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How to Love London on a Budget

How to Love London on a Budget

Travelling to London can be quite overwhelming, especially if the richness and the luxury of the city intimidate you from the get-go. Not everyone goes to London with the itinerary of dining at The Ritz or spending an afternoon at Teanamu Chaya Teahouse. For budget-conscious travellers particularly those who are travelling with young children,enjoying the city and all its wonders can sometimes involve two things: wise decision making and perfect timing.

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London on a Budget with Kids
Read Between the Lines of Promo Flights

Budget flights are in these days. Just like how local travellers pre-book their airport parking in advance, they also scour the web for cheap flights and book on a whim. But behind the eye-catching promos are hidden charges that bump up the cost of a supposed inexpensive tickets. Parking4Less, a price comparison website from the UK, has a blog section that breaks down all of these hidden fees. In the post entitled, “Beware of Cheap Flight Extra Costs,” the site lists the top three: as card fees, price quotations before tax, and carry-on luggage fees. Additionally, some of these so-called budget airlines also implement infant charges for lap-held infants. Basically, it’s important to read the fine print and eliminate things you don’t need during the flight before booking a ticket to or from London (or any city for that matter!).

Consider flying into Gatwick airport when possible as Heathrow has much higher airport fees, built into the price of your ticket!

Take Advantage of London’s Excellent Public Transportation Systems and Walkable Neighbourhoods

One good thing about travelling to London is that you don’t have to worry about renting a car and finding parking spaces when you arrive. Grab an Oyster Card and take the train into the city from Heathrow or Gatwick Airports. London is known to have efficient public transportation systems, so you can easily tour without breaking the bank. You can pick and choose which sights you would like to see and make your own itinerary! In addition, central London is an ideal area for walking and even bicycling so you can get a firsthand look at all its famous sights. Bring a stroller in case your kids legs get tired from walking!

If it is your first time and you are looking for tips on where to stay, check out this post: Where to Stay in London

I am not going to lie, sometimes I wish I had a rental car for a few trips while in the City. If a rental car is in your budget, or you plan to explore outside the city, check out these London Car Rentals starting at $26 per day.

London on A Budget with Kids
Make the Most of Cheap and/or Free Spectacles

Contrary to what others think, London has a range of attractions that doesn’t require you to spend a penny. For one, there’s the daily Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace that your children will remember forever.

Furthermore, you can visit museums and art galleries such as Tate Modern, National Gallery, and British Museum to help broaden their horizons. On the other hand, if you feel like watching a West End show, it’s important to book tickets in advance. An insider tip by Visit London, states that once you have an inkling of what show you want to watch, line up at the theatre for stand-by and return tickets to save money.

There are many free parks in London as well to take advantage of while on vacation in the city. Illustrious centres like Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and Hampstead Heath are all visited by millions each year and are the perfect places to have picnics in the summer. Don’t miss a photo op in the iconic Red Telephone Booths!

When you have only 24 hours in London, check out this post from Salt and Sandals on 24 hours in London.

Further Reading:

If you want to know everything about UK Lapland check out this post (I had no Idea this existed!)

If you want to know about Christmas in Kent, click here

Here is a great post if you are planning Christmas in London

If you have a couple weeks in the UK check out this post on the Best UK Travel Itinerary 

London can be expensive, but you can save money with the London Pass

If you want a great day trip, check out this post on Day Trips to Windsor

Planning a Sussex Visit? Check out Bodiam Castle

Looking for Inspiration? Check out this London 4 Day Itinerary

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London on a Budget with Kids

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  1. Salina Bujosa says:

    Exactly! I feel that the reason why a lot of people hesitate to travel to places like London is because of how expensive it could be to do all of the extra-circular activists aside from the cost of plane tickets and hotel costs as well. These are excellent tips!

  2. […] exploring London on a budget is more your pace, but if you do decide to make your way through Nottingham for a weekend (take the […]

  3. Cristal Dyer says:

    Great post and I loved all the tip son cheap and free things to do in London. I’ve always avoided it because of how expensive it can be to visit.

  4. Marita says:

    Great tips, London can be well done on a budget! I took my10 year old nephew there last year and we became experts at the public transport system. Booked a few attractions way before going and used Groupon a bit, which saved me a lot of money.

  5. Ana says:

    London is in my bucket list. Thanks for sharing this post. Have pinned it for my reference!

  6. Tara says:

    Thanks for the London tips. We’ve got inexpensive travel down pretty well these days. While we tend to travel to smaller towns and outdoor areas, sometimes you just have to hit the big cities for all their colorful attractions, culture, and history. We always start by looking for parks and outdoor spaces, then free museums, then walking tours, and we only splurge on things that they whole family wants to check out.

  7. Thanks for the info! I haven’t gone to London or England yet because it seemed too expensive. I’d like to make it there someday though, so I’ll keep this in mind for the future!

  8. Anne says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how many free things there are to do in London. My top tip is also to walk. Things are more compact than you think and you get to see so much more!