening to its past and present whilst taking a glimpse of what the future holds. Check out travel blogs and city websites based on your chosen location for restaurant ideas and places to drink. Don’t be scared to join the locals, too: that’s often where the best food is found at great prices.
4- Many places are right on your doorstep
For example, if you’re based in Europe, think of the destinations across Europe that are only a couple of hours flight away and take full advantage of your location.
You can be in locations such as Paris, Amsterdam or Barcelona in just two hours or less. If you are based in the States, you’ll have other great choices.
5- You can go alone if you want to
There’s plenty of reasons to go on a trip with someone else but city breaks tend to be comfortable for going it alone. Perhaps, you don’t have a partner or have a partner who doesn’t like to travel? Solo travel has many upsides and can prove to be one of the most liberating experiences of your life. You can do whatever you want and visit wherever you want – without having to compromise or answer to someone else.
The reality is you will more than likely meet other solo travellers (and locals) on your trip which will make it a little more sociable. Gone are the days where your other half, friends or family must accompany you on every trip – enter the world of solo travelling.
So what’s stopping you from booking that city break now? Go ahead, treat yourself and explore a new city soon.
Guest contributor Jessica Foreman is a freelance writer.