5 best tips to cut costs in London

Apr 28th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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5 best tips to cut costs in London

The two times I've been I've spent too much money.

What are your 5 best tips to cut costs? If you have more list them!
cymbeline is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 12:00 PM
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1. Priceline. Use Biddingfortravel.com for pointers.

2. Stay out of town and take commuter trains in and out. As a side benefit, you get to see some non-tourist-inundated parts of the region.

3. Limit theatre or other cultural activities to those that offer the best benefit/cost payoff to you.

4. Some semi-"unique" London experiences don't cost anything. For example, go to previews at some of the big auction houses. Walk through the Thames tunnel to Greenwich rather than taking the tour boat.

5. Bus and transit passes, obviously. I prefer the bus to the tube, because you get to see where you're going rather than being a gopher that pops out of the ground everywhere.

6. Don't even think about shopping for bargains. No such thing.
Gardyloo is online now  
Apr 28th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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Museums! Most are free. Picnics in parks are as cheap as the food you pick up. London Walks are only 5 euros a piece.

I think Priceline is the answer for hotels although I've yet to use it. If you can be very flexible, watch for last minute discount airfares (ie efares on UAL).
Grasshopper is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 12:05 PM
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Plan your meals. Bargain meals and splurge meals. Learn to share.

Forget trinkets and useless tat for the folks back home.

Go through past receipts or expenditures to figure out what YOU wasted your money on!

Stay in an apartment.


Walk walk
highledge is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Stay at a B&B, much cheaper, get a good breakfast to start the day.
Tube pass I found to be economical (last time, I bought it at home and converted receipt upon arrival at Euston Stn(or others...is this still the process?)
Take tube to airport 1st choice, 2nd choice airport bus, no cabs
1/2 price ticket booth in Leicester Sq for entertainment
Eat lunch at pubs
I ate in smaller restaurants away from high traffic areas (e.g. Southampton Row in Bloomsbury) and found prices more reasonable

Michel_Paris is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Priceline of course.

Also student accommodation if traveling at the right time.

I'd say get a multi-day TravelCard. Walking is fine, and I always do it a lot, but you will wear yourself out walking from Hammersmith to the City to Lambeth (for example), but this is easy by tube. Buses are nice too.

Look up the London 2-for-1 offers that you are eligible for if you take a train at some point.

So-called "obstructed-view" seats can be a pretty good deal, and often very little is actually obstructed.

By-donation classical concerts in churches are a great deal.

Shop at the supermarket deli for a takeaway meal rather than getting a mediocre, way overpriced restaurant meal.

Used bookstores on or near Charing Cross Road are one exception to the no-shopping for bargains "rule".
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for the tips! I laughed when I read to go through my expenditures, as suggested. I was tempted by high tea at Brown's twice - and gave in. This time, maybe I should bring my debit card not credit card!

If anyone else has suggestions I'd love to hear them. Then I can pull up this thread to remind myself. Also, my new London Walks brochure says they have gone up to 5 pounds 50. Oh well.
cymbeline is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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Busaba Eathai, 110 Wardour Street, Soho. Excellent Thai food for about 10$ for a main dish, which is cheap according to London standards. If you go during regular lunch/dinner hours, be prepared to cue, cause they don't take reservations. For even cheaper Thai food: Wagamama chain. Fastfood, the healthier way.
stardust is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 12:57 PM
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ANALYZE the so-called "savings" ypou think you are getting depending on where you are staying. By that I mean if you do decide to stay outside and "commute" in, factor in the money AND time it takes to do so and ask yourself if it is really worth the "savings."

I personally like using transit cards BUT try to figure out how much you'll really actually use them before assuming they will save you money. If you pay more to stay within walking distance of a lot of places how much "more" is that than a cheaper hotel plus the cost of a pass?

You obviously already know about spending money on food but saving a lot of money and then eating food you don't particularly care for just because it is cheaper..well, I'm not sure how "worth it" that is.

Don't be intimidated by these ridiculous posts that start out with the words, "you HAVE to..." No, you DON'T have to unless you want to.

First and foremost, ask yourself, "Why does it have to be London...?"
Intrepid1 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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We have a timeshare in London, so we have a kitchen - which is a great money-saver. We prepare our own breakfast nearly every day (toast, bacon, fruit) and maybe prepare a few dinners in. A visit to the grocery store is lots of fun - if only to see all the different stuff they have. And food in London isn't that expensive if you buy it at the grocery store instead of a restaurant.
Kayb95 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Even though it may be hard, I agree about the shopping...

Also, try eating a dinner at Wagamama (www.wagamama.com). Yummy food for a fairly reasonable price.

Thanks for posting this. It's a great topic. =)
hlocke1 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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priceline for accomodation, with biddingfortravel.com. The only way I found to get a nice hotel in a reasonably close area for under $100US/night.

You could spend weeks in the museums, all for a donation.......

lunch-- the meal deals at places like Boots are a very good value and the food is as good or better than what you would get at any chain restaurant in the US--- for 3-4# you can get a drink, sandwich, and side.

And we were just there last week-- london walks are 5.50# which is great value entertainment.
jonesie is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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Siteseeing and people watching from the top of a double decker bus! Take it from one end of the line to the other and back. You'll see things (and people) you don't normally see.
Grasshopper is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Good tips! Thank you.

Kayb, the reason it "has" to be London is that my husband has never been there are really wants to experience it. Everytime he mets a British person he seems to enjoy talking with them. I've tried steering him to the countryside but he says he wants one of the world's great cities, big and congested and expensive as it is.
cymbeline is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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It wasn't me questioning your London choice. I love London and would never question anyone's reasoning for going. I wish I were there now!
Kayb95 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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In London, try the pre-theater dinner specials. Sofra, for one, has excellent food and their early dinner is really discounted.

Unless you're on your honeymoon, don't pay extra for a room with a view. Chances are you will be out touring until dark-thirty so the view is meaningless.

We like staying in suburbs and commuting into the city. Even with the cost of transportation, it usually is a money-saver.

Stay in b & b's, eat a hearty breakfast (free), skip lunch (or get a light snack from the grocery store), and for dinner, choose one: (1) picnic with wine in your room (2) pre-theater discounted dinner (3) food court meal either in store or takeaway.

Free concerts in churches. Some of these churches also have tea rooms where you can get soup, sandwiches, etc.

Half-price theater tickets.

London Walks are great and they also have Explorer Walks which take you, reasonably, to places like Oxford, Canterbury, Bath and others.
crckwc is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 02:32 PM
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Shopping at the markets: Portobello market (Nottinghill stop, i think) or Camden Market.

imqueen2u is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Just enjoy yourself, so what if you overspend by a few hundred dollars, in the grand scheme of things it's nothing. If you want to do something, and can do it, then make sure that you do!

Prudence, and more prudence, i.e. common sense, is what you need!
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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A lot of these ideas have been suggested, but for more details and other suggestions, this recent article may be worth checking out:

hlocke1 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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We just returned from a 5 day trip. Meals take a big chunk out of the budget - and we soon realized that unless we spent ridiculous amounts of money we were not going to have any truly memorable meals. So we decided that this was a trip on which we would see things rather than a gourmet trip.

Usually had a coffee and some sort of roll/pastry in AM, ate more at lunch than dinner - 2 nights we were so exhausted we even got take-out - once from tiny Vietnamese place and another night from a local pizza/salad place.

Day tube/bus "family pass" for 1 teen, one senior and one adult was only 7 pounds.
gail is offline  

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