London has a reputation for being an expensive city, and well… it kind of is. It remains one of the most expensive cities in the world and unfortunately for us travellers, it’s not changing this status anytime soon.
However despite what London would have you believe, there can be little ways -not so obvious ways- to save a little extra penny or two without having to give up all comfort and luxuries. It just might see you with a little more extra cash to splash around on other things.
Oyster cards can save money and time. Once you land at Heathrow Airport, I recommend purchasing one of these trusty cards and loading credit onto it (even if you are only in London for a few days it will be worth it). You will soon be swiping your way through the busy train stations and public transport in London as quick and efficiently as ever.
Ditch the cabs
It is definitely no surprise that London cabs are hell expensive! Save your pennies and opt for either the train, bus or better yet..walk. London city is quite large in capacity (to be walking that is), plus the weather can be your worst enemy at the best of times, so walking isn’t most the ideal option to rely so much on.
With the ever so efficient train lines that run every few minutes stopping all over the city via different train lines, make the London tube your best friend. They are significantly cheaper than the black cabs plus are so user-friendly it would be hard to get lost. Second that, buses are also a great way to get around and are cheaper too!
Source out Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi is so popular in most major cities nowadays that it is almost never an issue to find a reliable and free internet connection somewhere. Many restaurants, bars, cafe’s have them and of course when in doubt, source out a Starbucks or McDonalds and you know you will be in luck!
Also, it helps when booking your accommodation to see whether or not they supply free Wi-Fi to guests staying. I found many hotels and hostels in London still do charge a fee, but its still worth researching any that don’t.
Take Advantage of…..free museums
Not all London sight seeing is going to cost you money. In fact there are a bunch of museums in London to take advantage of as you won’t need to pay a cent. The following museums are free for to you to explore; the British Museum, V&A, Museum of London, Science Museum, Natural History museum and National Gallery.
Eat at local Cafe’s and Bars
Eating at Starbucks isn’t exactly the cheapest of options to eat all the time. Although it is a territory we are all familiar with, sometimes exploring a little deeper and finding small businesses locally owned or places awa from busy, crowded suburbs can offer cheaper and more affordable meals. Plus, it’s a perfect way to become accustomed to their more traditional dishes and mix with some of the local Londoners. A tad more cultural than just your typical Starbucks or McDonald meals. Or better again, check out a supermarket as they supply pre packaged meals for on the go sorts of occasions e.g. soups, salads, wraps/sandwiches, yoghurt etc.
Free Walking Tours
Some accommodations, particularly hostels offer free walking tours daily that run over a few hours that visit various touristy attractions and landmarks in London. This is a great option if you are a little strapped for time but still want to see a glimpse of what London is all about. And what a better way to do it than getting your walking shoes on and exploring on foot.
Downgrade to a B&B
Unless you’re staying in a hostel (which some are still overpriced), London accommodation is very expensive and it can sometimes feel hard to justify paying money for tiny hotel rooms and no balcony views. A slighter cheaper option are B&B’s, and with a little research there are various ones in London which can offer great room facilities, buffet breakfasts and are still in great central locations. On a side note, if you are set on staying in a hotel, supporting some of the small locally owned family businesses will be a little cheaper than the higher end hotels. One I will recommend is Ridgemount Hotel. They are small family owned business hidden away just off Oxford St!