It's no secret. London is an expensive city. Like, really expensive. But that doesn't mean you can't travel there on the cheap. Here's five tips to experience London without breaking the bank.
Embrace the Museum Lifestyle
London is a town of many museums and the larger, more famous ones boast of having no entrance fee. Just simply walk in and enjoy some of the greatest works of art and design the world has to offer. There is a suggested donation price to which I always drop a few pounds in, but this isn't necessary if you're on a tight budget. Great options for non-museum goers are the Victoria & Albert Museum, which offers more design and culture focused exhibits, and the Imperial War Museum. For art lovers, the National Gallery and the Tate Modern are must sees.
Skip the Hotel, Get a Rental
Hotels in London can be rather pricey, especially considering that even the costlier ones can be small and cramped. To keep a few quid in your pocket, opt for a rental service like Airbnb and get a room or a flat in a part of town you'd like to explore. At a hotel you pay for the convenience of being near major attractions, which tends to keep you in more expensive touristy areas. By using a rental service you can find a neighborhood location that offers cheaper eats, less crowded transportation hubs and a sense of how real Londoners live.
Hop on the Tube with a Visitor Oyster Card
The new Visitor Oyster Card offers a cheaper alternative to buying a Day Travelcard. By capping how much you spend each day at £6.60, you spend roughly half of what you would on a Day Travelcard (£12.30.) You can apply online and have it shipped to your house before your trip, ready to use as soon as you step off the plane! Make sure to order your card in advance to get the lowest prices!!
Sandwich, Sandwich, Sandwich
Okay, this is going to sound lame, but I'm in love with the simple little British sandwich shops that are pretty much ubiquitous in the capital. Whether it's a M&S or Pret a Manger, little sandwich shops offer a quick pick me up and a pretty cheap food option in an expensive city. Instead of eating in, grab your sandwich to go and sit in front of a museum or attraction for prime people watching. By avoiding the cafes at tourist attractions, you can save a lot of cash.
Skip the Souvenirs, Take a Picture
Kim and I have stuck to carryon travel for a while so we never really have room for a lot of souvenirs. On our latest trip we followed some suggestions from Ashlea at a A Globe Well Travelled and took pictures of thing we would have otherwise bought. Not only do we have great memories of some pretty awesome stuff, we don't have to find a place for said stuff in the house. It's like winning twice! London is packed full of souvenir shops, most of which are the exact same touristy stuff. So next time you're in London, skip the standard souvenirs by taking a picture of yourself gawking at them. Not only will you have less to carry, you can save your hard earned money for more adventures or for one big splurge souvenir at the end.