How to Save Money on a Family Trip to London
A poorly balanced exchange rate, long haul flights and Visa costs make London an expensive destination for South Africans. That’s not counting costs once you’re there – accommodation, transport, museums and meals… your wallet is losing weight! And if you’re travelling with your family then this cost is multiplied. Luckily there are ways to save money in London, even if you’re travelling as a family.
Look for family run B&B’s. There are many affordable ones in the King’s Cross area and west of the British Museum. For something cosier and more independent, rent a London apartment that will give you the comfort of home, with a fully equipped kitchen where you can cook for your family, a living room where your kids can play and much more space than what a hotel room has to offer.
Food is a crucial aspect of your trip, and your family is going to need plenty of sustenance for long walks around the city! Make your own sandwiches rather than buying food from cafes and restaurants. Sandwiches are versatile, affordable, provide a good source of energy and you can buy all the ingredients you want from local supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. You will find that some pubs provide affordable meals such as fish, chips and mushy peas; a dish you wouldn’t want to miss out on when in London.
As with many things in the UK, how you get around depends largely on what the weather is doing. While London is a great walking city, offering many famous landmarks (Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey) as you make your way around, inclement weather can be a problem especially if you have young children with you.
If you find that you’re not getting by easily on foot then buy an Oyster Card. This rechargeable plastic card is probably the cheapest and easiest way to travel around town, gaining you access to a variety of modes of transport including buses, the tube system and more. You can also buy a Travelcard that offers you discounts when using the same type of transport. Children under ten travel for free when accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket.
Did you know? The London Pass offers great discounts on attractions, museums and tours. Find out more here.
Sightseeing & Shopping
The great thing about visiting London is the number of admission free museums you can visit. You can visit iconic sites such as the British Museum, the National Gallery, V&A Museum (including the V&A Museum of Childhood, a delight for the little ones!), or the Tate Modern.
Read more about London’s Child Friendly Museums.
For bargain shopping take a stroll down Portobello Road in Notting Hill London. The Portobello Road Market is full of scrumptious artisan food, second-hand clothes shopping and accessories stalls where you’re bound to find unique items. If you love food markets, make a stop at Borough Market, London’s pride when it comes to amazing, healthy food.