February sees the return of Europe’s premier footballing competition and for fans considering making the trips abroad to watch their teams in action, managing finances can play an important role.
The Champions League draw for the knockout stages will see four English clubs travel to all corners of Europe, with every destination offering something a little bit different.
The two Manchester clubs are joined by rivals Arsenal and Chelsea in venturing to the European mainland, visiting some of Europe’s finest cities in the process.
While Manchester United travel to Athens to meet Olympiakos, their neighbours from the blue half of the city travel to Spain, to meet Barcelona.
Chelsea visit Istanbul to play Galatasaray while Arsenal are slightly closer to home, when they travel to Munich to take on Bayern.
All four cities are steeped in culture and for away fans considering making the trips, what do they need to know about these European hotspots?
The Catalonian capital is steeped in history and architecture, including the spectacular Camp Nou Stadium, as well as the Sagrada Familia and the city Aquarium.
There’s also a whole host of museums and other attractions across the city, including the Barcelona FC Museum where Manchester City fans can learn all about their famous opponents.
Much like Barcelona, Munich is also steeped in history although Arsenal fans will get the privilege of visiting The Allianz Arena, the city’s spectacular stadium that is not yet a decade old.
Museums and art galleries can be found across the city, while the finest Bavarian beers can be sampled on virtually every street.
Described as the link between Europe and the Middle East, Istanbul is cultural mix of stunning architecture from many interesting periods throughout history.
The Grand Bazaar is the oldest and largest open market in the world, enabling Chelsea fans to get their hands on some of the region’s finest food, drink and goods.
History can be found at every turn in the Greek capital as one of the world’s oldest cities still maintains a focus on its cultural past.
The Parthenon temple on the Athenian Acropolis dominates the skyline and is an essential place of interest for any Manchester United fans looking to sample what the city has to offer.
Managing away day finances
When travelling across Europe, keeping an eye on finances is essential to ensuring that a trip doesn’t go over budget.
Once aspects such as tickets and travel costs are taken into account, the amount required for the trip can quickly add up.
That’s where a prepaid card can come into its own, as it is possible to limit spending to whatever is on the card at any given time.
As a result, it means that any souvenir scarves and memorabilia can be purchased alongside any half-time snacks and beer, safe in the knowledge that you’re still within budget.
Other funds can always be added to the card should people require it while they are away though.