This past spring I was lucky enough to travel to London with my best friend and travel partner. For us this trip was actually just a smaller portion of a larger trip that we were embarking on, but nevertheless it was still an exciting travel experience for the both of us. On our way to Greece, we decided to stop in London and stay for a few days as London has always been one of my favourite cities that I have had the privilege of seeing in this wonderful world of ours. Though in my opinion this incredible city is worth every penny, it is known to be one of Europes priciest destinations which for the most part is simply due to their currency, the British pound. For us Canadians, when purchasing something in London using the British pound it is almost twice the price when it gets converted the Canadian dollar meaning that something you’ve bought for 10 pounds is really 20 Canadian dollars. Despite this information, I highly recommend that you don’t let the financial aspect of traveling to London deter you because as previously stated, I believe this city is worth every single penny that it may pull out of you and if you follow a few of these simple tips and tricks you should be able to get by on a relatively decent budget.
To start, we booked our flights to London with WestJet when we came across a great deal that offered us to fly to London roundtrip for $600, which is a great price when flying transatlantic. By saving a few hundred dollars on our flights, we were able to put that extra money towards the time we would actually be spending in London.
For many the most expensive part of visiting London is going to be accommodation so this is where budgeting is going to be most important. I myself am lucky enough to have family that live in downtown London making figuring out where we were going to stay a very easy and cheap task. If you don’t have any friends or family so stay with during your time here don’t worry because London has many different affordable hostel and hotel options that are great for budget travellers.
The Safestay London hostel is an incredible option for those you hoping to travel to London on a budget. Equipped with everything you need including free wifi, laundry, a pool and a bar this four out of five star hostel is available for as low as 26 Canadian dollars a night.
If you’re someone that has either had a bad experience with hostels in the past or simply just isn’t comfortable with this idea, that doesn’t mean that your only other option is going to be spending a pretty penny on a hotel room. Being as large and as popular of a city as London is, London has quite a variety of different accommodation options, one of which being AirBnB. AirBnB is one of my personal favourite ways to secure accommodation when travelling as it provides safe and secure homes for travellers to rent for a reasonable and affordable price. No matter what kind of accommodation you are looking for, whether it be just a single room or an entire apartment or house, this website will have what you are looking for suitable for every kind of price range.
Food & Drink
Food & drink is another place that managing your money while travelling can become difficult, especially in London with all of its posh and fancy restaurants and bars. But much like any city, for every top of line restaurant that you come across there are two or three great smaller places that will provide just as great of an experience for at least half of the price. My first tip for all of you is not to spend much more than couple dollars on breakfast. Yes breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but in my opinion it is also the simplest. If you aren’t staying in a place that provides breakfast free of charge in the mornings, running into a little coffee shop for a muffin or scone or even stopping by a local market to grab a few small things for the mornings is a great way to save money while exploring this city, allowing you widen your budget for lunch and/or dinner later on in the day a little bit more.
London is a city that has great nightlife, whether it be going out and clubbing or simply going out for dinner and maybe a drink, this city is a fun place to go out in at night. Although we did splurge and treat ourselves to one fancy and upscale dinner, majority of the time we would head to a local pub for dinner, drinks and fun. Pubs are a great place to visit in London as not only is there one on every second street corner but they are also fun, upbeat, reasonably priced and a great place for experience some authentic english culture.
If you don’t consider yourself a pub kind of person and are looking for a more traditional sit down dinner while still saving money, don’t worry! London has tons of amazing restaurants that you can visit that won’t break your wallet like many of the others.
If you’re looking for a fun yet affordable night out in London town, then this is for sure the place for you. Located right in the world famous Leicester Square this thriving little cocktail bar & restaurant is sure to provide a good time without burning a hole in your wallet
Similar to Ruby Blue but slightly more relaxed, Mabel’s is a great place to head for a fun yet chill dinner and night out in London. Serving a variety of traditional British dishes, this place is great for its after work scene and will also be a great place to get a taste of the local culture in London.
Activities and things to do in London are never ending. Lucky for us tourists, many of the big sights are free of charge to see and explore although there are some things, such as riding the London eye, that are gonna cost you some money. This in my opinion is an incredible once in a lifetime experience that anyone thats not afraid of heights should take advantage of and is completely worth the money. Depending on the time of day you may find slightly cheaper prices and for those of you enrolled in school, you can use your student ID to get a bit of discount as well.
When travelling from sight to sight it is easy to walk many places but for those activities or sights that seem a little to far to travel to on foot, London has one of the worlds most incredible transit systems that is sure to make travelling across this city easy & affordable.
For more on London stay tuned for a more in depth travel diary of my time in London coming soon!