Back from London!
If you’re curious about some of the things I saw and did, you can check out my twitter, read below, and stay tuned for another post of my recommendations to future London travelers. I wanted to share some of my adventures along with some helpful knowledge I discovered along the way for saving money and getting the most out of a trip to an amazing city!
London is an expensive city to visit. One of the most expensive in the world, in fact. This originally made Jabez and I a bit nervous, as our budget is strict. We found that with a bit of planning, and a willingness to utilize public transit efficiently, you can definitely do everything.
How we did it:
Tourist spots: The touristy things for sightseeing in London are generally free. Most of the museums only ask for a donation, and you’re welcome to walk around Westminster, Buckingham Palace, and many other places for free. What costs money are the tickets to special tours or exhibitions. Deciding ahead of time what you want to see versus what you want to do can keep spending in check. When you decide what you want tickets for, book online if possible, because you usually get a better deal that way. Also take advantage of days where things like cathedrals are free – we attended an Easter service at St. Paul’s (free) versus seeing the inside on a tour (not free).
Transportation: The tube is fast and easy to understand even without a smartphone. However, it’s relatively expensive, and since it’s underground, you don’t get to see any of London. We opted for 7-day bus passes, which cost about 30 dollars per pass, but gave us unlimited rides almost our entire trip, and you get to see a lot more of London on a bus! Only caution: traffic does occur, so plan accordingly.
Food: This can add up quick. Definitely plan ahead some dinner restaurants you want to try, either near wherever you’re staying or near where you are for that afternoon. What helped us most was sharing entrees. Since we weren’t going to be able to have leftovers anyway, sharing meant we saved money on our meal and didn’t waste food.
Cash: We exchanged a set amount of money at the airport before we left, and then used that or credit card in London. Establishing a set amount of cash upfront can help to not go overboard by going back to the ATM over and over. It also got us the best possible exchange rate. We made sure we used all the cash before going home, as it was already part of our overall budget.
These are just some quick tips, but as you can see, with some planning and flexibility, a trip like this doesn’t have to break the bank, even on the tightest budget!
Stay tuned for a post about specific things I loved!
Going on a trip and need to pack light? Click here!
Any other traveling budget tips are welcome! I love comments!
Pictures (top to bottom):
View from the London Eye
Me in front of the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square
A Double Decker bus
Macaroons from the Borough Market