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"I spent £9k on 12 holidays in a single year – everyone should take time off once a month"

A woman spent £9k on 12 holidays in 12 months – and says everyone should take time off once a month to have a break from work. Mel Anyamene, 24, has always loved travelling and made a New Year’s resolution in to visit a new country every month in 2023. After finishing an undergraduate and masters degree in engineering and landing a job in November 2022, Mel wanted to make sure she took a good break each month - vowing to go on holiday 12 times in one year. Mel booked her first trip in January to Malaga, Spain, and has since been to Dubai, Lisbon, Romania, Croatia, Montenegro, Miami in the US, Nigeria, St. Lucia, Grenada and Cyprus. Mel has jetted away with friends and family – and spent £8,300 so far on the holidays - and says she was able to afford them as she lives rent-free with her parents. She has a trip to Milan, Italy, planned in November and another to Lagos, Nigeria, in December - to complete her year of holidays. Mel, a consulting analyst, from Croydon, London, said: “I made a New Year’s resolution to travel to 12 countries in 12 months in 2023. “I wanted to explore more. “I’ve been continually in education for a very long time and since I had just started my grad job - I thought it would be the perfect way to spent my money. “The money will come back – experiences won’t. “I’m supposed to be enjoying myself. “Everyone should be taking time off at least once a month. “Take time off for yourself.” Mel went away with her family every year growing up and got a buzz for travelling. She said: “From a young age my parents took me to different places. “We used to go to a new place and never went to the same place twice.” Mel decided to take on the challenge in November 2022 and booked a trip to Malaga, Spain, in January and her mum, Ifesi, paid for a holiday in Dubai in February 2023. She used a British Airways Amex card to rack up points to get cheaper flights for her future destinations, and was able to afford the travel as she lives with her parents rent-free. Mel loves travelling in “affordable luxury” and spent £360 on a bohemian luxury hotel - La Zambra, Malaga, and a return flight. She said: “I’m more of a hotel person.” In March, Mel went to Lisbon for a weekend solo trip for £35 return flights and enjoyed a cooking class. She was offered a sponsored trip to Romania and was able to go for free and hopped over to Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Montenegro in April. Mel said: “Croatia was absolutely amazing. “I always did a boat trip everywhere I could.” Mel loves visiting interactive museums on her trips and made the most of her 30 days of annual leave – which run from September to August – and bank holidays by going away over the weekends. She jetted off to Miami in June before heading to see family in Nigeria in August – cashing in her British Airways points to bag a return flight for just £100. She said: “I used a British Airways Amex card and started racking up points. “Then I could pay with points.” In September, Mel crossed off a further two countries – St Lucia and Grenada – on a family holiday. She said: “St Lucia is a beautiful place. It’s so colourful and so vibrant.” Mel visited Cyrus in October and has a trip to Milan, Italy, and Nigeria planned for the final months of the year. She said: “It’s full on. I’m used to jam packed days. I’m used to being on the go.” Mel estimates she will have spent £9,000 in total on her 12 trips this year – but says you could travel for cheaper than she has. In total she has visited 33 countries over the years and already has some trips planned for next year – to Greece, Norway and Thailand. But she isn’t taking up the challenge to go on quite as many holidays in 2024. She said: “My parents say I need to relax. “I’m lucky I don’t have to pay rent. “Travelling is an education. “I’m thankful I have done it.” Mel’s travels – January – Malaga - £360 on package flights and hotel, £300 spending February – Dubai - £700 on package flights and hotel, £600 spending March – Lisbon - £35 flight, £190 hotel, £200 spending April – Romania – sponsored trip. April – Dubrovnik, Croatia and Montenegro - £325 flight and hotel package, spending £300 June – Miami - £950 flights and hotel package, spending £1,000 August – Lagos, Nigeria, £100 flights, stayed with family, £150 spending September – St Lucia and Grenada, £2,100 flights and hotel, no spending October – Pharos, Cyprus, £35 flights, £180 hotel, spending £250 November – Milan, Italy, £35 flights, £130 hotel December – Nigeria, £400 flights

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