There’s a good article posted on ABC new’s website and it’s loaded with tips to save money in London, one of the world’s most expensive cities. Though London’s hotels and high-end restaurants can bleed a travel budget, there’s so much to see and do in the city that doesn’t cost a fortune. I end up spending less there than I do in other cities.
Here are a few of my personally tested money-saving tips for London visits:
- Buy food at a local market and eat a few meals in your hotel room at night or pack lunches for day trips. I can spend hours in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s anyway, and it’s fun to shop and eat like a native. I also keep snacks in my daybag so I don’t have to drop a small fortune when I get the nibbles.
- Walk. Probably the biggest reason why I love this city so much is because it’s so damn walkable. You can spend hours exploring a neighborhood, hop on the Tube, then go explore another part of the city.
- The Tube! I love the Tube. And so will your kids if you bring them. It’s fairly cheap, and it’ll get you anywhere in the city, including back and forth to Heathrow.
- But theater tickets for cheap a few hours before performance time. I’ve seen Vanessa Redgrave, Alec Guinness, and Edward Herrmann on stage, as well as Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera (hey, I heard that snicker), and the most I’ve ever paid is $25 per ticket. The seats aren’t the best in the house, but who cares? I either go into the box office to inquire about same-day tickets, or buy them at one of those cheap ticket kiosks if I’m desperate. (I think I used a kiosk only once — to get the Phantom tickets — because my travel companion was desperate to see the show.)
- I haven’t done this, but try couch surfing. My brother does this — you go to this site, plug in where you want to go and find an available couch in someone’s home or flat. If that’s too iffy for you, I’ve actually stayed in dorm rooms at the University of London in the summer and during winter breaks. It’s not a luxury accommodation, naturally, but if you just need a place to rest your head at night, check it out. Plus you get breakfast in the morning and can meet some very interesting people from around the world — all in a collegial atmosphere.
Any other money-saving tips for London-bound tourists? Post them in the comments section.