Is a trip to London on your bucket list but the cost seems prohibitive? Don’t worry, because if you can manage your expectations and show some willpower, you’ll be able to visit and have a good time without breaking the bank! We’ll look into what essentials you need to bring, where to stay and what to do, that will ensure you have an all-around good time. Below are our recommendations on how to do this on a budget.
What to bring
Travel light and bring the essentials such as a mobile phone; a few layers of clothes (as the weather is as unpredictable as you would expect), a backpack (choose wisely from the huge waterproof backpack collection from brands such as Rains) and comfortable shoes. If you’re going for a short weekend break you really don’t need to carry much, and it’s better to be mobile, especially when on a budget.
If you’re coming from almost anywhere in Europe, you’ll know all about the budget airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet. If you book far enough in advance you can find yourself one way tickets to London for as low as €20! no wonder some people choose to live abroad where there’s lower living costs and travel to London for work.
Now, accommodation is usually one of the biggest expenses when travelling, and that is even more so true in London. That’s where couchsurfing comes into play– there are various apps out there that will allow you to create a profile and search for hosts who can let you stay at their place, free of charge! All that is asked of you is to be a respectful guest, and maybe bring a small gift from wherever you are coming from. This option can easily save you a lot of money, and you will almost certainly make friends in the process.
The UK may not be known for its cuisine, but it sure does have endless amounts of restaurants cooking up delicious dishes from every corner of the world. Nowhere is this more evident than in the street food markets that tend to be most active on the weekends. Here, you’ll be able to sample freshly cooked food from a variety of food stalls, for prices that are more than reasonable for the capital city. If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen to work with at your accommodation, consider making your own meals with ingredients from the local market or supermarket; this will really save you a lot.
Luckily, many of the popular attractions are around the central London area, which is easy to walk around. The Houses of Parliament; London Eye, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square are all within walking distance of each other and will save you a lot on transport costs, as well as giving you a better feel of the city.
Here we have it, a brief budget backpackers guide to seeing what London has to offer, but at a cost that may have seemed impossible before.