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Woman flies to Milan for 14-hour trip because it’s cheaper than a London day out

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Dagmara decided to make the most of her day (Picture: Jam Press/Dagmara Kedzierska)

A thrifty woman paid £50 for return flights to Milan, spending 14 hours in Italy for less than a day out in London.

Dagmara Kedzierska made the savvy trip due to increasingly expensive rail tickets in the UK.

It would have cost the 30-year-old over £100 alone to get a return train from her home in Manchester to the capital. So instead, the business owner flew to Milan Bergamo for half the price.

Arriving at 10:50am in the Italian city, she started her day grabbing a coffee with a freshly baked croissant for breakfast.

Dagmara then caught a £6 train to Varenna to see the beautiful Lake Como and watch the world go by while eating pizza and drinking Aperol spritz, before taking the £6 train back to Milan and hopping on the £2 Metro to see the famous Duomo cathedral.

After exploring the area, she travelled back on the Metro to the station and spent £11 on a train to Malpensa airport for her flight home, arriving back in Manchester at 1am the next day.

She flew to Milan via Manchester (Picture: Jam Press/Dagmara Kedzierska)

Dagmara said: ‘The day trips abroad are way more appealing, as most of the time they work out cheaper than staying in the UK.

‘My Milan trip cost me less than £200 including the flights, transport, food and drinks.

‘The weather abroad is also more likely to be better than here, I live in Manchester and the weather lately hasn’t been the greatest!

‘Travelling abroad, even if it’s only for one day, gets me in a holiday mood.’

The business owner took in the city, travelling on Milan’s Metro (Picture: Jam Press/Dagmara Kedzierska)

She’s not new to these whistlestop journeys overseas either, and likes to make the most of her annual leave while visiting as many countries as possible.

‘I have done a few day trips abroad for one day and it allows me to go back to work the next day without taking any time off,’ Dagmara adds.

‘I also love food and travelling abroad even for one day lets me try new foods. The restaurants in the UK are very basic and most of the time you will eat pre cooked pasta or prebaked pizza.’

Not a bad view for a pizza and spritz (Picture: Jam Press/Dagmara Kedzierska)

Proper Italian food is just one benefit of a jet-setting day out to Milan. Despite its upmarket image, the city is affordable (as long as you plan ahead and stick to your itinerary).

Travel blogger Nele van Hout wrote: ‘It is totally doable to go to Milan on a budget and still have a fantastic time…

‘There are a lot of things to do in Milan for free. You can go window shopping in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and Castello Sforzesco can be seen (partly) for free. Even simply wandering around to enjoy the architecture is a real treat.’

Dagmara visited the Duomo and enjoyed classic gelato (Picture: Jam Press/Dagmara Kedzierska)

Plus, given trains in the UK are among the priciest in Europe, while delays or cancellations are now seemingly the norm, it’s understandable you’d opt for a foreign break over braving somewhere close to home.

The growing cost of staycations is causing many to look further afield when planning their holidays, as Metro.co.uk’s senior news editor Alice Murphy explains: ‘Holiday-let owners across the UK are reporting a notable fall in bookings this year after a boom during the pandemic, with many blaming poor weather and prices resulting from the cost of living crisis…

‘Travel experts say holidaymakers are becoming more careful, booking later and spending less, all with the intention of getting the best value for their money.’

She also got some great travel snaps to remember her day (Picture: Jam Press/Dagmara Kedzierska)

There are downsides to consider if you’re weighing up a whistlestop visit abroad, though.

Firstly, planes produce far more emissions than trains, coaches and even cars, so flying a few hours’ away for less than a day isn’t exactly eco-friendly.

It’s also important to factor in the cost (both money and time) of getting to and from the airport, potential tourist taxes, and whether you have the stamina to spend a day on your feet without a hotel room to rest in.



Breakdown of Dagmara’s costs for Manchester to Milan

  • Return flights to Milan: £50
  • Travel while in Milan: £27
  • Attractions: £10 (it costs €11.50 to access the Duomo cathedral and museum)
  • Food and drink: roughly £100

Total: £187

Rough cost of day trip to London from Manchester

  • Return train: £100 (although fares can be found for less depending on your time of travel)
  • Travel while in London: £15.90 for a London Day Travelcard
  • Attractions: £32 (taking into account one adult ticket to Buckingham Palace, but attractions like the British Museum and National Gallery are free to visit)
  • Food and drink: £106.33 (factoring in average prices for two meals at inexpensive restaurants, one at a mid-range restaurant, a cup of coffee, three beers and two bottles of water via Numbeo)

Total: £254.23

Approx saving = £67.23

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