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How to Do London Travel on a Budget

London can be a very expensive city to visit. Before you know it, your budget can fly out the window if you're not careful about what you do and what you spend your money on. In order to call your next trip to London a true “budget holiday,” you’ll need to take several aspects of the journey into consideration. A few of those things to consider include airfare, travel around London, lodging and dining. Having a fair idea about how to do London travel on a budget will save you money while still affording you all of the excitement that London has to offer.

Getting to London on a Budget


With six major airports serving the greater London area, the chance of finding a cheap flight to London are quite good. Due to the fact that you can choose between Heathrow, Gatwick, Southampton, Luton, Stansted and London City Airport, your odds for being able to track down an airline and a ticket price that suit you are quite high. Many of the European low-cost airlines use the smaller of the airports, like Luton and Stansted, so don't rule out contacting one of these carriers to see what they have to offer.

If you're flexible and traveling solo, check out the possibility of flying as an air courier. Some companies still like to save money by sending documents and small packages with passengers traveling on commercial flights.

Getting Around London on a Budget

The classic London black cab is a treat to ride in, but an expensive one at that. A trip from one of the airports in to London proper can cost upward of $100 USD. Try to avoid black cabs at all costs if you want to save money.

The cheapest way by far to get into the city is by bus or train, the use of which constitutues the best way to do London travel on a budget. Check online before you leave so you know what bus and train options are available from your airport.

If you want to get into the city inexpensively, but don't want to take a train or bus, you can always try to find a minicab, which will cost more than a train or bus, but less than a black cab. If you want, you can book one online; otherwise, you can find a driver at the airport (they're usually the ones holding up the signs with names printed on them) and ask if they can call a colleague to arrange a pick-up.

Once you're in London, try to walk as much as you can. London is a great city for walking. When the feet begin to tire, pull out that bus or tube map and utilize London's extensive public transportation network.

Staying in London on a Budget

Hotel rooms in London, as a rule of thumb, are not cheap. But who says you have to stay in a London hotel? London has a wide assortment of hostels and bed and breakfasts that, while certainly not the cheapest lodging you'll ever find, offer better rates than most hotels in London.

Another option, and this works best if you are enjoying a slightly longer stay, is to find an empty flat (apartment) to rent. Many Londoners rent out their flats when they are away, often at extremely reasonable rates. This also is a great option for small groups.

Eating in London on a Budget

While London has for many years been frowned upon for its food, this stereotype is one that is fading quickly with the passage of time. Nowadays, you can find a variety of good food at reasonable prices throughout London.

To start with, find accommodations that provide breakfast. That way, you'll get a meal to start your day, which will give you the energy you need without spending a pound! Once you're out and about town, don't hesitate to have a bite to eat in a pub. You'll get a chance to see what traditional London pub life is all about, while enjoying a meal at a reasonable price.

Surf around for dining deals on the Internet. It's easy to find breakdowns of various London restaurants, along with ratings and prices, posted by either reliable food critics or fellow travelers.

London is a city that offers everything to its visitors, including high prices. That's why it's important to do your research before you leave home, so that you can find your own ways to save money without missing out on a true London vacation experience.

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