Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to go around London on a budget

London holiday is always on a traveller’s list but we can not deny that a London get away is expensive. The exchange rate makes the truth harder to accept but you really do not have to burn a hole in your pocket to enjoy London. Experts see the British pound to take a slight dip through April or May so you have a window for a London trip. London is a big place and of course you still have to pay for a place to stay, for places you visit, and for your dining and transportation, but here are some London travel tips to stretch your budget:
Don’t book a hotel in central London
A big chunk of your London holiday budget will be for your hotel accommodation. You can still find a cheap London hotel if you avoid the city center. A few nights just outside Central London will save you a lot of money with rooms going for around $105 per night and you are just twenty minutes from the heart of the action.
Avoid the cab
Instead walk around the town, ride the bus, or take the Underground Tube. Taxis in London are uber pricey. If you will be taking cabs to get from one destination to another to the next, you will drain your London holiday budget pretty quick. London is a great city where you can walk to get around. They also have an efficient Underground and bus system which practically links most places.
When you go to this city, purchase an Oyster Card which is a smart transpo card that can save you as much as 50% in fares. You can inquire from the ticket seller at the station and you can get the card for around $5. You can top up this card during your stay in London and this will be debited with every use. You will save a lot since not having one will mean $6 for every tube ride. When you are about to leave London, you can return the Oyster Card and get a refund.
Don’t shop too much
London department stores tend to have a higher tag price on their items compared to the shops in the U.S. So if you are just from across the pond, it is better to shop at home and avoid the department stores. The shops along Oxford Street and the likes of Mark’s & Spencer, Debenham’s, Harrod’s, and Harvey Nick’s. London has several markets where you can get good stuff with cheaper sticker price. If you are looking for antiques go to Notting Hill where you can find camera equipment, old clocks and other interesting pieces. If you are craving to please your taste buds, go to Culinary Borough Market or the Camden Markets.
Visit the museums, they’re free!
All of the must see museums in London are free. That means, you can hop from the National Gallery, Tate Modern, and Victoria & Albert and see everything they have without spending a penny. The Natural History Museum has the famous collection of dinosaur skeletons while the Science Museum keeps fascinating people of all ages with their interactive displays. If you want to learn about the history of London, you can visit the Museum of London.