London on a budget

Monday 21 March 2011

budget london

People will always tell you London is an expensive city but I live here with a young family and I’m not a millionaire. Locals know where the deals can be found, and visitors often don’t, so I’m here to share some tips to show you a trip to London can suit anyone’s budget.

I write the About.com London Travel site and the London for Free pages are some of the most popular with ideas from the unusual ceremonies to the many free museums and galleries.

After accommodation, eating out can be a large part of your vacation budget and London offers excellent options at all price points. Don’t let dining spoil your frugal planning as there are many Budget Restaurants in London and I’ve also got a list of ideas on how to eat in London for under £5.

Walking is an excellent way to get around London and you’ll see so much more but if you need to travel longer distances then make sure you have an Oyster Card, which can be bought before you arrive, as cash fares on tubes and buses are more expensive. There is also daily capping on lots of travel so once you reach the maximum daily fare all your other journeys are free. There’s further good news for families as children travel for free on London transport but you may need to order a photocard in advance.

budget london

Then what about London’s West End Shows? You would expect all tickets to be very expensive but I’ve got lots of tips on how to save money on theatre tickets.

If you discover a lot of the attractions you want to visit are not free then consider a sightseeing pass that covers a lot of the biggies so you may want to plan a few days seeing the hard-hitters such as the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral.

As well as these ideas, I like to have some vouchers printed and in my wallet at all times from Smartsave as they can get you discounts at attractions, restaurants and more. These are great is you want to be spontaneous as you do not need to book in advance for a discount.

There are also great offers to be found on the ‘mob buying’ sites which offer amazing discounts and once enough people commit to buy you all get the deal. My personal favourite is Groupon, but others include KGB Deals, Living Social and Wahanda. Sign up as soon as you know you are coming to London and buy some deals in advance.

I hope you can now see London is not prohibitively expensive; it’s all about knowing where to find the bargains.

IMAGES VIA: David Bank and UGArdener

Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site which is an online travel guide for visitors to London. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook too. 

Latest Blogs

Get into the spirit of Halloween in Britain

Girl playing with pumpkins at Halloween
Get into the spirit of Halloween in Britain

How to visit The Crown filming locations in Britain

The Crown filming locations in Britain
How to visit The Crown filming locations in Britain

On the trail of Sherlock Holmes in Britain

A Victorian-style policeman on guard outside the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street
On the trail of Sherlock Holmes in Britain

Spooky British graveyards and cemeteries

Sleeping lion statue at Highgate Cemetery, London
Spooky British graveyards and cemeteries

Why traveling the Cornish Loop is the ultimate English roadtrip

Why traveling the Cornish Loop is the ultimate English roadtrip