Winter is creeping in and bringing with it the dreaded seasonable blues – meaning many Brits are dreaming of jetting off somewhere sunny to escape the UK’s grey skies.
For those unable to book time off work, and are working with a tight budget, a day trip abroad could be the perfect solution.
Sounds impossible? It’s not – it’s an increasingly popular trend known as ‘extreme day tripping’ – and it’s exactly what Londoner Ehteshan Hanifa, 29, decided to do.
His verdict? He ‘couldn’t recommend it enough’ to others.
For just £27, the Brit jetted off to Milan at 5:45am and enjoyed a day out, before flying back to London at 8:30pm.
He crammed in a relaxing spa day and some sightseeing, before enjoying some pasta and a pistachio pizza, with gelato to finish.
Ehteshan’s post about his day abroad quickly racked up more than a million views, with people flooding the replies section with questions.
His post detailed how he first visited the QC Termemilano spa, which features a cinematic pool room that simulates a thunderstorm, complete with dramatic stormy sound effects.
The wellness retreat made waves on TikTok earlier this year – it’s housed in an Art Nouveau complex in the heart of the Italian city and also features saunas, hot tubs, a waterfall room and an outdoor pool.
It describes itself as a ‘multi-sensory experience’, with the base admission fee including a robe, a towel, a pair of slippers and an ‘exclusive’ aperitif.
In his rundown from the day, Ehteshan also included a picture of what looks like lots of beds in a room within the spa. He shared a snap of the Duomo di Milano, a tourist hotspot, as well as the delicious pizza he tucked into from Ristorante Galleria.
Metro reported that the whole day cost him just £156 – the flight was £27 and the bus to and from London Stansted was £14.
In terms of his chosen activities, the spa was £60 and food and drinks totalled £40. He then spent £15 on trains while he was in the city.
It’s not the first time Ehteshan has tried something like this. He told MailOnline: ‘I did something similar in July 2022.
‘I managed to find cheap flights to Cologne for a day on my birthday, £30 return, and six of us travelled.
‘I would love to do a day trip abroad again. If I can find cheap flights that leave early in the morning and come back late evening.
‘I couldn’t recommend it enough to others. It’s so much cheaper than a night out in London and you get to experience way more.
‘In Cologne, I visited the cologne cathedral, the Lindt chocolate museum and I travelled around the city on a Lime Scooter.
‘Some cities in Europe are really small so you can see the main sights in a few hours so yes, I recommend end encourage everyone to go on day trips abroad.’
The travel fanatic said it was TikTok that inspired his last minute decision.
He explained: ‘I was on TikTok and a video of the QC Termemilano spa appeared on my page and I decided to go to it.’
It prompted others to plan a similar excursion, with one user asking: ‘I really want to do this exact thing, any tips please?’
He advised: ‘Go on skyscanner or kayak to check for flights, use city mapper to get around and use tiktoks on things to do and see during the day.’
Describing the spa to another curious X user, he said: ‘You just go in and relax. They have soothing music playing and have many incense bottles places in the room to just get you relaxed.’
Ehteshan recommends Skyscanner or Kayak for finding the best deals on flight, with another user joking ‘I bet it was cheaper then a night out in London.’
Others were inspired by the spontaneous trip, with one penning: ‘Need to try these day trips one day’, and another adding: ‘I need friends I can do this with!!’
One user said: ‘I need this level of spontaneous’, meanwhile another added: ‘I need to do this! WTH!!,’ alongside fire emojis.
Someone who has already given extreme day tripping a go, concluded: ‘I done this last month and it was sooooo exhausting but also one of the best things i’ve ever done.’
Another added: ‘Omg I done this too to Milan in the summer.
‘Not exactly the same activities but a 7am-ish flight there, ate, sightseeing, museums, spaghetti and gelato and then a 8pm-ish flight back.
‘One of the best spontaneous things I’ve done to date.’