5 best tips to cut costs in London

Apr 29th, 2005, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 130
Pret A Manger. They seem to be located on every corner with a wide variety of healthy, tasty, and inexpensive sandwiches and drinks.
KenCT is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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1) Find Someone you know to stay with - we stayed just outside London for 2 bottles of wine!
2) When you grab food from the Grocery Store check the fridge nearest the door (usually) it's the food that expires that day - it's half off and there's nothing wrong with it. Sandwiches, frozen dinners etc
3) Stay outside of London and commute - it's usually worth the difference in price, and I really enjoy the Night Bus - although it's long you get to see the true Londoners
4) Skip the chain sandwich shops (Pret a Manger) and use the ones you see the locals lined up at - they're cheaper and usually owner run
5) Check the paid museums hours - often they are free after a certain time.

If you like shopping - the Greenwich Flea market on a weekend is a great place.
Binkieloo is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Renting a flat away from the city center can cut your lodging cost substantially. And since that's your biggest expenditure, it's what you should spend the most time researching.

Buying packaged sandwiches and drinks in stores instead of sit-down meals also saves a lot. Our favorites are Iceland Grocery, Marks & Spencer, and Boots (yes, Boots).

If you don't need to travel long distances, forego the tube pass for a bus pass.

A DiY bus tour costs a fraction of the commercial ones. Here's your map:

Robespierre is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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I just got back from London. I bought my hotel for $122. per night on Priceline, the Waldorf Hilton. It had a fridge, coffee maker and a microwave in the room (plus they gave free coffee, bottled water, hot chocolate and tea). Across the street was a Tesco Express so I could buy the makings of quite a few meals. I did eat at Wolsley's next door to the Ritz but miles cheaper. I bought my theatre tickets half price or better at the ticket booth mentioned and at the Britain Visitors Center on Regent St. My big treats were ice creams at Fortnum Mason. Like several other posters I walk everywhere. I love to walk in London and right now is the perfect time. The gardens were just incredible. Of course, on a rainy day London has the best museums which are FREE. And, there is no charge to stroll through Harrods and all the stores, which provide some degree of entertainment.
cmcfong is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Lots of restaurants usually have good lunch specials if you prefer a sit-down lunch and then maybe a take-out or grocery-store-bought dinner.
JoeTro is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 05:45 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 124
Think about what is important for you before the trip, check on the net if you can get any reductions or if there are days where a visit is free (museums for example).
I would not like to stay far away fron the centre, while it is true that you get more of the real London, driving around for long hours costs too much time!
Try to get theatre tickets reduced on the day of performance at the half price ticket office on Leicester Square.
If you want to take home a souvenier for yourself think carfuly what you my need-maybe you can get the cashmere sweater you plan to buy for autumn in London-where you can get great quality and you have a souvenir that you actually use and didn`t spend on something you will not use.
Get some special sweets, teas and other foods and invite your friends for a teaparty when you are back instead of buying useless, overpriced suvenirs.
Walk-or go by bus, you can see so much more of the city and the daily life.
In summer buy a picknick and eat in the park when the sun is shinning-all the Londeners do it all the time!
Londonholly is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Posts: 1,182
I don't want to hijack but I have a question regarding London Hotels on Priceline. The type of the hotels that are most frequently won - are they large "American" chains? Or is it possible to win a smaller hotel with a little charm?
Margie is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Margie. Go to biddingfortravel.com. Scroll down to London hotels and then you'll find a listing of all hotels that have been coming up in winning bids. No guarantees, ever, of what a person will get on Priceline...but it gives you a good idea of the possibilities.
tuckerdc is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 07:02 AM
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I agree that you should look at biddingfortravel.com and see which hotels are frequently awarded. Most are chains, European and American ones. That doesn't mean they are all soulless cookie cutter boxes. But expect modern and updated rooms & amenities even if the building is quite old.

I don't think you'll find small and "charming" hotels on Priceline, not in London anyway. The nicer (and very expensive) properties don't have the volume of rooms to shed to a discounter. The flip side of charming & cheap in London ususally means bizarrely small rooms, narrow staircases, and dubious plumbing.

BTW, I'd never book lower than a 4* on Priceline for a London hotel.

obxgirl is online now  
May 1st, 2005, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,404
1. Don't go. I'm serious, it may not bother you to pay nearly two pounds to one dollar for everything, but for others reading this postthere are other places in the world to visit.

2. Rent an apartment. Eat breakfast/snacks and even an occasional meal in. We have done this many many times in London, however I am not crazy about a vacation where I need to fix my own food so it is good to alternate with restuarants.

3. Museums - all free (it is nice to make a donation tho)

4. Do not stay too far out of central London, the time you spend going back and forth is NOT worth the savings.

5. Be sitting down when your VISA bill comes after the trip.
Lori is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91
1. I agree with previous poster that staying away from the center ie staying out from there you want to be is a false savings. If you are a tourist for a week time is money and while people watching on the tube is ok, there are better things to see and buses are frequently crowded so you can't see much.

2. B and B's are great adn there have been several recommended on the fourm. I have stayed at the Arran House Hotel for a reasonable amount. There are lots of others recommended on this site.

3. The guided tours at the National Gallery are free and have been consistently good.

4. I agree that the transit passes are a good deal and very convenient.

5. I agree that the London Walks are a good deal. I took the Friday evening Themes pub walk and it was great.
harvey is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Staying away from the center doesn't cost a lot in terms of travel time. Please consider the following scenario:

Let's say the area where the sights are is 30 minutes wide (the time from West Kensington to Tower Hill by Tube).

If you stay in the middle of that area, your travel time to the western end is 15 minutes, and your travel time to the eastern end is 15 minutes, for a total of 30.

If your lodgings are at the west end of this area, it will take zero time to get to a sight at the west end, and 30 minutes to one at the east, for a total of 30. In fact (if the sights are evenly distributed within an area)

No matter where you stay within that area, your total travel time to sights will be the same.

So although it might seem that staying close by Westminster is more efficient, that's only true if you don't plan to go anywhere else.

Even if you stay outside the area, the penalty isn't too severe, because you'll automatically be close to things at one end. In fact, your average trip will be lengthened only by the time it takes to get to the nearest site. In our example above, being 10 minutes beyond the area means that the shortest ride is 10 minutes, and the longest is 40. The average, then, is 25 instead of 15, or ten minutes greater.

We're not talking about hours and hours of wasted travel time - but we are talking about saving hundreds of pounds.
Robespierre is offline  
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