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All these European return flights are under £50

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James Bird
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Now that the tinsel tinted pre-Christmas optimism has disappeared down the vacuum of back-to-work sadface, January looks pretty glum. With diminishing chocolate and cheese supplies, a return to an unheated sash-windowed flat and a Pret skinny latte already poured down your new Carhartt t-shirt, we need things to look forward to. Desperately. February doesn't offer much solace (OTHER THAN VALENTINE’S DAY – WE LOVE THAT DAY, RIGHT?) and March is an absolute wetter, so what the hell are we gonna do?

Well, this is what the hell we’re gonna do. We’re going to use that £25 off Grandpa and the £25 your Mom gave you for the NEXT gift card off Auntie Marg and fly somewhere. Fly on a big plane in the sky to another place that isn’t this place.

Here’s where you can get to, and then get back from, this January for under the price of a couple of rounds of shit pale ale – big up Sky Scanner. Snap them up before January snaps you up.

Manchester – Milan 20-22 January £44 Return

Milan is chic, really fucking chic. Even if you put on your smartest Uniqlo Oxford Collar Shirt and those faux smart trousers from Dickies you wear for family occasions, you’ll still be made to feel like the kid who forgot it was non-uniform day. Italy’s answer to Happy Hour, aperitivo, where you buy a drink and get a platter of delicious food for free, began in Milan and you should go and make sure it carries on. Follow it up with a big bunch of Negronis and take a wander down Corsa Como. Maybe go watch Inter (at home to Pescara on the Saturday) at the San Siro and have an espresso the next morning in the Fondazione Prada bar, designed by Wes Anderson. Grazie mille.

Current Forecast: 3C Snow Showers with a big chance of Campari

London – Copenhagen 13-15 January £31 Return

What are you supposed to be doing next weekend then, guys? Someone you used to work with have a birthday at Hackney Wetherspoons? Contemplating going to that new taco pop-up in a disused launderette in Balham? Or do you fancy going to Copenhagen for a few days? It should be snowy, it will be trendy and you won’t find yourself buying Sourz shots at midnight. Hopefully. Copenhagen is the shit.

Current Forecast: 1C Snow Flurries with a big chance of things being v hygge.

Birmingham – Luqa 13-15 January £43 Return

Malta is a pretty, scorched orange archipelago sitting in the Mediterranean between the South of Italy and North Africa. It’s architecture is all yellows and oranges and blues, representing the tapestry of European, Middle Eastern and North African influences that have complemented each other on the island for thousands of years. And the food is absolutely banging. Plus, it’ll be well warmer than over here, and well quieter. Go relax, walk around and sit at a harbour for a few days, Brummies.

Current Forecast: 15C Sunny with a big chance of island action

London – Venice 13-15 January £48 Return

Venice is actually as ridiculous as it looks on the pictures. An enchanting maze of crumbling terracotta walkways, cupboard-under-the-stairs-sized bars and blokes in dope sailor outfits, it doesn’t seem real. But it is real, and it’s real far away from the off licence at the end of your road with the never ripe avocados. It’s easy to be suffocated by the heat and the tourists in the summer months, and January could be the perfect time to get lost in Venice. Go on, get lost.

Current Forecast: 6C Cloudy with a big chance of gondolas

Manchester – Oslo 13-15 January £28 Return

Mancunians, stop shivering in Salford and shiver in Oslo instead. In Oslo, you can get the underground metro system all the way up this massive mountain to a place called Frognersteren and then sledge to the bottom, walk back up, get back on the metro into central Oslo and head back to your warm Air BnB. It’s a cool city where everyone walks around with skis, and it has a food scene that’s getting more impressive by the day. 

Current Forecast: -6C Snow Flurries with a big chance of urban based snow frivolities

Edinburgh – Brussels 20-22 January £39 Return

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WELL, IF WE’RE GIVIN’ THEM ALL OUR MONIES WE MIGHT AS WELL GO SEE WHERE IT’S GOIN hadn’t we? Other than being the administrative capital of the EU, Brussels is also really cool. A multicultural city to the core, Brussels has a bar and café scene to rival the best of Paris. The Grand Place is one of Europe’s most beautiful squares, it has some really impressive Gothic buildings and there’s loads of beer to try.

Current Forecast: 2C Sunny Spells with a big chance of moules et frites

London – Barcelona 27-29 January £40 Return

The Catalan capital has the lot and you can get there and back for £40 during the last weekend of January. Spend a load of coins on delish tapas in the hustling markets around Las Ramblas, climb up to Gaudi’s Parc Guell for nuts surreal architecture and then go tonto diving between bars in the Gracia district.  All of this between skulking home for work on Friday and tucking yourself under your big tog for an early night on Sunday.

Current Forecast: 13C Mostly Cloudy with a chance of Segradaring your Familia

London – Stockholm 20-22 January £29 Return

People in Stockholm are intimidatingly attractive but so are you and that’s why you should treat yourself to a couple of days out there. The restaurant scene is a madness, the fashion is v cool and there’s lots of nice design-tourism to engage with. Pack ya mittens, rose ya cheeks and have a right old Scandi weekend. 

Current Forecast: -2C Snow with a big chance of smörgåsbord

These are just a few of the destinations you can get to and from with your fifty smackers this January, so if they don’t tickle your lovely little fancy then head over to Sky Scanner to have a gander for yourself. Go on, give yourself something to look forward to, because Valentine’s Day and the ides of March ain’t it.

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James Bird

James writes about kicking balls and eating food and bits and pieces like that

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