Budget Backpacking in London
London, recent recipient of the 'best city in the world' award by online travel site Trip Advisor, is a tourist marvel. Very few cities around the world can match the numbers of tourist attractions, high class restaurants and nightlife that London boasts. London has one fatal flaw, however; it is incredibly expensive, with some of the highest tourist costs in the world. This article will take a look at budget backpacking in London, providing tips & tricks to make your money go further.
Accommodation is one of the greatest expenses in London. Hotels here are amongst the most expensive in the world and can make a serious dent in any budget.
Solo travellers looking for a simple place to stay have the option of staying in a dorm room in a hostel. These dorm rooms usually house as many as twenty travellers in bunk beds, allowing for rock bottom prices compared to rooms in hotels. Hostel booking sites Hostelworld.com & Hostelbookers.com are amongst the best on the internet, offering reviews and recommendations on the best hostels to stay in London.
For travellers wishing to stay in a hotel room, the websites Lastminute.com and Laterooms.com are a godsend. These sites make special deals with hotels providing special reduced last minute prices on rooms. Discounts as high as 75% are available on rooms ranging from cheap 1 star bed and breakfasts to more upmarket 5 star hotels.
Another option for budget travellers is to stay with a local Londoner. Two websites provide the ability to this, both with a slightly different spin on the concept. The website Couchsurfing.org allows you to find locals that are willing to let you sleep on their couch or in their spare room for no cost at all while Airbnb.com allows locals to rent out their couch, apartment or spare room at a price of their choosing. There are bargains to be found on Airbnb.com, with fantastically decorated rooms available in great locations for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room.
Finally, daily deals websites like Groupon often publish deals on hotel rooms in London, allowing for rooms to be booked at massive discounts. Deal Zippy, a website designed to improve the experience of using daily deals websites, collects data from all the leading deals websites and stores them in one place, allowing for all the available offers to be viewed in one place. This makes it much easier to hunt down deals on hotels, hostels and B & B's.
London has a world class public transport system, with underground trains and public buses allowing for quick and easy access to all corners of the city. Getting an Oyster card is a must for any visitor to London. This prepaid transport card, available at every London Underground station, provides reduced rate fares on all forms of public transport. As an extra bonus, daily fares are capped, allowing for multiple trips around the city without breaking the bank.
London is home to a number of immigrants from all corners of the globe, giving it a diverse culinary portfolio that few cities can hope to match.
For budget eaters, English pubs should not be ignored. These pubs offer traditional English food at affordable prices, especially during lunch time when special lunch time offers are available. Picnics in the park are also an attractive alternative, with sandwiches and other picnic food available for purchase in supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury's. Stores like Boots and Marks & Spencers also offer meal deals where sandwiches can be bought with a packet of crisps and a drink together for a greatly reduced cost.
Daily deals websites are also perfect for food lovers on a budget. Many London restaurant deals can be found on Deal Zippy, with meals for two in high class restaurants available for discounts as high as 75% off.
London is home to over 300 world class museums, galleries and other sights, most of them being free. The British Museum, National Gallery and National History museum are all must see sights that provide free entry.
Sights like the London Eye and Madame Tussauds also provide discounts on tickets provided that they're bought in advance through their website.
London is a wonderful city and a must see for any tourist. By following the tips & trips in this article, you'll be able to make your money go further allowing for a London trip that won't empty the wallet.