My husband and I recently got back from a trip to London. My husband is a restaurant manager, and I am a stay at home mom who blogs and writes freelance. We don’t make a lot of money, but we love to travel. Love it so much that we are always looking for ways to save money and make travel affordable on our tight budget.
In London we were able to see all the top things: Tower of London, WestMinster Abbey, Wellington Arch, Kensington Palace, and so, so, so much more, and it only cost us about $200. How did we do it? Here are my top 5 tips for seeing and doing more in London for less:
1. Buy The London Pass
I highly recommend this. The pass includes over 60 attraction entrances, for one low price, and it sort of forces you to do things. We try to buy some kind of pass whenever we travel because we see and do things we may have not done otherwise, and save lots of money.
2. Pack some food.
Food in London is very expensive. We stopped for some “Pancakes” and a drink and it cost us over $25 US for this snack. Bringing along some nuts, granola bars, and other snack foods, as well as a water bottle, can help you save a bundle. And when you are paying to eat, look for good value meals. We had fish in chips in a tourist trap and overpaid by a landslide, and another day we popped into a hole in the wall Chinese place that was on our way, and had a wonderful meal for only about £10.
3. Map it out.
London is a huge city. And there are tons of attractions. Make a plan for your site seeing based on geography. This will save you time, and transportation costs. I will be sharing a few sample itineraries for ways to spend a day in London, which will include a geographically planned out day of sight seeing, so check back for that.
4. Spend time and money where it counts.
I would say there are 6 basic ways to spend time in London (post on this coming soon):
- Historic Buildings
- Tours, cruises, and walks
- Leisure (Cinemas, Restaurants, Shows)
- Places of Interest (Gardens, Zoos, etc.)
If you want to save time and money, spend your time on the things that matter most to you. My husband does not love art galleries, so while London boasts several top notch galleries, we chose to spend our time elsewhere, like visiting Kings Cross Station to see Platform 9 3/4. Helping us feel like we got a better value for our vacation time and money.
5. Buy a Travel Card
One of the best ways to get around London is using the underground and the bus system (Post on this coming soon). If you plan to do a lot of site seeing, chances are you will need to get around London a lot. Rather than paying per time you ride, consider buying a travel card that gives you unlimited use of the public transportation in zones 1-6? We purchased ours in conjunction with the London Pass, for a reduced rate, and it was well worth the expense.