Europe

Earlier this year I decided to surprise Helen for her birthday with a four night getaway to Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. This is the fifth time I’d been to Gran Canaria, and the second time Helen and I have been together. In fact it was our first ever holiday destination as a couple two and a half years earlier.

While the flights were super cheap the cost of accommodation in the area in which we like to visit (Playa Del Ingles) seemed to be higher than usual. All this forced me to think outside of the box and find the best possible deal I could. I do love a challenge.

In the end we ended up visiting The Anamar Suites. This was without a doubt the best place we have ever stayed while in Gran Canaria, and still well within budget – so it seemed only fitting to dedicate a complete review to the hotel. 



Trip Details

Dates: 22nd January 2017 – 26th January 2017
Nights:
 4
Price We Paid Per Night: £73.51
Room Type:
Double
Booking Platform:
Expedia


Location

The Anamar Suites had the most perfect location for us personally. This wasn’t a sightseeing holiday. Instead we just wanted to sit by the pool and relax. It was a five minute walk to the beach for that midday stroll.

A five minute walk in the other direction and you’ll arrive at The Yumbo Centre. Filled with bars, restaurants, clubs and that holiday essential… Mini Golf.

The airport’s a thirty minute drive, so you’re going to want to arrange a transfer, hire car or a taxi. 

 

The Room

To save money on food we opted to stay in one of the self-catering apartments. Our room was on the fourth floor and was a great size.

Despite booking a double the beds were two singles – I don’t mind pushing them together and it allows for greater flexibility on the hotels part. The room came with a really large balcony, and a fully equipped kitchen. 

You can view more of the room we had at The Anamar Suites from our Youtube videos during our time in Gran Canaria.

 

Facilities

Wifi at this hotel was extra. It cost €16 for 4 days, and was just ‘okay’. I mean what more can you expect from a tiny island right? It was enough to reply to emails and check Facebook. Unfortunatly, it couldn’t upload videos to Youtube or anything like that.

The swimming pool had been recently refurbished. It’s a little on the small side but I never saw more than two people using it at any one time whilst we were there. Things might be different during the school holiday’s though…

On the other side of the accommodation there was also two Jacuzzi’s. There was also plenty of sun beds at either side. All of which were clean, modern and sturdy. Although we opted for some double style pool four poster beds. 

The hotel also offered complimentary towels. As many of us now only travel with hand luggage this can be a real bonus!




In conclusion, you’ll struggle to find much better value for money. Even writing this article almost six months post our stay and I’m struggling to find a four star hotel for the same price. That said, I wouldn’t want to pay any more than what we did. 

The Anamar Suites, Gran Canaria Review
It’s also worth baring in mind that depending on your personal requirements you can get two and three star apartments in the same area for around £160 – £220 (based on four nights). However the difference in quality between a two, three and four star resort especially in the Spanish resorts can be huge.

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Europe, Travel

We have recently come back from our first trip to Amsterdam and wow, what a fabulous place. I was quick to see why this continues to be the up and coming European destination. While the main focus of our trip
was to attend the video conference event VidCon we had some time to explore the city. 

It therefore seemed only fitting that we put together our guide of how to visit Amsterdam on a budget;

Travel Insurance – £10

Before you go anywhere you’re going to need travel insurance. Travel insurance covers you for small things such as loss of baggage or larger things such as illness of death abroad.

Whilst it isn’t compulsory I personally wouldn’t go anywhere outside of the UK without it. I have travel insurance as part of a service with my bank. If you don’t have travel insurance already then I recommend using a comparison service such as Go Compare to find the cheapest / most suitable insurance policy for your needs.

For the purposes of this study let’s say that you don’t have travel insurance but you manage to pick up an annual worldwide travel insurance policy for £10.

 

Airport Parking – £7.50

The cost of airport parking, or any parking for that matter usually frustrates me. However, our three nights of parking at Manchester Airport that we booked through APH parking didn’t seem that bad at all. In fact it came in at just £15.00 – which made it £7.50 each for the two of us.

How To Visit Amsterdam on a budget


Flight – £85.48

We was rather specific as to when we wanted to visit Amsterdam, due to the reason in which we was travelling – VidCon. Which meant that despite booking four months in advance, the cost of travel was still rather high at £85.48 return each.

If you’re more flexible as to when you visit then return flights can be purchased for more than half that price.

 

Internal Travel – €26 / £22.04

We purchased this ticket from the rail ticketing desk inside the airport that gave us three days of unlimited travel on all trams, buses, metros and ferries within a vast number of stations within the city. 

This cost €26 euro per person, and we certainly got our money’s worth. The public transport in Amsterdam is second-to-none and by far the easiest, cheapest, and best way to get around the city. 



Hotel – €220.82 / £187.20

We splashed out on accommodation in Amsterdam. Being our first trip and us both doing different things, we wanted to be sure that we both benefited from easy access to the places which we would be visiting.

While the hotel was fantastic, it’s unlikely we’d stay somewhere quite so pricy in the future.


Attractions – €73.15 / £70.90 (Includes Transport!)

Purchasing an I Amsterdam card provides you with all of the following. This also covers your public transport which means you only need one or the other… 


At the time of writing the card currently costs the following;


This in my opinion is an absolute steal, just be sure the free museums that are on offer are the ones you actually want to visit. Otherwise, maybe it’s not so much of a steal…

Food – £50

Despite shopping at the supermarket for the majority of the time Amsterdam certainly wasn’t the cheapest place to eat. I made a video highlight how much some common items cost. 


Souvenirs – £0

As always we opt not to purchase souvenirs. Our trip to Amsterdam on a budget was no different. As with all of our budget trips we instead put the money we would have spent on another trip, and the chance to make even more memories.


An so, there we have it, my complete guide to how to visit Amsterdam on a budget. If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam, or have recently come back then be sure to let me know in the comments where you stayed, what you did, and if you feel comfortable enough, how much it cost you.

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Europe

We recently returned from our very first trip to Amsterdam. A city that only seems to grow with popularity each and every day. I decided to put together a list of my top 4 favourite things to do in Amsterdam. All of these things are well within budget and should go along way to creating the perfect trip to the city.

As always I’d love to know whether or not you’ve been to Amsterdam? What sights you see as a ‘must do’? let me know in the comments below.



Van Gough Museum

The Van Gough museum unsurprisingly features some of Van Gogh’s best work’s of art alongside a excellent biography of his life. The museum also features paintings by other famous artists of the period including Monet, Matisse and Manet.

One of my favourite things to do in Amsterdam
This museum is without a doubt one of the most popular things to do in Amsterdam. However, you should be able to avoid large crowds by coming on a late afternoon or on a Friday evening when the museum stays open until 10pm.

Tickets can be purchased online and will reduce your wait time on arrival. It’s €17 for adults with under 18’s entering free (with a paying adult).



The Heineken Experience

The Heineken Experience is held at the old Heineken Brewery. The experience includes; a virtual reality ride, as well as an opportunity to learn about the history of the famed beer company.


The museum is open 365 days a year. From 10.30am until 7.30pm on Monday’s through to Thursdays and 9pm on Friday’s through to Sunday’s. The self guided tour is expected to take 1.5 hours. The entrance to the museum therefore closes two hours prior to the closing time.

Tickets can be purchased online
. They cost €16 for adults and €12.50 for children aged between 12 and 17. Children 11 and under are free. An adult ticket includes two complimentary Heinekens. Children under the age of 18 are only admitted with an adult.

 

Anne Frank Museum

The Anne Frank house draws nearly one million visitors every year. This awe-inspiring attraction includes Anne Frank’s actual diary, a reconstruction of her bedroom and the Secret Annexe. 

Being an attraction on every tourists to-do list I’d recommend visiting either very early morning or late in the day to avoid the crowds. 


Tickets are available to purchase up to two months in advance online. They cost €9 for adults, €4.50 for 10 – 17 year olds, and those 9 and under are free. There’s also an online ticket surcharge of €0.50. It’s worth baring in mind that the attraction is only open to those who have booked online and in advance from 9am until 3.30pm.

You’re more than welcome to purchase a ticket on the date by attending from 3.30pm until closing time.

The Red Light District

No list of things to do in Amsterdam is complete without mentioning the Red Light district.

I really don’t think any words can do the red light district justice. Instead I made this video highlighting the many sights of the Amsterdam nightlife as a whole…



As always I’ve included this handy map which pin points every place I’ve spoken about in this article. It should help you to plan your travel itinerary accordingly.

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Europe
We recently came back from the most wonderful long weekend in Amsterdam. Where I had the pleasure of attending VidCon EU. 

This was our first time visiting Amsterdam, and with Helen wanting to be based in the centre, and myself at the convention centre it was essential to find a well connected hotel. Queue the Holiday Inn Express, Sloterdijk. 


The hotel certainly didn’t disappoint. I therefore found it only fair I gave you the lowdown to hopefully help you when finding the perfect hotel in Amsterdam.

Trip Details

Dates: 7th April 2017 – 10th April 2017
Nights:
 3
Price We Paid Per Night: €147.20 (on average over 3 nights)
Room Type:
Double
Booking Platform: 
IHG

Location

Holiday Inn Express Sloterdijk Amsterdam is situated 10 metres from Sloterdijk. It’s around 5 minute train journey from central Amsterdam station, and trains are roughly every 10 minutes during peak times. 



We personally decided to stay at the Holiday Inn Express Sloterdijk Amsterdam due to it’s close proximity to everything we both had planned while in the city. It also benefited from being outside of the hustle and bustle of the city centre, which meant that noise pollution wasn’t ever a problem.

The Room

Our double room was on the top floor (7) which presented us with almost panoramic views across the landscape thanks to it’s super wide windows.

The room was clean, spacious, modern and fully functional. It had everything from a coffee machine right through to a hair dryer. With more amenities available at reception should you require.


The hotel is rated as a three star and having stayed in everything from zero stars to five stars. I can say it’s certainly one of the very best three star establishments I’ve stayed in. However, do you pay for that in the price? – we’ll cover that in the section below…

Facilities

A night in the hotel comes with a complimentary continental breakfast. Two out of three mornings the breakfast was quiet and required zero queuing for food. Unfortunatly, it was the Monday where we actually decided to go back to our room and come back down nearer the end of the serving period. 

Whether or not that was due to a large tour that seemed to be staying in the hotel or whether it was simply due to us getting up later I do not know.

Aside from the one off blip the variety of food available meant that there was something to suit everyone; cereal, meats and cheeses, bread and donuts. Along with a selection of fruit, salad vegetables and juices. All of which was self-serve. 

While I am aware that many people aren’t going to find this the most overwhelming feature of a hotel, I simply have to mention it… The complimentary wifi was impeccable. The best wifi I’ve experienced in any hotel, worldwide. I could upload our Amsterdam vlog in a matter of minutes, instead a matter of hours – honestly, amazing!




In conclusion Holiday Inn Express Sloterdijk Amsterdam is about right on par when it comes to three star hotels within close proximity of the city centre. I even checked out website such as booking.com to confirm.
 


As for whether I’d stay here again… Yes, and no. It’s certainly at the top end of our budget when it comes to any hotel room. However, when it comes to value for money it wasn’t half bad. Certainly if we were going to look at being at both the RAI convention centre as well as popping into the city centre on an evening then the time saved vs money seems like a win. 

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Europe, Travel
I’ve been craving a city break since the start of the year. So when I spotted some bargain sailings to Dublin, Ireland I just had to book. Now I’m back I’m ready to share just how I managed to visit the amazingly vibrant and historic city that is Dublin on a budget.

This Dublin on a budget travel breakdown comes to less than £186 per person. Based on two sharing. It includes absolutely everything from travel insurance through to port parking. So if you’re looking for a city break that doesn’t break the bank then let’s talk…

Travel Insurance – £10

Before you go anywhere you’re going to need travel insurance. Travel insurance covers you for small things such as loss of baggage or larger things such as illness of death abroad.

Whilst it isn’t compulsory I personally wouldn’t go anywhere outside of the UK without it. I have travel insurance as part of a service with my bank. If you don’t have travel insurance already then I recommend using a comparison service such as Go Compare to find the cheapest / most suitable insurance policy for your needs.

For the purposes of this study let’s say that you don’t have travel insurance but you manage to pick up an annual worldwide travel insurance policy for £10.

 

Port Parking – £14

This hurts. Like so much!

My Dublin on a budget hit a rather large roadblock thanks to the Stena Line park and ride at Holyhead port. This is priced at £7 per day and £35 for the week. It just about worked out cheaper to pay a daily rate rather than for the week. Split between the two of us this came in at £14 each.

That’s the same price as 1.4 nights in our hostel or going return to Dublin with the promotion Stena Line was offering more than 3.5 times.

 

Ferry – £4

Stena Line was running a promotion for St Patrick’s day that made fares from Holyhead as foot passengers just £2 per person, each way.

An absolute bargain, and from what I’ve been told these and similar promotions run throughout the year so it’s well worth keeping tabs on their website for future promotional offers.


If you don’t have access to a ferry port, then there are many flights from around the world direct to Dublin. Prices from the UK start from as little as £12 return.

Transfers – €5 / £4.27

For just €5 return, Stena Line also provided us with a bus service from Dublin port into the city centre. It takes around 20 minutes and times coincide with ferry times.

If you’re travelling by plane then transfer alternatives include the Airlink747 – The Dublin on a budget choice, or a taxi.

 

Hostel – €38.40 / £32.82

We booked this budget trip to Dublin rather last minute. This meant that accommodation availability was limited, this was reflected in the price.

The Generator Hostel, Dublin provides fantastic facilities
However, we wasn’t about to let this ruin the prospect of our Dublin on a budget trip. Instead we opted to look at staying in a hostels. After much debating we chose the Generator Hostel. Situated slightly north of the city centre, we managed to save around 75% when compared to a basic two-star hotel.



Attractions – €83 / £70.90

A city break is all about the sights of the city and having The Dublin Pass made doing so simple, easy and affordable. The three day pass provides you with;

Completely free airport transfers

Free hop on, hop off bus tour

Free entry to over 25 of Dublin’s most popular attractions, slights and landmarks. Including Guinness Store House, Jameson Distillery, Dublin Zoo, Aviva Stadium, National Wax Museum, The Little Museum of Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral and many more… 

Complimentary fast track entry, allowing you to skip the queues.

The pass also comes with a free guide book, to assist you in planning your trip around the city. Click here, to see the full list of places you can visit with The Dublin Pass.


Also, be sure to check out my guide on my personal favourite 7 things to do in Dublin – it includes a map to really help you plan your time accordingly.

Food – £50

Dublin, like many places can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. Unfortunatly the hostel didn’t provide a kitchen, but that didn’t stop us.

We opted to purchase pastries from the local supermarket for breakfast (€2). We’d use our student card to get a fantastic deal on lunch at a local establishment (€6) and then opt for a basic evening meal checking the likes of TripAdvisor for a place in budget with great reviews (€10).


Souvenirs – £0

As always we opt not to purchase souvenirs. As with all of our budget trips we instead put the money we would have spent on another trip, and the chance to make even more memories.


An so, there we have it, my complete guide to how to visit Dublin on a budget. If you are planning a trip to Dublin, or have recently come back then be sure to let me know in the comments where you stayed, what you did, and if you feel comfortable enough, how much it cost you.

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Europe

We recently embarked on a trip to Dublin, Ireland on a budget. Helen and I are planning on becoming full time travellers later in 2017 and really wanted to test the hostel waters as a couple.

The Generator Hostel seemed like the perfect place to do just that. I’d stayed in hostels previously, Helen hadn’t and we’d never done it as a couple so it was going to be an interesting couple of evenings.


In the end The Generator Hostel Dublin turned out to be the perfect place for us to experience hostel life, so good in fact I decided to write this post telling you all about it.

 

Trip Details

Dates: 26th March 2017 – 29th March 2017
Nights:
 3
Price We Paid Per Night: €12.80 per person
Room Type:
6 bed mixed
Booking Platform: 
HostelBookers

Location

Generator Hostel, Dublin is situated in Smithfield Square, central Dublin. It’s around 25 minutes from the airport via taxi and costs around €30. However, you can also opt for the much more affordable Airlink 747 which takes just an additional 10 minutes.

 

We decided on this particular hostel as it hit the balance of affordable and within walking distance to the city centre (11 minute walk to O’Connell Street. So much so we managed to visit all of the tourist hot spots on foot.

Especially the Jameson whiskey distillery which is just a one minute walk around the corner of the hostel. If you decide to opt for the official Do Dublin hop on, hop off bus tour then you’ll find stop number 20 just outside of Smithfield Square.
 

The Room

We opted to spend our three nights at The Generator Hostel, Dublin in a 6 person mixed room.

The room was clean, stylish and fully functional. You have to make the bed yourself, but that’s about it.

There wasn’t one night where the room was entirely full, and in this instance most people kept themselves to themselves.

My personal two favourite features of the room were firstly, the beds. These beds were AMAZING. I’ve stayed in five-star luxury hotels that don’t have beds that good.

Next, the pull out ‘lockers’ under the bed. These were an ideal place for us to store our bags. Just remember to bring your own padlock so you can use it to lock away any valuables.

Each bed also had two plug sockets and a nightlight. An ideal place to charge your phone and camera overnight whilst planning where you’re going to visit the next day.

The Generator Hostel, Dublin has super stylish and clean rooms.  

Facilities

Let me get out of the way the only facility I found to be missing from this hostel… a kitchen.

Food in Dublin can prove rather pricy, and it’s not helped by the inability to make something at the hostel. Now, I’ve got that off my chest we can talk about the good stuff.

Each day the hostel provides a free walking tour leaving at 10.30am and covering sights such as Dublin Castle and Temple Bar. The walking tour lasts approx 1 and a half hours.

The hostel provides complimentary wifi. It wasn’t the best wifi I’ve experienced, but it sure wasn’t the worst either. Now, let’s talk about evening entertainment.

The Generator Hostel, Dublin has plenty on offer. Including game nights, quiz’s, live musicians and much more. This is a great addition and a fantastic way to meet new people in the hostel, and win some free drinks whilst you’re at it!

The Generator Hostel, Dublin provides fantastic facilities  

In conclusion our time at The Generator Hostel, Dublin was a pleasant one. In the terms of value for money, it’s fantastic and saved us around 75% on accommodation whilst visiting Dublin. We’d not only visit this particular Generator Hostel again, but are looking to visit others across Europe in the future.

 

If you’re planning an upcoming trip to Dublin, then be sure to check out my list of things to do in the city.

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Europe

Helen and I recently took a trip to Dublin, Ireland and all I can say is what a fantastic place. If you’ve not visited in the past then I seriously recommend adding this place to your travel to-do list. Whether you’re staying for the week or the weekend I thought I’d share my top 7 things to do in Dublin, Ireland.

 


Before we get started it’s worth mentioning that Dublin has a fantastic range of offers on admission to various tourist hotspots for students. Be sure to read my article on student discount hacks to ensure you have one, and save yourself some serious cash – whether you’re a student, or not

1. Hop On Hop Off Tour

I absolutely loved the green official Dublin hop on, hop off tour around the city. They’ve been providing quality tours since 1988 and are filled with Live entertaining commentary, Multilingual recorded commentary. The bus stops at over 30 historic and cultural highlights across Dublin over two routes (both of which are included with your one ticket) The two routes include the original purple route that runs from 9am until 5pm and lasts 1 hour 45 minutes from start to finish.

 

In addition there is also the Docklands, pink route. This route runs from 9.20am until 4.35pm and lasts for 45 minutes. The ticket for the tour comes with the following; Free Walking Tour, Free entrance to the Little Museum Dublin, Free Kids, Free Map and Discount Guide. Which makes it absolutely fantastic value for money!

 

What I personally loved about the tour was the ability to see a little bit of everything Dublin has to offer from the comfort of a clean bus and with the commentary of a friendly driver. We discovered new things to do in Dublin that we other wise wouldn’t have found and after taking the tour in full, we went on to use our ticket to get around the city with ease. The tickets are valid for 48 hours and if booked online feature a 15% discount making it €22 for adults, €20 for students and senior citizens and children between the ages of 5 – 14 €10. However, two children under the age of 14 travel for free with every paying adult.

2. City Hall

Dublin City Hall probably isn’t somewhere at the top of your list of things to do in Dublin. However, I believe that it should be. Especially if you’re travelling on a budget.

 

The recently refurbished space is a fantastic place to visit. Filled with history and heritage it’s as grand as the Dublin Castle (but without the price tag) It features a lovely café, making it the perfect spot to grab a coffee or lunch. However, in my opinion none of that’s the start of the show when it comes to Dublin City Hall.

 

That’s because Dublin City Council have funded a fantastic, historical and informative exhibition on the ground floor of the city hall that is completely free to visit. Three rooms filled with interactive exhibits, such as a throne, mace and swords makes this the perfect place to learn more about the history of Dublin and Ireland in general.  

3. Jameson Distillery 

If you’re looking for things to do in Dublin that contain alcohol. You’re in luck, because there are plenty. One of which being a tour around the Jameson Distillery. I knew nothing about whiskey before venturing on this fabulous tour. The building which is more than 200 year old has recently undergone a huge refurbishment, which has left it looking absolutely breathtaking.

 

The 40-minute tour provides you with the opportunity to discover how John Jameson’s focus on the highest quality ingredients, rigorous triple distillation process and constant innovation has propelled his whiskey to the finest in all of Ireland, enjoyed around the globe. The tour was very hands on, interactive and used technology to it’s advantage. Despite my lack of knowledge when it comes to both whiskey I was able to learn a lot and had a fantastic time.

 

Tours are available Monday to Sunday from 10.00am (10.30am on a Sunday) with the last tour taking place at 5.15pm.

 

The price of the tour remains the same whether you book in advance or on the day. It’s €18 for adults, €15 for students and seniors and €9 for under 18’s. All those over the age of €18 are given a voucher to redeem a drink in the bar after the tour. Helen and I opted for a cocktail that would usually retail for €13.


 

4. Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle is without a doubt the heart of history in Dublin. Making it the primary thing to do in Dublin if you’re up for learning about this places great and extensive history. We decided to opt for the guided tour of the castle that lasted a little over an hour.

 

However, you can also have a self-guided tour. During your guided tour you’ll gain access to; The State Apartments, Medieval Undercroft and Chapel Royal. However, if you opt for the self-guided tour you’ll only be able to access The State Apartments. That’s not to say they aren’t super impressive.

 

The castle is open from 9.45am until 4.35pm Monday to Saturday and 12 midday until 4.35pm on Sunday. This is correct at the time of publishing however I would always recommend to check before you travel.  

 

Guided tours are priced at;

 

Adult: €10 Senior (60+) & Student: €8 Child (6-17): €4 Family (max. 2 adults & 5 children): €24

 

Self-Guided tours are priced at;

 

Adult: €7 Senior (60+) &  Student: €6 Child (6-17): €3 Family (max. 2 adults & 5 children): €17

 

If you do choose to opt for the self-guided tour then be sure to download the Dublin Castle app which is available for both Apple and Android. Available in both English and Irish it will help guide you through the castle, providing you with detailed historical descriptions. Complete with an audio tour, images, events listing, a user gallery and GPS-enabled maps.


 

5. The Irish Emigration Museum (EPIC)

  

This interactive experience takes you through 20 highly interactive rooms on a journey to discover the story of the Irish emigration around the world, from early times to the modern day. EPIC tells the story of 10 million journeys, rich and poor, allowing you to retrace the journeys directly of 300. Relive some of their greatest achievements and accomplishments in the world of art, design, sport, music and politics. We spent over two hours wondering the highly interactive rooms in the Irish emigration museum, and were highly impressed. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Dublin when it’s raining or the weather isn’t so great, look no further.

 

Entry into EPIC is €14 for adults and €7 for children aged between 6 and 15 with children under the age of 6 going free.

 

A family pack for two adults and two children is available for €35 and students and seniors get a discounted entry of just €12.

 

The museum is open 7 days a week from 10am until 6.45pm with the last entry being 5pm.  

 

6. Guinness Store House

 

No trip to Dublin would be complete without a trip to the world famous Guinness Store House.

 

Located in the heart of St. James Gate Brewery, Guinness Store House is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. Immerse yourself in seven floors of interactive experiences, sharing the long brewing heritage of the black stuff. Once you make it to the seventh floor you’ll be rewarded with a complimentary pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar. The bar provides you with a 360 degree view of Dublin, making it the perfect place to take in the sights of this fantastic city.

 

Booking in advance for the Guinness Storehouse will save you up to 30% on your admission.

 

The admission for adults can vary between €14 and €20 depending on the time slot you choose. Admission for students and seniors is a fixed price of €18

 

A family ticket for 2 adults and up to 4 children is available for €48.50.

 

The Guinness Storehouse is open from 9.30am until 7pm, 7 days a week with the last admission being 5pm.


  

7. Little Museum of Dublin

The Little Museum of Dublin is without a doubt one of my favourite things to do in Dublin. The absolutely amazing, and very well presented collection was created entirely by public donation.

 

All entries around the museum are by guided tours which last 30 minutes. Once completed you’re welcome to wonder around the museum on your own exploring many more rooms that aren’t covered by the guided tour itself. What’s better than a great museum than a great price and this one is no different. You can save 10% on admission by booking online. Admission is €8 except for students and seniors who pay €6.

 

The museum is open seven days a week from 9.30am until 5pm with the last tour starting at 4pm. The museum also hosts a late night opening on Thursday where entry is available until 7pm with the museum closing at 8pm.  

 

I hope you’ve found my list of top 7 things to do in Dublin, Ireland insightful. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you visit (or have visited Dublin) and what you’re favourite things to do in Dublin are.

In the meantime feel free to use this embedded interactive map to help plan your trip. I’ve highlighted everywhere I’ve spoken about in this post.

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Europe, Travel

Earlier this week my girlfriend Helen turned 25, and I surprised her by whisking her off to the airport and on a fantastic holiday.





We’ve not really been away since our trip to Thailand 10 months ago. In that time a lot has changed. It was safe to say we needed this trip to Gran Canaria on a budget.

So, if you’re looking for some winter sunshine read on…

Don’t forget to read up on how to create the perfect travel budget to ensure you maximise your savings on any holiday.  

Travel Insurance – £10

Before you go anywhere you’re going to need travel insurance. Travel insurance covers you for small things such as loss of baggage or much more major things such as illness of death abroad. Whilst it isn’t compulsory I personally wouldn’t go anywhere outside of the UK without it.

Helen and I both have travel insurance as part of a service with our bank. If you don’t have travel insurance already then I recommend using a comparison service such as Go Compare to find the cheapest / most suitable insurance policy for your needs. 

Airport Parking – £15

The cost of parking your car at an airport is always one that hits me hard!

We’ve previously travelled by train to the airport and by bus, to save ourselves a couple of pounds, the hassle has never been worth it. Especially after a long haul flight – you just want to get home.

The cost of parking at an airport varies drastically based on airport and time of year but with a couple of simple tricks you should be able to get four or five nights for around £25 for the entire car. Depending on how many people you travel with this could significantly reduce the cost per person.

I’d always recommend seeing how much you can save parking with Just Park. Either at someone’s home or at various retail or commercial points. I use it a lot myself to pre-book parking spaces at a reduced rate especially in big cities such as London.

Airport Food – £3.99

Due to the short travel time, and expensive food on our flight we opted for a meal deal at the WH Smiths within the airport. The food was much better than I’ve ever had on a budget airline and price was super reasonable too.  

Gran Canaria on a budget starts with budget food at the airport


Flight – £27

Yes, you did read that right. We managed to get flights from Leeds Bradford Airport direct to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for just £27 each return and the dates weren’t limited.


We managed to keep our £27 flights, £27 by avoiding any hidden airline charges. These charges are never a great start to any holiday and can go a long way to completely blowing your budget.  

Transfers – £9.59

For our transfers from the airport to our accommodation (around a 30 minute drive) we used Hoppa. A service I’d not used before but I’d heard great things about.

Opting for a shared bus over a private taxi saved us £20 each however depending on the numbers your travelling with the amount will vary significantly. The desk was easy to find in the arrivals lounge and the bus ride was great. 

 

Hotel – £147.02

We managed to find a lovely self-catering apartment in a four star hotel for just £147.02 each. The bonus of the self-catering apartment was that it allowed us to save on our food, opting to eat breakfast and lunch in the apartment and only dining out for our evening meal.

With a supermarket 1 minute walk away, the beach 5 minutes and the main entertainment complex also 5 minutes away The Anamar Suites offered us everything we could imagine and more. Check out what a fun time we had in the newly renovated pool too!


four nights in a four star hotel in gran canaria still well within budget


Attractions – £6

Whilst there’s certainly plenty to do in Gran Canaria, we didn’t feel the need for it. This for us was simply four days to lay on a sun bed in the sunshine.


That meant we could keep our attractions budget to a minimum setting aside just £6 for a game of crazy golf on an evening.  

Food – £50

The food budget was simple. £10 each put towards a supermarket shop allowed us to buy enough supplies for 4 nights, this included cereal, milk and croissants for breakfast. Bread, butter, cheese and ham for lunch. Cans of premium beer, bottles of diet coke and crisps and biscuits to snack on.

Depending on your party numbers and circumstances you can flex the budget any which way you like here to offer up a variety of different options or choose to bring your own.

The only time we did eat out was on an evening. We budgeted £10 per evening and that was more than enough. Buffets line the streets in Playa Del Ingles and can be dined at for £6.50 per person leaving you room for a drink or desert. Even when we opted to splash out at a local tapas bar having read the reviews on TripAdvisor we still came within budget.

 

Souvenirs – £0

This one is simple, we didn’t buy any. There were loads of things we loved, but most of all we loved the memories we made and the photos we took. By choosing not to bring souvenirs back for ourselves and others we saved around £50 each – which is going towards our next holiday!  


I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing how we can make Gran Canaria on a budget a possibility. Be sure to let me know if you book a trip to Gran Canaria or how you maintain a budget whilst on a family holiday in the comments below…

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