August 9, 2018

Memoirs: The Ultimate Affordable Luxury City Break Guide

Right, so my dear friend and blogger boss Jess from the huge FBL Network requested this post. If you haven’t heard or seen of Jess before, where have you been? She also runs her own blog – and you can frequently find us tagging each other in memes on Instagram. I should point out that her Snapchat stories on the other hand remind me of lost footage, I guess that happens when you own an Android (even if she just got a new one).
I should note that I travel off-peak as I don’t have kids and I am finding crowded situations make me anxious these days. So it’s very rare you’ll catch me on holiday in the peak of summer unless it was cheap. I always look at prices before I book so I wouldn’t decide on destination and then book, it’s more price determines my destination. So if it’s relatively cheap, I’m going.
I know all these destinations have been documented on travel blogs and Instagram time and time again but there must be a reason we’re attracted to them right?


How much will it cost?
I find that Dubai can be as low as £399 for 3 nights and as high as £2k depending on your preferences and time of year. I would keep an eye on Skyscanner for flights and Expedia for hotels, but you’re best off booking them together.

How long to go for?
5-6 days is ample time for Dubai or if you’re going East, stop off for a couple of days to break up the journey and tick another one off the old bucket list.


Get a night flight after work to save on day’s travel and a night’s hotel cost OR take a long layover. Virgin and Emirates Airlines have late night flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports.



Where to stay?
I have personally stayed at the Bonnington Jumeriah Lakes Towers and Sheraton Grand and loved both for different reasons. When it comes to Dubai, the service and hospitality is on point, so I would highly recommend going for a 5-Star hotel.
When to go?
During Ramadan hotels and flight prices drop by at least 30%. I paid £617 for 6 nights over a bank holiday inc flights and 5 star hotel.


Winter months – January to March will see flight prices drop as well as the temperature. It never gets cold in Dubai but you can explore this sandy city without

Hot Spots: Nikki Beach, Baristi Beach, Drift Beach, Cove Beach, Level 43 rooftop bar, Desert safari, Drai’s.


Check out my Dubai series here:

Las Vegas

How much will it cost?
£500 to £1,500 depending on the time of year and the accommodation you pick. From the UK, the flights are expensive but the hotels are very cheap in Vegas so it kinda balances it out. I’ve seen deals for a little as £400 per person for a week on HolidayPirates (inc. flights and hotel).
Do beware of the resort fees which can amount to an additional $40 per day. The more of you there are, the cheaper it’ll be. Vegas is definitely best for groups, the more of there you are, the cheaper things will be.

How long to go for?
The three times I’ve been to Vegas, I’ve done a week, 5 nights and 6 nights and I think 5 nights is absolutely perfect. Some say you only need 3 nights BUT remember, you’re going to be jet lagged and after being on a 10 hour flight, you’re going to need a few days to stretch your legs.
Where to stay?
The Venetian is one of the biggest and most luxurious hotels I’ve stayed in. Perfect location and don’t get me started on the gondola ride.


The Trump *cough cough*. It’s really affordable and the lack of casino is a welcome change if you want some quiet.

The Mirage is another great hotel, and the location is the best I’ve stayed in on the centre of The Strip. It’s definitely a four star hotel as there were some things that weren’t up to standard, but its a great option if you don’t want to stay in a five-star hotel.

When to go?


Hot Spots: Tao Beach, 1Oak, Drai’s, Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse, Voodoo Rooftop Bar and Lounge, Bond Bar at The Cosmopolitan.


Read more:


Los Angeles

How much will it cost?
In contrast to Las Vegas, the flights there from the UK are cheap (I’ve seen them as low as £350) but the hotels are whats expensive. There aren’t many budget hotels that aren’t out of the way, so its worth splashing out a little bit and staying somewhere mid-range.


How long to go for?
3 days / 5 days / 7 days
There is plenty to do in LA and if you’re doing a multi-stop destination on the West Coast. I’ve been twice and I’d definitely go back, but I’d recommend hiring a car to really make the most of it, or Uber it everywhere.


Where to stay?
The Biltmore (Downtown LA) is a lovely old Hollywood style hotel, rich in history and the basement pool will have you wondering what those starlets got up to in their heyday. I’ve also stayed at The Beverly Hilton which is of course is in Beverly Hills and a stone’s throw away from Rodeo Drive. The rooms are a little outdated but the lobby and pool area makes up for it.

When to go?
I’ve been to LA in September and October and both times were affordable in terms of flights and hotel but LA, much like London is an all year round destination.


Hot Spots: Catch LA, Mr. Chow, The Abbey, Universal Studios, The Original Pantry

Read more:

Cannes & Monaco

These two destinations are the epitome of bourgeois and close enough to one another to tick off in one trip. You can even go all out on the French Rivera and add in Nice, Antibes and St. Tropez.

How much will it cost?
I went on the Easter bank holiday just gone and paid around £144.50 (per person) for flights and hotel. If you book in advance you can get really cheap flights (check British Airways and Easyjet) but hotels are quite pricy.


How long to go for?
Three days is all you need but you could easily do a week. The South of France has so much to it and I definitely want to go back to explore St Tropez, Nice and Antibes.


Where to stay?
Hotel Simone is a lovely boutique hotel in the heart of Cannes and a short walk away from the beach and 2 minute walk from the station.


Obviously if you have a glucose guardian, they may prefer to splash out on a hotel along the Cannes promenade or the Monte Carlo hotel in Monaco, just don’t forget my invite.


When to go?
The South of France is beautiful all year round but if you want glamour, visit around the time of the Cannes Film Festival or for peace and quiet, March to April is where it starts to heat up.

Hot Spots: The Monte Carlo Casino, La Chunga, Bar L’Amiral, Gotha Club.

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How much will it cost?
I went on the late May Bank holiday in May 2016 and my flights with RyanAir were £25.99. Milan rarely is more than £100 from the UK (don’t quote me on that and the airport is in easy reach of the city centre.


How long to go for?
Three days is definitely enough if you’re staying in Milan, however Lake Como is nearby, so it’d be worth adding a couple more days if you want to check this beautiful piece of nature out.


Where to stay?
I stayed at the Crowne Plaza and it was perfect for the solo traveller. It was definitely the definition of affordable luxury and the metro station was right outside. There are plenty of other options that are more central but those come at a cost.


When to go?
All year round.


Hot Spots: Check this out. As this was my first solo trip, I just went with the flow.


Read more:


Ultimately, we all travel differently. You might want to book a cheap flight and cheap accommodation and splash out on experiences or you might want to do the opposite. There is no right way to travel.


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Char xo

4 responses to “Memoirs: The Ultimate Affordable Luxury City Break Guide”

  1. Hunida says:

    Wow! So many great destinations! I live in Vegas and have been to LA a couple times but neeeeed to visit the rest!

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About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.