City breaks are on the rise. In 2017, statistics showed more than half of the UK population went on one, with Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal being the destinations of choice and more and more airlines adjusting routes to meet demand. Arguably the biggest challenge with a city break is narrowing down your choice from all the incredible possibilities around the world.
But why do we love them so much? Well, what’s not to love? The culture, the museums, the food and drink, the hip hotels and cool AirBnbs. And, of course, the chance to relax. But more on that a little later. But what is the key to planning a great city break? And how do you make sure you always make the right choice?
Here are my four essential tips for planning a brilliant city break.
1. Get the basics right
It goes without saying that before you go anywhere you need to get the basics right. Check your travel insurance: in some cities – such as Bangkok and Havana – it is mandatory. Also have a look at the city’s transport network and work out how you will get around. Is Uber your best bet? Is there a metro that gets you everywhere you need to be? Or is it best to explore the city on foot? Do your homework. It will pay off when you get there.
2. Choose the kind of city break you want
Answering this question is arguably the most critical part of your planning. Why? Well for two reasons. The first is that it will influence the city you choose to go to. And secondly, it will influence the type of city break you have when you get there. If you want a relaxing, laid-back city break, and you both/all agree on that, that’s great – you can then plan accordingly.
Equally, if everyone agrees they want a bustling, full-on type of getaway, that is fine too. The key is to make sure everyone is on the same page and you all agree on what kind of city break you want.
3. What are your three must-do things?
You rarely have as much time as you think you will on a city break. So, when you are in the planning stage, agree on the three things you absolutely must do when you get there and make sure you do them first and as a priority. Once you have done those things, you will a new sense of freedom to do whatever the mood takes you – eat, drink and relax.
4. Have you been before?
Lots of people go back to cities they have been to before. We gravitate towards the familiar – we like to go to restaurants we know are good and with cities such as Paris, London and Rome, it would take you years to see everything that is on offer, let alone just a weekend. But if you have been before, plan a very different trip to the one you enjoyed previously. Go and see new things, eat in new places and explore new neighbourhoods. You will never be disappointed.
Got any of your own tips to share? What do you think are the best city break destinations? Let me know in the comments below.