Rome is a popular destination for European city breaks.

Rome is a popular destination for European city breaks.

As the popularity of City breaks increased, students are the latest in the bunch that have been drawn into the growing trend. Let’s take a look at city breaks that can break the bank.

As the UK was hit by a case of the autumn blues with the wet and miserable weather, more and more Brits started to pack up and head off to see the world. City breaks have become the latest trend for students looking for a cheap quick getaway, with many of them unaware of the hidden costs.

The UK’s leading travel association, ABTA, released figures that proved that city getaways are now just as popular as the standard beach break, with 43 per cent of people that were surveyed saying they plan to go on a city break in 2014.

Everybody knows that student living can be very expensive so why are more and more students opting for city breaks than ever before? We conducted a survey that showed that nine out of 10 students would or have taken a city break.

The most popular destinations were Paris and Rome, closely followed by The Big Apple – that’s New York in case you didn’t know. But why have city breaks become so appealing to students all of a sudden?

Most students said their reasons for wanting to take a city break were the cost and the time factors, with 92 per cent admitting to these reasons.

The survey also showed that nine out of 10 students said they would prefer a beach holiday. Does that reveal that the majority only take city breaks because that’s what everyone else is doing? We understand following the tartan trend or even the Miley Cyrus trend – I suppose that’s a personal choice – but why follow a trend that you’re not going to enjoy?

A 21-year-old student from Manchester said: “I took my girlfriend to Paris for her birthday weekend. It was really nice and something different but I wouldn’t exactly class it as a holiday.”

He explained: “We only went for a long weekend so we didn’t get much time there. It was far from relaxing because we tried to really see everything but that wasn’t very practical in the short time we were there.”

A a 27-year-old travel consultant, said that this year’s booking have shown a definite increase in students taking city breaks. She added: “City breaks never used to be popular with younger people, it was mainly families with young children that wanted a quick getaway but we’ve had so many more students booking this year.”

She explained: “We do get a lot of students coming in to ask about prices and quite often they say they were expecting it to be cheaper and don’t end up booking.”  She discussed that in the run up to Christmas they do put on offers to try and get people to book with them.

Our survey shows that a number of students go on city breaks for the holidays and a travel agent from Thomas Cook said: “They’re definitely more popular in the run up to any holidays. The usual clichés apply, New York for Christmas, Paris for Valentine’s Day. You get the picture. But it’s a great way of getting people to book with us. We make most of our bookings around the holidays.”

So listen up students. You could find yourself spending more than you budgeted for if you’re taking a city break this autumn. According to the booking site Trivago, European hotel prices are up by as much as 24 per cent compared with last year, and the worst offender is Barcelona, the average room last year would have cost you £199 a night but this year would be £148. Prices in Amsterdam have gone up from an average of £140 to an insane £170 a night, a massive rise of 22 per cent. Even prices for city breaks in the UK have gone up to as much as £172 a night in London, a 6 per cent increase on what it would have cost you last year.

So it seems that students aren’t living on as much of a budget as everyone thinks if they can afford to be jetting off and spending up to £170 a night just for the hotel. That’s not including flights, sightseeing or even getting to grips with the native food and drink.

On average in 2013 us Brits spent an average of £557 on each holiday. We used an estimated 15 bottles of suntan lotion each and took three billion photographs on our travels. Did somebody say selfie? 

Jessica Lindley - Female First

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