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14 Day Trip to London/Paris/Etc -- Need an idea for spending money!

14 Day Trip to London/Paris/Etc -- Need an idea for spending money!

Nov 12th, 2010, 01:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
14 Day Trip to London/Paris/Etc -- Need an idea for spending money!

Hi! I am traveling with some classmates through our college on a 14 day trip to London, Paris, and I think Luxembourg (sorry if my spelling is off on that one!) Anyways, everything is pretty much included in our price we are paying -- airfare, hotels, tours, etc. They only thing not included is meals and spending money of course. Kind of needing an idea. We will be staying in London the whole time, if we visit any other places its just for the day. I am from America... so I am needing a rough estimate in American dollars. I was thinking $1,200 ish? Is it pretty easy to buy some groceries (snacks, crackers, non perishables) to keep in the room.. or should I just stick to eating out??
Thanks a lot! =)
Away1234 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2010, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Let's go through this step by step.

(1) when are you going?

(2) do you have a bank account? If yes, do you have 1200 bucks?

(3) do you have an ATM card? If yes, is it on the Cirrus or Plus network (check the back)? If so, use it to take money from ATMs in Europe.

(4) do you have a credit card? If yes, use it when needed, especially if you take a trip outside the UK.

Londoners have nothing to eat, there is no food and the children are wandering in the streets with bloated bellies and dirty faces . . . oh wait, that's David Copperfield era.

Today EVERY major national rail station in London (Paddington, Euston, Waterloo, etc.) has an M&S Simply Food store in it that has, simply, food. Usually at decent prices too. As for keeping the lunch costs down (don't you have some included meals?), go to EAT, Pret-A-Manger, or M&S Simply Food and you can get pre-packed meals, good sandwiches, etc., for relatively low prices.
BigRuss is offline  
Nov 12th, 2010, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
For perspective London is an expensive city and the same food will cost more ( either in a restaurant or fast food or supermarket) than it will in the US. As an example, food in a Hard Rock Cafe or Fridays (not that you should eat there) is about 25% more than in the US.

So - if you figure out what you wold spend here add 25%. Soft drinks are esp expensive - and very small. Beer is a similar price to the US but any sort of mixed drink is considerably more than what you wold pay except in expensive markets like New York.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 12th, 2010, 08:23 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,394
For 14 days, $1,200 should suffice. (if i am understanding correctly, that is the eextra amount you are bringing, over and above the travel costs and hotels that are already paid with the tour company).
Dont forget souvenirs. Think about what you might want to bring home--cheap ones for kids, etc? Or high quality bone china, etc/ Good inexpensive ideas are things like tea, packed in an imitation double decker bus. YOu can find cheap things like that along Oxford St or by many of te main tourist attractions. I find clothes in London are not a good value, compared to the USA.
We never had a problem bringing snacks, sandwiches, etc into hotel rooms. Even milk has been fine for a day, and most hotels have tea/coffee making stuff in the room. Excellent advice from BigRuss about the low cost but delicious sandwiches,etc, in places like Pret a Manger. There are plenty of easily found snack type foods also in Boots, Tesco, as well as the full-sized Marks and Spencer (M and S) and lots of coffee chain places like Costa and Starbucks.
Hava great trip!!
CaliNurse is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 04:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,762
the ATM advice is goo, you can gauge your spending and not carry too much cash at one time. Don't take out $59 worth at a time though, money does seem to go fast and you want to have enough on hand at any given time...maybe do $200 worth at a time. On the topic of souveniers, you are young and may not e thinking in these terms, but buy one nice thing that will be a memory of your trip for many years. A vase, paperwiight, small decorative dish...some sort of household thing that does not scream tacky souvenier... you will be glad you made the purchase many years from now.
seafox is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 02:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
Big Russ--
1) We are leaving early May 2011. I want to say around the 8th or so?
2)Yes, I have a bank account and a Visa Debit card.
3)Yes ^^
4)I do not have a credit card, though.
Would you recommend just using the Visa or bringing cash along as well?
I was thinking $1,200 was pretty reasonable. I know we have a few dinners included, not many though.. probably 3 or 4 out of the whole trip. The hotel does have free breakfast every morning so that won't be an issue. Thanks for all of your guy's advice! It really helps. I have no idea what to expect, super nervous!
Away1234 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 175
I'm a first time visitor to London and am here now finishing up our 5nt trip (also from the US).
London is much more expensive than I thought. Whatever something may cost at home, double it and you may be close to the real cost.
For relatively inexpensive breakfast and lunches, Pret A Manger has become my favorite! It's a great little chain that sells (surprise, surprise) Ready-To-Eat items. Everything we've had has been fresh and there's one on every corner, it seems.
Here's an example of some prices: (right now the L Pound is worth about $1.60 US)

sandwiches L2.99-3.50ish
soup L2.99
fruit cup L2.3
drink L1-2

So lunch at this inexpensive venue can cost you 5-9 pounds... or roughly $8-14 USD per person.

For traditional pubgrub in London, we've paid L10 for fish and chips. Not sure if you're old enough to drink but add in a couple of beers, wine or even soda and our bill is easily L30-L35 for 2 people.

Last night we had Indian at a great little place by Buckingham Palace. For 2 people, it was L33 including tip. We had 2 main dishes, rice, some naan, sodas and split a dessert.

Lastly, if your trip costs don't already include sightseeing...make sure to factor those in too. Most places have websites that tell you admission costs. Some are pretty steep.

Some of the touristy things we've done and their entry costs per person:
London Eye L18
Tower of London L18
St. Paul's Cathedral L12.5
National Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Portrait Gallery --Free!

Hope that helps.
junkgalore is offline  
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