The Best Money Saving Tips for Visiting London

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I’m planning a trip to London with my son, and I’ve been researching the best money saving tips for visiting London.  Even though the British Pound has taken a beating with Brexit, I’ve found that prices are still generally higher than when you visit countries using the Euro.  Here are some of the best tips that I’ll be using during our vacation in London.

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The best money saving tips for visiting London

One of the ways that I can afford to travel as much as I do, is that I focus on saving money at every opportunity.  I use alternate airports, avoid renting cars whenever possible, use miles & points to book hotels and flights, and take advantage of discounts & promotions.

Here are the best money saving tips for visiting London that I’ll personally be using on my next trip.

Alternate Airports

London is a city that has several airports, so when booking flights to London, consider alternate airports.  Flights to Heathrow are notorious for massive taxes and fuel surcharges, so avoid the airport whenever possible.

London has 6 airports to choose from.  Not all offer international flights from the US, but they do connect within Europe:

  • Heathrow
  • Gatwick
  • Stansted
  • City Airport
  • Luton
  • London Southend

Even consider flying to a different airport in Europe first (like Madrid, Paris, or Amsterdam), then connect to one of the 6 London options.

Don’t Rent A Car; Use “The Tube” and Buses

Not only can driving in a foreign country be uncomfortable, it can be downright scary when you have to drive on the opposite side of the road, like you do in England.  When we drove in Australia the first time (another country that drives on the “wrong” side of the road), it took me a couple days to get the hang of it.

And then you have to worry about trying to park in a big city like London.  Think of New York City… you’re not going to want to try to park there.  Same thing with London.

Hotels will gladly take your money to park your car overnight.  Think of all of the fun you could be having with that money instead!

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You’ll want to get an Oyster card, which offers access to all of London’s public transportation options:

  • London Underground (Tube)
  • Buses
  • Docklands Light Rail
  • Overground Trains

The Oyster card costs 5 Pounds to buy.  It is suggested that you’d add 15 Pounds for 2 days and 30 for 4 days.  And children under 11 ride for free.

There is an unlimited ride option with The London Pass + Oyster card that we’re considering so that we don’t have to worry about additional charges.

Be Flexible With Hotel Options

London is a huge metropolitan city that offers hotels across a wide variety of price options.  And when you add in the option of using alternatives like AirBnB, the list is even longer.

Personally, when I travel, I try to use hotel points as much as possible, which allows me to save my travel budget for fun activities and food experiences.  All of the major hotel chains are available in London, so pick your favorite brand and see which options suit you best.

For a list of London hotels and reviews, check out TripAdvisor.

Buy The London Pass For Free Entry

When you visit London, there are so many tourist attractions that you’ll want to visit.  However, each one comes with their own price of admission.

Instead of waiting in long lines and buying each one separately, use The London Pass to skip lines and save a ton of money.

Right now, there is an end of January sale on The London Pass.  From January 27 through January 31, you can save 20% off 10-day passes, 10% off 3-day passes, and 5% off 6-day passes when using my referral link.

Prices for The London Pass do increase on February 1st, so now is the time to buy if you’ll be visiting London in the next year.

Here are some of the places we’ll be visiting by using The London Pass:

And there are so many other attractions you can visit for free with The London Pass.  There’s just not enough time during our visit to see them all.  For a complete list, go to The London Pass website.

The Bald Thoughts

When you visit London, you could spend a lot of money because there’s so much to do in the city.  Instead, use these best money saving tips for visiting London and have an awesome experience.  We’ll be using these tips during our visit and look forward to sharing our experiences with you soon.

What are your favorite money saving tips for visiting London?


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10 COMMENTS

  1. i’d add one more – for those who don’t mind mixing in a bit of walking around the sites and neighborhoods and not constantly “tube-hopping”, they can completely skip the oyster card and use contactless payments that’s already built into iPhone and most of the Android phones these days (or any credit card with that NFC chip)

    just took a 4-day london trip middle of 2017, and the only time i ever bought a paper ticket for transport was for the Heathrow Express to Paddington. Even the Thames River water-shuttles do contactless (I *think* they’re also managed under TfL umbrella but don’t quote me on that one)

    • Great suggestion. Booking ahead is an excellent way to save money. And having digital tickets keeps you from having to manage a bunch of pieces of paper. I’d just be worried about what would happen if your phone battery was low/dead.

  2. ” Even though the British Pound has taken a beating with Brexit,”

    The pound is above its value on the day after the referendum.

  3. For those building points and paying cash…. hotels outside of the airports have some great deals. If you are not freaked out by the driving there (painless outside of London), staying near Heathrow and driving to some of the big attractions in the outer area (Windsor area, Stonehendge etc) is pretty cheap. Car rentals are amazing cheap (and gas / diesel expensive). If you can get a diesel car, last one I had got 67 mpg. If you have a larger group being in central london and getting tickets for less zones on the tube saves a lot of money too.

    • Thanks for these tips Robert. It makes sense that driving would be a lot less hectic outside of London, and a money-saver to drive yourself to attractions like Stonehenge and Windsor vs paying for a tour package.

  4. Lee, the Oyster card is definitely a way to save big but I recommend walking. People mistakenly believe that distances are greater because of the time it takes on the Tube when often it can be quicker to walk. More importantly you get to see more amazing sights and little unexpected things. When are you planning to come?

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