Everyone wants to travel, but who can afford to go to Europe? Luckily, there are some great tips and trips to see London without breaking the bank. Here are a few ways to experience the culture, sights and people on a budget.
1. Buy a Visitor Oyster Card
An Oyster card is like a pre-paid credit card that can be used on all public transportation: trains, the Tube, buses, etc. You can buy a card before your trip and have it shipped directly to your home. That way when you land at Heathrow you can just walk onto the Tube and head to your destination. By buying an Oyster instead of paper tickets, you save 50-percent on the price of your transportation. Oh, and if you’re traveling with children, kids under 11 get a free Oyster card. Get more info here.
2. Get Pounds Before You Go
If you try and exchange money at the airport, you’ll get ripped off. Most banks offer services where you can order your own money from your debit card in foreign currency. Order some cash through your bank before you go and then you’ll avoid the fees of exchanging companies. Don’t forget to look up your bank’s British partner, so you can use the counterpart’s ATM with reduced fees.
London is known for having some of the best museums in the world. And guess what … a lot of them are free. Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Gallery, British Museum and Victoria and Albert are all free. You can see Picasso’s work for free, how do you beat that?
Much like when you visit New York City, TKTS is around to help with last minute (and reduced price) tickets to the hottest shows in town. There is some standing in the line but it can definitely save your budget and add a little something to your trip. Find out more here.
5. London Pass
If you’re wanting to see multiple attractions, consider the London Pass. One pass, one price. If you plan to see multiple paid attractions, the London Pass is cheaper than the regular price for included sights. Details here.
6. Skip the London Eye
Want to get the bird’s eye view of London? You could spend 28 pounds a person (or more) to see London in every direction, or you could go to Duck & Waffle. The restaurant sits on the 40th floor 110 Bishopsgate, offering delicious food and gorgeous views. Entrees run between 10 and 15 pounds a piece, offering you a similar experience to the London Eye and a lovely meal. Don’t forget to make a reservation, though, before you go. Details here.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group, AirBnB can be an affordable and hassle-free alternative to a hotel. Not to mention, you can often get great recommendations from your hosts. There’s the plus of having a kitchen, so you don’t eat out for every meal, too. Oh, and things like wifi are much more reliable when you’re staying at someone’s residence than when you’re staying in a hotel.