Want a FREE* holiday to the US?

Be savvy with your hard-earned pennies and bag yourself a trip to the US and a new iPhone X without spending a penny more!

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Living in the UK and buying the new iPhone X when it’s released on November 3rd? Why not be savvy with your pennies and include a mini holiday over to the US for launch day at no extra cost.

Wot

WOT! NO HIDDEN CHARGES? HOW? WHY? GET ME THERE!

I’ll explain.

One of the talking points of the iPhone X is that the UK and the US versions are both carrying price tags of 999 for the 64GB and 1149 for the 256GB no matter whether you’re paying in GBP or USD. So it’s cheaper to buy the X in the US. In a freakish turn of events the GBP is also gaining traction and strengthening which means that it’s not just cheaper, it’s becoming cheaper by the day.

Current exchange rates of £1 = $1.36 (16/09/17) holds a saving of £264.44 on the 64GB and £304.15 on the 256GB if you bought it in the US compared to buying in the UK. So let’s see where we can fly to and stay for those sorts of savings.

Scotland (Edinburgh Airport)

Anybody near Edinburgh? You can fly direct from Edinburgh to Stewart International, New York for three nights with Norwegian Air for just £261! Or for a week for £275! Camp sites close to the airport charge from £8 a night or bag a private room at Greenwood Lake for just £19 a night. Flying the 2nd November and returning Sunday 5th November you arrive just in time for launch the next morning and spend the next three days Instagramming a beautiful part of the US with the wide angle feature on your new phone instead of the same old coffee in the same old part of town.

Greenwood Lake
I mean, seriously, look at this beaut of a place. Imagine the colours the beginning of November!

Fancy 7 nights on Rhode Island? £261 to fly direct to Providence which, in my opinion, is an absolute steal! A quick check on Wiki tells me that there are more coffee and doughnut shops per capita of any other city in the US. There is also plenty of park space and I’m informed the historical part of downtown Providence houses some beautiful architecture.

London (Gatwick)

How does a few nights in Boston, MA sound? Fly from Gatwick on launch day, returning Sunday for just £275 with Norwegian Air. That leaves a £30 budget for accommodation, which there is plenty of if you use AirBnb. Okay, you’ve got until 4pm on launch day without one when everyone else has spent hours showing off with theirs but you should be packing. You’re off to the US for the weekend!

If Colorado would be more your thing, you can fly direct from Gatwick to Denver from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th. It’s at the upper end of the iPhone saving budget at £316 but you can get rooms for around £15 a night, taking you just £20 over the cost of a British iPhone X! And, let’s be honest, for an extra £20 who’s quibbling?

denver.jpg
Denver is home to some pretty spectacular buildings and art pieces. 

Seattle is also an option at the upper end of the budget. Staying for four nights you have a day to get your bearings before purchasing the one thing that has made your trip possible. And then three days to experiment with all the new features on it before coming back to the UK and showing everyone what a fab place Seattle is.

Northern Ireland/Wales

Flights from some of the smaller Irish airports such as Cork and Shannon offer ridiculously cheap flights over to the US. New York, Boston, and Rhode Island were three coming in at less than £300 for several date combos across the weekend.

Downtown Providence
Downtown Providence, Rhode Island.

In addition to this, Shannon and Dublin both have US Pre-clearance which means a quicker passage through the airport and to your iPhone X on the other side of the Atlantic. If you’re travelling from Wales check out Stena Line who have fantastic offers for foot passengers crossing the Irish Sea that start at just £5.50 for a return sailing. Much cheaper than a train up to Manchester!

So if you fancy a short break to the US (with or without the iPhone X) here’s how to do it:

All the flights I found were with Norwegian Air who currently have a sale on flights to the US but you need to be quick as the sale ends tomorrow (18/09) at 22.59 BST. To have a look and book direct with them the link is here.  If you’re pretty flexible you can search using Skyscanner all flights from the UK to the US and this will pull up all US airports with the cheapest ones first. Have a play around with date combos to see what comes up.

For places to stay I searched on AirBnB to find the cheapest places in the vicinity as these tend to yield cheaper results than price comparison websites who tend to have just hotels. However if a hotel is more your thing I like using Trip Advisor as a price comparison site. To make these cheaper still use a cashback website such as Quidco or Top Cashback where you can get a % of the cost of the flight and hotel back in a few months’ time. Sites such as Expedia, Hotels.com, and Trip Advisor all have offers through cashback sites.

So, if you’re after the iPhone X, why buy it in the UK when you can fly to the US and buy it there for the same price? In a sense a free weekend break with your new top of the range phone. Just don’t forget to pre-order on the 27th October!

My Love Affair With an Irish City

I first visited Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, when I was just 21 years old and even though I was with the most miserable company imaginable I had the best time.

I didn’t understand it. I went with the same miserable boyfriend to Spain on a holiday and refused to go back for eight years!

But Dublin was different.

I still remember one of the drivers of the big, red City Sightseeing buses singing Molly Malone on the way round and having a laugh at the expense of some tourists who didn’t speak English. I remember the statues dotted around the most beautiful park I’d ever seen, St. Stephen’s Green and the singers busking on Grafton Street. I walked so much for three days trying to take in everything and yet not realising at the time that there was so much more to Dublin than the small part I’d seen.

IMG_20160529_090120
I mean, seriously now, how beautiful is this? No filters, no posh cameras. Just a point and click with my S7!

Since my first trip over 10 years ago now I’ve been back what seems like a million times. It didn’t help that it was quicker and cheaper for me to travel to Dublin than to Liverpool or Manchester, especially when the £ was stronger so I’d go on day trips shopping, take my son to the zoo there, and stay overnight with friends.

The more I have visited the place for differing reasons the more I have realised that, for me, there is something very special about this city. Put simply, I am head over heels in love with it. I love the music, culture, and passion that is evident all over the city. Being there makes me smile, even after seeing a loss at Croke Park in the League final and getting soaked walking back into town I was stood at the bus stop yearning to come back before I’d even left.

There is much to do that can immerse you into the history, the passion, and the culture of this vibrant place and even after the millions of times I’ve been there I’ve still not done it all. Dublin is a city that needs not just to be seen but to be experienced.

Edit: I’m in the middle of drafting some blogs about different aspects of Dublin as a city. If there’s anything you feel you’d like to know about, or hear more about, please comment and I’ll include them in later posts.