A mother has claimed it was cheaper to fly to Lanzarote for just 12 hours and sneak into a fancy hotel by pretending to be a guest than to have a night out at her local boozer.
Nichola Stafford, from Astley in Greater Manchester, said this is the second day trip she has been on this month, both times opting to fly to the Canary Islands for some winter sun.
The 44-year-old jetted off from Liverpool John Lennon Airport at 5:45am with her niece Lily-Mae, 20, on 9 November, paying just £45 for return Ryanair flights.
The mum-of-three explained that the day outing cost them £86 each in total, which included flights, food and cocktails, and said she would spend more than this on a Saturday evening spent at the pub back home.
When the pair arrived in Lanzarote, they took a bus to Puerto del Carmen, where they checked out the shopping mall and then headed to the beach.
After sunbathing for a couple of hours, the pair enjoyed tapas and a jug of sangria at a beach bar before sneaking into a nearby hotel to use their facilities for free – by claiming they needed the bathroom and then not leaving.
The pair said they spent two hours exploring the hotel and sunbathing by the pool even telling other guests they were residents at the resort.
After catching some rays, Nichola and Lily-Mae took a taxi back to the airport at 4pm and checked into a lounge where they watched the sunset and enjoyed a last cocktail before catching a flight home at 7:15pm.
Nichola said the pair landed back at Manchester Airport around 11pm and were in bed by midnight.
The rapid response healthcare worker said she only took a large handbag on her day visit, which contained a bikini, towel, battery pack and a bottle of suncream and said she changed from her leggings into shorts mid-flight.
Nichola explained how she loved her time away and would recommend others to try a quick trip abroad on their day off.
‘It was absolutely gorgeous. The weather was 32 degrees,’ she said.
‘After enjoying tapas and a jug of sangria, we were walking along the beach front and we approached a hotel that looked really nice.
‘I needed the toilet so we walked up to the reception and there was a security man.
‘We just said ‘Hola’ and pretended we were a resident [at the hotel].
‘We went in and explored the hotel and relaxed on the sun loungers. We just told other guests [in the hotel] that we had just arrived.
‘We stayed in the hotel for two hours enjoying the facilities. It was a beachfront hotel so it had really nice scenery and we just sunbathed under the palm trees.
‘We attempted to go in the pool but it was freezing. Nobody was in the pool so we just sunbathed.
‘When we got back to the airport, we checked into an airport lounge as I have a Revolut card and you get three hours free in there.
‘We sat on the terrace, watched the sunset and enjoyed a last cocktail and some sushi.’
Nichola said she would normally spend her days off cleaning and carrying out ‘mum duties’.
After returning from her day excursion, she has already booked to return to Lanzarote on 8 December for a solo trip to explore the islands.
The mum-of-three explained: ‘I tell people to just book the day trips.
‘Life’s too short not to, and I’d spend more than £86 in my local pub at the weekend.
‘It’s definitely worth it.
‘I booked the trip two days before we went.
‘I would normally spend my days off work cleaning and doing housework, preparing tea and taking my kids to and from school.
‘It was nice to escape from mum duties for the day.’