The Rise And Rise Of The City Break - Planning The Perfect Getaway

Monday, November 14, 2016

According to ABTA the city break is now as popular as the beach holiday. This is a trend that looks set to continue. One of the main reasons for this is that city vacations are so convenient. They are easy to plan and tend to be short and focused. You don’t need to save a week or two of your vacation time. Often they can be accomplished in a weekend. The rise of cheaper flights going to increasing numbers of destinations is also a factor in their popularity. And, of course, we now have greater options when it comes to accommodation. 

Whether you’re traveling to New York or Paris, it’s worth researching and planning a little, to get the most out of your trip. 

Travel Guidelines

Before travelling abroad, check travel guidelines for your destination country. In uncertain times, rules and procedures change frequently. This is not just due to political changes. It is to maintain safety. For example, the proposed ETIAS is likely to come into effect in 2020. Keep an eye on websites such as for advice and updates. 


You probably have an idea of where you plan to travel to. Once this is concrete, gather as much information as possible. Read travel books and obtain online reviews. But be discerning when it comes to opinions. Other travelers may not share your view and likes. And beware of fake reviewers.


Itineraries are good but keep them flexible. It’s a good to have an idea of places you would like to visit. If you don’t, you may find that you miss out. If time is tight, you may also find it’s difficult to fit everything in without a plan. You need to allow time between destinations, and this takes some forethought. But allow a little wiggle room for exploring. You can’t know everything about a place until you get there. Sometimes it’s those unexpected places you find along the way that create the best memories. 

Be Authentic

To enjoy the most authentic experience, mix with locals. There are lots of ways to do this. Rather than staying in a tourist area or a large hotel, consider staying in someone’s home. Sites like Airbnb make this super easy. Homes tend to be in residential areas to allow you to immerse yourself in the culture. 

It may not be possible to learn the language of every country you visit. However, you should make an effort to learn some key phrases, and not just for practical reasons. Taking the time to learn someone’s language shows care and respect. It makes it much easier to communicate and talk about the area. And you may just find some little gems that don’t appear in the travel guides. Ask about the places to eat and drink. If you’re staying in self-catering accommodation, visit the markets to sample and buy some local produce. 

Another great way to explore a city in an authentic way is to travel on public transport. Experience someone else’s daily commute or check out the local shops and eateries. 

In summary, plan a little but not too much. Have a rough itinerary of the places you want to visit. But allow for spontaneity. Often it’s the unexpected elements of a city break that make it special. 

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Quote to Live By

"Not all those who wander are lost."
- J. R. R. Tolkien

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