How to Save Money on a Trip to London
With its palaces, towering monuments, and exquisite architecture, London looks like an expensive destination. The good news is that it’s completely possible to save money on a trip to London, particularly if you are willing to do just a little bit of preparing in advance. Use these five tricks, and watch the savings pile up!
Buy Airline Tickets in Advance, or Surprise Yourself with Last-Minute Deals
There are quite a few tricks to purchasing low-cost airfare to London. Whether you use one or several of the following, you’re likely to save money that you can put toward other things or leave in the bank for later use.
- Consider signing up for low-fare alerts from services that specialize in finding the lowest prices on airline tickets. Airfarewatchdog and similar sites scour the internet on behalf of their subscribers and then provide notifications as deals become available. These sites often offer excellent hotel deals too, with deep discounts on unbooked rooms that need to be filled.
- Try hunting for last-minute flights at rock-bottom rates. This method is less predictable than planning in advance, but it often yields good results.
- Plan for overnight travel, and try to plan your flights for days that land in the middle of the week. You’re likely to get better deals on flights to London when you travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
- Search for flights on Tuesday or Wednesday. Airlines typically release sales prices on Mondays, and competitors get into the game the following day.
- If you have frequent flier miles, see if you can use them. Note that there are lots of methods for getting free frequent flier miles. Give them a try if you’re up to it.
Stay in touch for less with VoIP.
It’s likely that you’ll need to call the UK as you plan your trip, and you will probably need to make some phone calls while you’re there. If the prospect of high-priced calling cards (not to mention the hassle!) has you feeling perturbed, and if you’re wondering how much you’ll wind up paying in roaming charges in the event you’re forced to use your mobile phone, now is a great time to put those fears to rest. Thanks to Viber Out’s VoIP service, which uses the internet to connect your mobile, tablet, or PC to any landline or cell number on the planet, you can simply pre-purchase a call package online (prices start at under $5 USD for over four hours of talk time) and then chat to your heart’s content. The Viber Out is free to download, and there’s an additional bonus: If any of your contacts happen to use Viber Out, the two of you can talk for free, for as long as you want to.
Get Around London with a Travel Pass
Londoners take advantage of the Oyster Card, which is an all-inclusive travel pass that covers bus fare, tube fare, and other mass transit options. You can choose how many days you’d like to have your Oyster Card, pay up front, and then buzz around the city like a local.
Have a Few Nice Meals, and Eat Like a Local In-between
While it’s possible to survive on pasta and rice, it’s also a good idea to try some local favourites and of course, splurge on some drinks at least once while you’re visiting London. Cheap meals can be had at smaller cafes located a little off the beaten track, as well as from street vendors. Of course, there are supermarkets where you can pick up pre-made sandwiches, fruit, drinks, crisps, biscuits, and other picnic staples, all for very little. Decide which meals you’d like to splurge on, and keep in mind that a lovely lunch usually costs a little less than a dinner at the same establishment. Finally, extend your food budget further by remembering to take advantage of freebies such as free breakfasts offered at many hotels and B&Bs.
See the sights with a London Pass®
While London is famous for its many free museums, parks, and public buildings, there are some attractions that just beg to be visited – and without a pass, you’ll have to pay a premium to get in. The London Pass® presents a brilliant solution to this dilemma, offering access to more than sixty destinations. Passes are available at different price points and for varying numbers of days, and like Oyster Cards, they include some excellent discounts on lunches and other goodies. Some public transit may be included as well, so take this into consideration as you are planning your daily itinerary.
With plenty of planning, attention to detail, and a lighthearted spirit of adventure, you can save money on your trip to London. It’s easy – and fun!
*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post*