How to travel on a Budget: London Edition

Hi there! I’m sorry I’ve been offline for a few days, but I had a trip planned for a few months and I decided I wouldn’t want to rush any posts just for the sake of writing. So I come a few days later, but I come bearing gifts! I just spent a few days in London and I’ll tell you everything I did, how I’ve done it and how much I spent! Because who doesn’t love travelling cheap! I do!

First things first, I bought my plane tickets online in October. Obviously, buying tickets in advance always proves to be the best choice. It allows you to choose the best deal at the best time possible. Mine cost 35€ for a return ticket, using EasyJet to go to Gatwick and coming back with Ryanair from Stansted. Having in mind that London is an expensive city, getting the best deal possible on your transports is really important. Going to the city center by train or bus is very simple and you can find many good deals online. I used the train for both journeys – from Gatwick and to Stansted. Now, I found the Gatwick train a little expensive (15.5£) but I know I could’ve taken the bus, which takes longer but is cheaper. On my way back home, I took the Stansted Express, which only cost 12£ per person because I got a group deal (4 people that travel together at the same time). All in all, I spent 67,46€ for my journeys. It could’ve been cheaper, but I wasn’t on a super tight budget so it worked fine for me.

Now let’s talk about accommodation. I’m sure you can find a pretty decent hostel in the city center for a little under 25€ per night per person, but in my case, I was travelling with my in-laws and boyfriend so we couldn’t stay in a hostel. However, we found an amazing offer at Airbnb that would delight the young and the *not so* young. For a one-bedroom with a big living area and a couch that turned into a very comfy bed, we paid a total of 472€. Again, it could’ve been cheaper if we’d taken a hostel, but we had the entire house for ourselves, linen AND towels were provided and (as in a hostel) we could cook breakfast or any other meals if we wished so. In this specific one, we could even use the dishwasher and laundry machine – which would be perfect if you’d been travelling for some time and needed fresh cleaned clothes. I’ll leave the link here if any of you is pondering a London trip anytime soon: Airbnb.

I’d say the cheapest part of this trip was definitely the non-paid tourist attractions. Many of you would pay to enter a museum or to go to the top of the Tower Bridge but 1. I’m extremely afraid of heights and 2. I had done them all before so I wouldn’t want to pay to do the same things again. I can’t say I’d recommend any of them either – maybe the Shard! I haven’t been and people say it’s amazing. Plus, you can have dinner whilst overlooking London. What I’m saying with this is you don’t need to pay to visit this beautiful city and to feel the British living. Just go out and explore on foot! We walked tons and we still visited touristy things like the Big Ben and the Somerset house or Covent Garden! But we just didn’t pay for any of them. Briefly, think as a local! Think about what would you like to do or would be doing if you were to live in that city – and there you go, walking like you you’ve walked there thousands of times before.

The last and best part of all: food and drinks. We had breakfast at home every morning. We bought everything we’d want at a Tesco and we cooked ourselves. Cash saved immediately! Lunch and dinner were at a local pub or restaurant in whichever area we were in. We tried making lunches a lot cheaper, rounding 10£ or less if you don’t care for beer (but I mean, you’re going to London and you’re not drinking beer?). And dinners were more expensive as they are anywhere else in the world but still affordable. I’d say the most expensive one was 16£ however, that one included the main, beer and dessert.

Overall, for 4 days of travelling and visiting (and walking!), I spent around 120£ (142€) including 8 main meals, beer, breakfast, a few snacks, souvenirs and a lot of fun! Keep an eye during the next few days because I’ll be posting more about our time in London! I’ll be sharing with you the best dining places and the best beers and much more!

See you soon, catreaders!

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