Nobody wants to break the bank for the sake of a few days away this spring; so the slide of the pound over the past four months has meant thousands of people putting their mini break plans on hold. A new study claims, however, that you don't have to resign yourself to staring at the same four walls this spring - because one clever trick can bring down the cost of a break by more than £100.
TravelSupermarket says that the answer lies in swapping the most popular destinations for somewhere nearby, with similar attractions, at a fraction of the price. It has identified the top ten most popular destinations for a mini break, and found cheaper alternatives.
It's not trying to pretend they are exact swaps. However, they offer many of the same things, and for a few days away they provide an interesting alternative. Plus, by opting for the less popular alternative it shaved an average of £132 off the cost of a three-night break and an average of £117 off the cost of a two-night break.
It identified, for example, that a three-night stay in Amsterdam will set you back an average of £682, but that a similar stay in nearby Antwerp would cost just £465 on average - a saving of £217 or 47%. By swapping Rome for Genoa, meanwhile, you could save 20% on the cost of a break, and by visiting Valencia instead of Barcelona you could save an average of 21%.
Amsterdam - swap for Antwerp - a medieval centre with cobbled streets and a stunning cathedral - as well as plenty of fashion, galleries and cafes.
Rome - swap for Genoa - which offers palaces, medieval walls and ancient lanes, and has plenty of Italian cuisine to get stuck into.
New York - swap for Washington DC - there are plenty of great landmarks to see - and you can always hop on a train to New York on one of the days you are there.
Barcelona - swap for Valencia - with striking architecture and Gothic monuments - as well as the beach strips and a buzzing nightlife.
Venice - swap for Bologna - the culinary capital of Italy, with plenty of piazzas and medieval walls if it's stunning architecture you're after.
Prague - swap for Ljubljana (in Slovenia) - with its pedestrianised centre, a rich heritage and a cool art district that comes to life at night.
Paris - swap for Lyon - a World Heritage site within each reach of the Alps, and with plenty of great cuisine to satisfy fans of French food.
Dublin - swap for Cork - it's picturesque and easy to spend time in - away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin.
Reykjavik - swap for Bergen in Norway - which offers scenic beauty, Nordic style and a breath of fresh air.
Budapest - swap for Krakow - Budapest was recently named the best value destination for a city break - but you can get cheaper. Krakow boasts the largest medieval plaza in Europe, filled with Poland's best bars and restaurants
If this piques your interest, it also found a few deals at the moment:
Antwerp: 3 nights (room only) for two people staying at the 3* Tryp by Wyndham Antwerp with Travel Republic, flying from London Heathrow on 22nd April 2016. The total cost for two adults is £386.
Genoa: 2 nights (room only) for two people staying at the 4* Quadra Key Residence with EasyJet holidays, flying from London Gatwick on 8th April 2016. The total cost for two adults is £338.
Valencia: 3 nights (room only) for two people staying at the 3* Daniya Alicante with EasyJet Holidays, flying from London Gatwick on 22nd April 2016. The total cost for two adults is £265.51.
Lyon: 3 nights (room only) for two people, staying at the 3* Kyriad Lyon Est – Bron Eurexpo with TravelRepublic.co.uk, flying from London Gatwick on the 29th April 2016. The cost per person is £153.00 and the total cost is £307.00.
Bologna: 2 nights (room only) for two people staying at the 3* THP Bologna with TravelRepublic.co.uk, flying from London Gatwick on 22nd April 2016. The cost per person is £85.00 and the total cost for two people is £165.00.
But what do you think? Are the savings good enough to make a mini-break a possibility? And are you tempted away from the tourist trail?