There may be a cost-of-living crisis but, post-pandemic, lots of us are still eager to travel the world.
And mum-of-three, Anne-Marie, is proving that amazing holidays don’t have to break the bank.
In fact, she jets off on 48-hour adventures, bagging flights for as little as £16.
She even makes it back in time for her night shifts.
Anne-Marie Moss, 45, has taken eight short trips over the last two years, all of which have cost her just £994 in total on return flights and accommodation.
They wanted to explore the Christmas markets and their return flights to Poland cost just £16.
Realising how easy it was to find quick getaways at bargain prices, she set off a month later back to Kraków – this time reuniting with an old school friend of 30 years, Rachel, 44.
Over the past few years, she’s travelled to various cities – taking new friends and getting stuck in with activities such as kayaking, quad biking and cycling around the national park.
And it’s clear Anne-Marie certainly isn’t one for lounging by the pool.
She recently spent 48-hours in Palma, Spain, having foot massages and watching a boat race in March 2023. The trip cost just £110 each, and she already has her next trip planned for May.
Anne-Marie makes sure to rigorously plan the jam-packed holidays – and always ensures she is back in time for her night shift as a receptionist at a mental health hospital.
The mum-of-three, from Accrington, Greater Manchester, said: ‘I’m often hopping off the flight and heading straight to my shift.
‘I sleep on the plane home. It started off when I found £16 return flights to go to Kraków, Poland.
‘I fell in love with it. After we came back home, I wanted to travel again.
‘We just came back from 24 hours in Palma, Spain. It was about £110 each in total.
‘It’s cheaper than going round Manchester.’
On Anne-Marie’s first cheap trip to Kraków in December 2021, she didn’t just visit the Christmas markets, she also went to Auschwitz and the salt mines.
She said: ‘We got an apartment for £100 for two nights and it was right in the city centre. The snow was picturesque.’
Desperate to go back, Anne-Marie invited her pal, Rachel, along with her in March 2022 after seeing a Facebook post about her wanting to travel.
She said: ‘I hadn’t seen her in 30 years but I said, “shall we go for it?”
‘It was last minute, and we got £35 return flight.’
The pair went to the Tantra Mountains and visited the thermal spa and they loved it so much they returned less than a month later.
On their second trip they went kayaking, quad biking and cycling – packing it all into 48 hours and spending just £120.
Anne-Marie has been three times since – taking school mum, Jill, 50, and her family in May and June 2022 as well as her twin sister, Donna, and their daughters in December last year.
She said: ‘Jill couldn’t come the first time we had planned to as her passport had expired.
‘So, I still took her family. I booked a surprise visit in June so she could go.
‘We belly laughed the whole time.’
Anne-Marie also spent two nights in Bucharest, Romania, in February 2023.
She said: ‘We went to the castles and thermal spa.
‘It was fabulous. It cost us £116 each in total.’
The shift worker just got back from 24 hours Palma, Spain, last month after jetting off with Jill and her work pal – Heather, 40.
Anne-Marie said: ‘It was about £110 each with flights and taxis. I’ve made new friendship groups along the way.’
Anne-Marie, desperate to keep travelling, already has her next trip planned with friends – an escape to Marseille, France, for 48 hours in May.
They have planned to kayak around the coast and take a cruise – spending just £29 each on return flights.
The mum usually takes her trips mid-week and books the first flight possible and the latest one back to make sure they make the most of the time they have.
She said: ‘I work shift work, so I usually go mid-week. I try and get an early flight out and then try and get the last flight home.
‘We just have backpacks.’
Anne-Marie is always happy for more women to join in on their travels.
She said: ‘As long as you’re nice and up for an adventure come along. You’ve got to be up for things.
‘We don’t relax by the pool.’
Anne-Marie’s 48-hour escapes:
December 2021: Kraków – £16 flights each, £100 accommodation (£25 each)
March 2022: Kraków – £35 flights, £50 accommodation
April 2022: Kraków and Tantra Mountains – £35 flights, £90 hotel, £120 on activities
May 2022: Tantra Mountains for three days – £120 each
June 2022: Kraków and Tantra Mountains – £22 flights, £120 each on activities
Dec 2022: Tantra Mountains – £35 flights, £100 accommodation
Feb 2023: Bucharest, Romania – £116 each
March 2023: Palma – £110 each
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