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Woman jets off on 6-hour European city break where 'sangria is cheaper than coffee'

Woman jets off on 6-hour European city break where 'sangria is cheaper than coffee'

She did the whole thing for £70 all-in

With the weather slightly picking up and the days feeling just that little bit brighter, I'm sure many of us have holidaying on our minds and can't wait to start booking getaways for the rest of the year.

However, there are two massive downsides to booking a trip away that usually deter many people from seizing the day: using up your annual leave and splashing the cash on flights, activities, food and copious amounts of cocktails.

Well, it seems such issues can actually be avoided altogether after one thrifty traveller jetted off on a six-hour European city break where 'sangria is cheaper than coffee'.

Natalie Barrett, who hails from Leeds, spoke to Tyla all about her experiences doing whats known as an 'extreme day trip' to the European hotspot of Alicante in Spain.

With a New Year's resolution to travel more in 2024 and tick more countries and destinations off her list, it was a no-brainer when she saw the super low cost of the flights from Manchester.

"Why not go and make a nice day of it?" she said.

As a self-confessed planner, Natalie - who went on the trip with five other women from the Extreme Day Trip UK Facebook group - had drafted a 'loose itinerary' for the day according to the proximity of each location, so she could see a few landmarks with 'minimal effort'.

Natalie Barrett headed to Alicante in Spain for the ultimate six-hour getaway.
Tyla / Natalie Barrett

"On the day we took it a little more relaxed and spent more time enjoying lunch and drinks and just chatting in the sun," she recalled.

Natalie continued: "We still managed to see the marina, the castle, the cathedral, 'Mushroom Street', the city hall and countless other monuments and landmarks.

"The only activity that cost money was the lift up to the castle, which was €2.70, and the bus to and from the airport was €8 for 10 tickets, which we split."

The 41-year-old confirmed she incredibly managed to do everything she wanted to during the day trip, explaining: "We pretty much did see everything that I had wanted to beforehand, other than getting time on the beach - however, getting to know each other over a delicious lunch and cocktails more than made up for that.

"And it just gives us an excuse to go back!"

The jet-setter said she 'pretty much' saw everything she wanted to see during the day trip.
Tyla / Natalie Barrett

Despite travelling with a bunch of strangers, Natalie said the trip - which lasted just six and a half hours - went 'really smoothly'.

"The flights were on time, there were no queues at security or passport control and we stepped straight onto a bus at both ends," she continued.

"This gave us the maximum possible amount of time in Alicante city. If only it were always that easy!

"And the weather was so warm and sunny, so we had a brilliant time."

For the thrifty traveller, the best part of the trip was by far the weather and the company.

But that's not all she loved about her mini holiday.

Natalie embarked on the adventure with a group she met on the Extreme Day Trip UK Facebook group.
Tyla / Natalie Barrett

Natalie admitted that days out in nearby cities like Manchester or Newcastle have cost her way more once you've added up the cost of train tickets, meals, drinks, sightseeing and activities.

"I’ve definitely had more expensive nights out just going for dinner and drinks after," she added.

And if that wasn't enough to seal the deal for getting an extreme day trip of your own booked - then this definitely will.

The globe-trotter told us that a glass of sangria was just €5, or about £4.50, at the restaurant they went to, adding: "My normal coffee choice in Starbucks costs more than that!

Sangria was cheaper than a Starbucks coffee!
Tyla / Natalie Barrett

"I had a really delicious and filling burger meal plus two cocktails/sangria and, with a generous tip, we paid €20 each, about £19-ish I think," Natalia continued.

"In the UK you couldn’t get just the two cocktails for that price!"

But, if you're trying to get even more bang for your buck, then you can also bring along a packed lunch, which Natalie says 'works out even cheaper'.

Regardless, it's clear the whole thing was really worth it, with Natalie telling Tyla: "It was so much fun going with girlfriends. Also the cost of the whole day with car parking, flights, food, drink and activities was only £70.

"I’ve had more expensive days out visiting my home city!"

The cost for everything all-in was just £70.
Tyla / Natalie Barrett

So, for anyone out there curious about trying out an extreme day trip, Natalie advises: "Just go for it! Whether you’re flying solo or going with a partner or friends, give it a go!

"Start with a destination that’s closer to the UK and where the city is close to the airport, and go explore. You can fit a lot into a day if you plan beforehand."

She also suggested researching transport arrangements, landmarks and opening hours beforehand to 'get the most out of your day' and to 'ensure things go smoothly', adding: "But be flexible too, and don’t stress if things don’t go perfectly to plan, that’s OK.

Natalie is aiming 'to go somewhere new every month'.
Tyla / Natalie Barrett

"I’d also advise taking a spare change of top, underwear and socks in case your flight back is delayed or cancelled."


While admitting that doing a day trip is a lot more tiring than longer trips because 'you’re up very early and in bed very late' it is miles cheaper as you don’t have to fork out for accommodation.

"And it’s nice to be back in your own bed at the end of the day," Natalie said. "Plus the excitement keeps you going!"

Natalie already has a whole load of upcoming trips booked including Copenhagen and Malmo in Sweden this weekend with her youngest son, hitting three cities in four days (Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest) with her boyfriend in March and then Tirana, Albania, in April.

"I’m aiming to go somewhere new every month - if I can!" she resolved.

You can follow Natalie's Instagram, @travelmorewithnat, for more travel tips, itineraries and trip reports.

Featured Image Credit: Tyla / Natalie Barrett

Topics: Money, Travel, Life, Real Life, Hacks