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 â€“ particularly those who are travelling with young children â€“ enjoying the city and all its wonders can sometimes involve two things: wise decision making and perfect timing.
Here is a great post if you are planning Christmas in London
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, â€œBeware of Cheap Flight Extra Costs,â€ 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, itâ€™s important to read the fine print and eliminate things you donâ€™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 Londonâ€™s Excellent Public Transportation Systems and WalkableÂ Neighborhoods
One good thing about travelling to London is that you donâ€™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 you are looking for a graffiti tour in London, check out this post
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 theseÂ London Car Rentals starting at $26 per day.
If you want a great day trip, check out this post on Day Trips to Windsor
Make the Most of Cheap and/or Free Spectacles
Contrary to what others think, London has a range of attractions that doesnâ€™t require you to spend a penny. For one, thereâ€™s the dailyÂ 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, itâ€™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, Regentâ€™s Park and Hampstead Heath are all visited by millions each year and are the perfect places to have picnics in the summer.Â 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.
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Photo Credits: Guard by Pixabay.com
Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.