Saving Money When You Visit London

Photo grabbed from http://www.kayture.com/ London is world renowned for being an expensive place to go to, but with so much to see an...

Photo grabbed from http://www.kayture.com/
London is world renowned for being an expensive place to go to, but with so much to see and do, a wealth of heritage, and if you are travelling on business, plenty of important commerce going on, it is never hard to find a reason to make a trip there. Whether you are coming from elsewhere in the UK, from wider Europe, or further afield, knowing a few good money saving tips can trim the cost of a London vacation or business trip dramatically. Here are some ideas:

Consider Airports Other Than Gatwick or Heathrow
If you are flying in to the London area, you can often pick up much cheaper flights if you look at arriving into airports other than Gatwick and Heathrow – the two largest airports serving London.


In actual fact, neither Gatwick nor Heathrow can be considered to be in London. There is a small, mostly domestic airport called London City that is in central London, but other than that you are going to have to travel whichever airport you choose, so it can pay dividends to go to one of the less busy ones. Stansted can be a good choice for budget airlines, and another good option is Luton. If you are prepared for a couple of hours on the train or in a car on arrival, you can also consider even smaller airports not considered to be in the London catchment area at all, like Southampton to the South or the East Midlands airport to the North.

Stay Near the Airport, Instead of in London

If you take the above approach, it can also be a good idea to get your accommodation in a location close to your airport (though not at 'official' airport hotels which can be more expensive due to demand), and then commute in to London to explore or attend the meetings you came for. As an example, if you fly in to Luton you could stay somewhere like the IHG in Hemel Hempstead – with Hemel Hempstead being just a few miles from Luton airport and very easy to get into inner London from. This kind of option is almost always cheaper than an inner London hotel, and will also make arrival and departure by air easier.

Learn How the London Transport Network Works and Pick the Cheapest Options

Almost everybody who comes to London ends up relying on the public transport, with the iconic red buses and the exceptionally convenient underground train system often proving a much easier way to get around than driving on London's busy streets (and paying the high parking prices and the inner London congestion charge). However, to save money, you should first research how these networks work and buy the kind of ticket that will best suit your needs, instead of buying individual tickets at the stations for each journey. Londoners almost all use an Oyster Card – a means of pre-paying for tickets that offers big discounts – and you can get a visitor version of this and use it to travel around on any of Transport for London's networks.

These are some of the ways you can save on the most expensive aspects of visiting London, and get the most out of your money when you come to this great city.

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