London, the capital and largest city in the United Kingdom. One of the most famous cities in the world, London is known for its busy tourist attractions, political significance, and of course, its vast influence in the global economic markets. With all this, the average traveller may presume that the attractions of London come with a hefty price tag - this is true, as London is one of the most expensive cities in Europe.
Fortunately, this does not mean that it isn't possible to travel to London on a budget as long as you manage your finances and plan accordingly by first becoming informed of the various cheap deals on offer in London, including cheap flights, commute options, and of course ways to visit the various tourist attractions such as Big Ben that won't leave a hole in your pocket when you're done.
It is possible to see the city on a budget using the following five travel hacks.
First of all, let’s discuss the best way of actually getting there. Strangely enough, the most cost-efficient way of flying to and from London is often not by booking a direct flight but instead by taking a slightly longer route by first visiting a different European city.
A simple stopover in an equally admirable city such as Rome or Amsterdam can equate to savings of up to €250 – with the added benefit of also being able to stay a night or two in another great city which will ultimately add great value and experiences for the overall trip.
With that being said, it’s also important to take into consideration travel insurance. 4 out of 5 travellers book their flights with travel insurance, an essential addition to any trip to prevent any unforeseen medical bills that may be carried back on the flight home.
This insurance can add an extra hefty cost unless the proper research is done beforehand to find the best deals (and also, the best coverage). Websites such as www.theaa.ie offer bargain-hunters a way to compare travel insurance providers which ensures that the average budgeting traveller can find the best deal for them, especially if on a tight budget.
One of the most efficient ways of travelling throughout London, especially compared to driving your own car, is using the vast public transport system that spreads throughout the bustling city.
One of the best ways to visit the city is the London Underground (metro) system. Called 'the tube' by locals, billions of journies are completed through this underground system. Therefore, it's better to gen-up with this before seeing. One of our suggested London traveling hacks is to get an 'Oyster Card' to use this underground system.
It is a prepaid plastic card that you tap on the scanners at stations to pay your trip fare. Getting an Oyster Card implies that you don't need to stand in the queue at ticket machines, plus you'll save more each time you travel rather than using cash. In fact, using the Visitor Oyster card can save up to 50% as compared to single tickets or one-day paper travel cards.
Travellers may purchase a Visitor Oyster card which can amount to savings of up to 50% when compared to single tickets or one-day paper travel cards. These cards can also be reused upon return visits to what is arguably one of the most compelling cities in all of Europe.
Of course, many attractions in London require a fee – and although they are more than often worth it, it should not be a reason to disregard the many free, worthwhile attractions available in the city. London hosts a range of tourist attractions including over 20 free museums, architecture, and striking statues such as Nelson's Column, and the vast parks of Greenwich, Hyde, and Kensington Gardens. Other places worth visiting that don’t cost a penny include the famous Trafalgar Square (don't forget to take a selfie with the lions!), Winchester Palace, and the auspicious event of ‘changing the guard’ at Buckingham Palace. Visiting more of the free attractions will help you save some pennies to spend on London souvenirs to take back for your family too!
"Remember to check out Covent Garden where most days you'll get some free entertainment courtesy of the street performances," comments Ruban Selvanayagam of Property Solvers House Buyers UK.
Accommodation in London can be very pricey, particularly during the summertime and pretty much always during weekends. Rather than booking a hotel, attempt to locate a private room in a shared apartment, on Airbnb, as an example. Canary Wharf is a terrific district that has lots of modern flats that are in a fantastic condition close to several tube stations.
Getting to London does not need to be pricey either, have a look at the overnight tours leaving from all around England as well as Scotland - so you can sleep at the same time as you save!
Companies such as Megatrain that offer rail fares each way at bargain prices may also offer some steals for afternoon tripping in and out of London. All in all, visitors to Europe shouldn't be put off by London's pricey reputation.