Beat those airline luggage fees!

In previous posts I’ve discussed how to bag amazing travel deals with Wowcher and Groupon, to ensure you keep costs low you’ll want to invest in the correct luggage to prevent yourself being hit with those pesky luggage fee’s cheap airlines love to hit you with! If you’ve never flown with Ryan Air before here is some helpful information on their luggage requirements:

All passenger fare types include a small personal bag, which must fit under the seat in front of you. In order to avoid the extra fees you’re going to want to take the essentials away with you and hopefully fit everything you need into this sized luggage:

Ryan Air has one of the most stringent cabin baggage policies so if you’re able to purchase luggage that fits their requirements you’ll be good to go with any other airline! If you’re travelling on a shoe string beating luggage fees can be one way to guarantee you’ll stay on budget. I will admit it can be VERY difficult to try and fit everything you need into one cabin bag, I’ve only managed this once on my trip to Tallinn as I was only visiting for 2 nights and didn’t need a massive amount. I think 3 nights is probably the maximum amount of time away you would be able to pack for but hey you might be a really lightweight packer and could teach me a thing or two about minimising luggage!

I’ve put together some of the best cabin luggage deals I’ve found, for full disclosure these items do include affiliate links.

  1. This Aerolite cabin bag starts at only £11.49 and is available in black, charcoal, rose gold and wine. It’s slightly less boujee than I would like personally but the biggest appeal is the bag is cheaper than the extra fees!!
  2. If backpacks are more your thing this Cabin Max travel bag may be for you! Personally I’m more of a Fjallraven Kanken kinda girl but they can be super pricey so this is definitely a great alternative.

3. This Daabliz travel flight bag is lightweight, waterproof and a pretty cute alternative to the Aerolite cabin bag.

4. Finally my favourite is this Eastarer laptop backpack which would be perfect for business trips.

I hope I’ve given you some inspiration on combatting the luggage fees and saving yourself some money. One final tip is to always make sure you check the luggage allowance and the dimensions given by the airline as this tends to differ dependent on the airline you are flying with. Some airlines are more lenient than others, not naming anyone in particular but I think you can guess from my previous posts…

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Guide to booking holidays through Wowcher and Groupon

I’ve used Wowcher a number of times now when booking cheap city breaks and personally I can’t really fault it. As mentioned in my Budapest post the key to booking holidays through sites like Wowcher and Groupon is having low expectations. Here are some of my top tips if you’re thinking of booking a holiday with them:

  1. The first and most important point is flexibility. In order to get the best deal you will need to be flexible on the dates or even month that you are looking at going away. The deal will present you with the cheapest price you can get but remember this is never going to be for a popular time of year i.e. half terms. Also, if you’re able to be flexible with leave at work then you’re good to go. If you are unable to be flexible with the dates you have chosen, I would suggest booking a trip through these sites probably aren’t the best option for you.
  2. Low expectations. As I mentioned in this post low expectations are really important when booking cheap deals. You can’t expect to get a 2 week all inclusive deal for buttons. Although, I have seen some amazing deals for all inclusive holidays the point made above will assist or hinder you in grabbing that amazing deal. Most of the hotels booked via these deals are going to be 3 star at the most but I haven’t had any issues with any of the hotels I have stayed.
  3. Be prepared to fly with Ryan Air! If you’re going for 2-3 nights you can easily fit everything you need into hand luggage but if you like to pack on the heavier side be prepared to pay extra for luggage. When travelling to Tallinn I managed to fit everything I needed into my trusty Fjall Raven backpack which saved a fortune on those extra fees Ryan Air like to bombard you with. If you’re travelling with someone else you’ll have to pay to sit together, yep I’m not lying! If you’re thinking of visiting Tallinn in the near future you can read about it here, this is just one trip I booked through Wowcher.
  4. Don’t be surprised if you’re flying from Stansted Aiport. There doesn’t seem to be a great selection of UK wide flights so if you’re based in the north or Scotland you may not be able to get the super cheap deals they are advertising.
  5. Once you’ve found the trip you’d like to book and made the purchase, more times than not you will be contacting by the tourist operator who the trip is actually booked with. This is their chance to get more money out of you by offering extra days or better flights from more accessible airports but stick to your guns. When booking BUDAPEST I was offered earlier flights to give me an extra day for £50 I declined and after a ‘”quick conversation with my manager” they were able to give me the earlier flights for a £10 admin fee, sneaky.

Happy holiday hunting!

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48 Hours in Tallinn, Estonia

Back in May 2019 I went to Tallinn for a city break with my sister. With most of holidays I decided on visiting Tallinn due to the beautiful pictures I had seen on Instagram. So with this plan in mind I headed straight to Expedia to check out what deals were on offer. To my surprise I managed to bag flights and a hotel for £80! Yes I had to endure flying with Ryan Air from Stansted but I can’t resist a cheap 2 night break.

As with most of those cheap city breaks, our flight was at the break of dawn leaving at an eye watering 05:55am. Personally, I don’t mind these early flights as I can catch some z’s on the plane and be ready for great first day in a new city.

My first tip for visiting Tallinn would be to grab a Tallinn Card, we purchased ours from the hotel we were staying at, City Hotel by Unique Hotels who were super helpful with tourist information. They can be purchased throughout the city but also online here. The card cost around €49 for a 48 hour plus card which included a free hop on hop off sightseeing tour which was ideal for us as we used this as transport around the city, but you can also use it to travel for free on all public transport. The free public transport would have been ideal if we were there for one more day as I would have tried to get outside the main tourist area if we had extra time. Also included in the card is free admission to over 40 attractions which we used to enter Kadriorg Palace, KGB Prison Cells and TV Tower.

As we arrived super early we weren’t able to check into our hotel for a couple of hours which wasn’t a problem as it gave us some time to explore the district we were staying in. The hotel was just on the outskirts of the Old Town next to Toompea Castle.

After getting checked in at the hotel, showered and ready for exploring we headed into the Old Town which is just the perfect mix of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The cobbled streets with winding alleyways reminded me of classic Eastern European Old Towns like Krakow and Prague. The quirky colours and architecture reminded me of Copenhagen. Hopefully you can see where I’m coming from with this comparison…

Whilst exploring the Old Town we discovered the best ice cream parlour either of us had ever been to, Gelato Ladies . Hidden down one of the side streets it would have been easy to miss.

Most people I have spoken to about Tallinn are only aware of it because of the DM Baar, fans of Depeche Mode flock to the city to visit the DM Baar. After ice cream I dragged my sister to the bar for ‘just one drink’ which turned into several..

The second day saw us making full use of our Tallinn card, looking back we could have done with the 24 hour card instead as the first day was mostly spent in the Old Town without needing public transport or entrance to attractions. We had breakfast in the hotel which consisted of a continental buffet, my fave! Our first stop was catching the sightseeing bus from Toompea Castle to the TV Tower, as we had such short amount of time left we had to be savvy with our timings on the day. The TV Tower was around 20 minutes from our hotel which would be the furthest we’d travel within Tallinn during this trip. If I’m being completely honest I didn’t really rate the TV Tower, the views offered at the top were nice but if had it not been for the Tallinn Card and free entry to the site I would have been slightly disappointed.

We worked our way backwards from the TV Tower to Kadriorg Palace and Art Museum which was my favourite attraction we went to. I’m a sucker for an art gallery or museum and the fact this one was within an imperial palace was a double bonus for me. Once again access to the attraction was free with the Tallinn Card.

We headed back to the Old Town on the hop on hop off bus and decided it was time for dinner before either of us started to get hangry and ruin the whole trip. We get very aggressive when it comes to hunger, especially my sister. We found Thai Boh the kookiest Thai restaurant I had ever been in. We filled up on Pad Thai and headed back into the Old Town once more, taking a slow stroll towards our hotel. You can’t visit Tallinn without stopping by the beautiful Russian orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

And that was my 48 hours in Tallinn, to summarise (if you’re lazy like me and can’t be arsed to read a whole blog post)

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