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Cost of visiting England beginning to be discussed...

Cost of visiting England beginning to be discussed...

Aug 22nd, 2006, 04:20 AM
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According to the UBS survey, the most expensive cities are Oslo, London, Copenhagen, Zurich, Toky, Geneva and New York. Paris is #11.

If rent is included, London is #1 and NY #2.
jsmith is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 04:45 AM
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I just returned from a month in Cambridge and found things expensive as well, but, if you know where to shop (Sainsbury's, market, etc.) it is not so bad. And I feel the quality of the food (less hydrogenated oils, perservatives) is far superior, so I am happy to pay more for some things!

On the other hand, we spent one weekend in Dublin---wow, that place made London look downright CHEAP!!! But again, we were tourists 100% there and not trying to save money. It just seemed really expensive.

But like other posters...I don't care what the cost--I'll be back to England as soon as I possibly can!
StephCar is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Because we are in and out of Belgium frequently, we shop for many of our essentials there. And we find that the Colruyt chain carries most of our everyday items significantly cheaper than we've found anywhere (including ASDA, Sainsbury's, Tesco, etc.) in the UK, and thankfully without the madness we've encountered at the local ASDA (ugh). Plus we can get staples there that we simply can't find easily in the UK (like Nutroma coffee cream). And certain special items--like Michelin Green Guides--are deeply discounted at Colruyt for some reason.
We find it's not just a question of the difference between tourist prices and what the locals pay, but a difference between what UK (non London) locals pay and what "Continentals" pay.
BTilke is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 08:29 AM
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Caroline I disagree. I think many Brits shop in New york because the 'shopping' is better, it's not necessarily the lower price.
Stellarossa is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 08:40 AM
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Having just looked at a quick 4 night trip to New york in October, the prices I was getting were around £1200 pp for 3* hotels and flights. Anything I may have saved on shopping would be swallowed up with the cost of the journey.
Ok I am sure I could get things a little cheaper but the flights are ridiculously priced, this because I should have booked months ago.

Doh !

Never mind I will go to Crete or Zante instead.


Mucky is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 08:48 AM
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For a while, BBC had a fun series in which Brits shopped for items in other countries. They pulled together a list of several items with the UK price. Then they would go to that episode's destination (New York and Turin are the two I remember) where they would be shown the exact same item and two alternatives. Even if they picked the same item as they'd priced back in the UK, they ALWAYS saved money by buying in another country (even when you added in charges for exceeding the duty free allowance). On the trip to NYC, for example, the couple saved hundreds of ££.
BTilke is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 10:37 AM
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Did they count in the tax due on return?
Nonconformist is online now  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 11:01 AM
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I think the common Londoner feels that London prices are keeping folks away - at least Europeans. I base this on my B&B lady out in Eltham who last Dec said the Europeans that normally came there by car were way down and she thinks the high price of tourist living in London is keeping them away.
Funny though, this clean B&B will fine breakfast at 22 pounds should i guess be attracting more tourists if central London hotel prices are amongst the highest in the world are to be believed!
PalQ is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 11:22 AM
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I don't think it's that expensive, sure if you don't do your homework...we took a family trip to Disneyworld last year and it cost us $5000 everything included, airfare, deluxe resort, food, gifts...this year it's England...11 days (4 days longer than Disney) and it's costing me the same...sure we may not be in the Polynesian Hotel..but who cares when you get all those museums for free? For food, we just split some deli sandwiches and get some croissants and fruit for breakfast....who needs ribeye and chocolate torte? I think folks expect to maintain their standard of living in England...they look at these hotels and think HOW can I pay that much for a room that wouldn't be acceptable in my own home? Simple, you do your research and get a good deal. It may be harder to get the deals, but they're there! Off to show my family London and England 3 weeks from today! Can't wait!!!

ma23peas is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 03:33 AM
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stellarossa: "Caroline I disagree. I think many Brits shop in New york because the 'shopping' is better, it's not necessarily the lower price."

Now it's my turn to disagree. I don't think there's anything one can buy in NYC that one can't buy in the UK. All the people I've known who regularly shopped in NYC were just stocking up on staple clothing items like Levis & Calvins, and buying CDs, DVDs and US-based toiletry lines like Origins - all of which are available here but more expensive. When we've been, DH has just bought CDs and I've never shopped for anything except a coat, after mine was stolen.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 03:58 AM
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Then I'd suggest you shop somewhere other than Madison or 5th Avenue next time.

Stellarossa is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:07 AM
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I'm definately with Caroline on this one, its the price that makes people go.

Geordie is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:16 AM
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I'm with you Caroline - I don't regard New York as being any 'better' than London for shopping. But it is, undoubtedly, much cheaper for certain items. Most people I know seem to take a New York trip as an opportunity to buy ipods and jeans at reduced prices.

There's certainly plenty of fun to be had shopping in the more quirky shops downtown, but that's nothing you can't also do in many areas of London.
Kate is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:20 AM
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You shop on Houston and Bleeker, right?
Stellarossa is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:45 AM
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"I think the common Londoner feels that London prices are keeping folks away"

Well, that particular common Londoner's talking through her rear end.

Visitor numbers to Britain for the latest full year (2005) were up 8%. Since two-thirds of visitors to the UK come from Western Europe, it's not surprising that that's also the growth rate for visitors from there. In fact, the only geographical area that's generating fewer visitors is North America (-3%). Since that's only 14% of our total visitor count, it really doesn't matter. Our tourist honey pots are more jam packed than ever this week.

But we do seem to have a lot fewer European cars on our roads.

The problem PalQ's B+B lady faces is that she's in Eltham. Jolly handy for people driving from Dover or the Tunnel - but useless for practically any other purpose.

Since a shareholder revolt, Tunnel car prices have risen at a time cheapo flight prices have tumbled. Europeans are flying here, rather than driving. Eltham's about the last place in the world you'd want to stay if you'd just got off a Ryanair at Stansted. As practically the entire under-35 population of Europe seems to have done.

flanneruk is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 03:15 PM
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Well... we live on the Upper East side of Manhattan. Had a lovely visit to London last Oct. Everything was essentially double what we pay in NYC. We just closed our eyes and signed the charges - In London, we stayed in a neighborhood comparable to our own. I'm sure a dedicated traveler can find cheaper rates. However, not much one can do about the exchange rate.
Grandma is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:43 PM
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Ya know - it is often said "London prices are twice NYC", or that "the £ prices are what the $ prices are at home"

Well, I just don't get it. Sure, dining is expensive, but other than that a reasonable traveler can do things as cheaply in the UK as in the States.

A few examples:

Lodging I regularly rent nice studio to 2 bdrm flats in Pimlico/Victoria for £65-£100 per night. And Scala House often recommended here runs £110-£140 for 2 bdrm, 1.5 baths. You could not touch a holiday rental in SF, at Lake Tahoe, a nice area of LA, or definitely not in NYC for $120-$260 per night.

Museums The Metropolitan Museum costs $20 (yeah, I know it is "voluntary"), the De Young in SF is $10 and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is $11. The National Gallery, British Musem, V&A etc are free.

Transport In my home town a day pass on public transport only costs $4 - BUT it barely goes anywhere. Certainly doesn't cover all of the city and isn't viable as tourist transport.

Theatre A great seat can be found in any London Theatre for £12-£25 via TKTS - or up to about £55 at full price. Here in my home town a third rate road show company costs $25 (for nose bleed seats) to $125 for decent seats. And that definitely is NOT for Ralph Fiennes or Maggie Smith.

Concerts You can get fine seats for the LPO or LSO for £6 to £35. Our little semi professional symphony cost $25 - $60. And the NY Phil costs $35 to $125 or more.

I honestly can, and do, visit London for less than SF or NYC or LA . . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:17 PM
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It is cheaper for me to fly to London for a week of theatre than to do the same for 4 days in New York. And Vancouver-London is a 9.5 hour flight vs 5 hours to New York.
smacdvanbc is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 12:35 AM
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One way to save a lot of money when visiting London is to swap homes. If you check out the London based agency, Home Base Holidays, http://www.homebase-hols.com you'll find a very large choice of London exchange offers, both central and in the suburbs.

Public transport is excellent in London and you will be able to easily travel to the West End (or anywhere else, plus travel outside of London) from most London suburbs and the surrounding counties. There's also lots of great attractions, parks and restaurants off the tourist track too and, if you want to save money, you can certainly enjoy London without it costing an arm and a leg.
Lizzie2 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 02:30 AM
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Shopping is the main thing that is horrendous due to cost in the UK compared to other places. Even when the dollar was stronger it wasn't that good, especially with VAT.

Restaurants can be outrageous but good food can be found at more reasonable prices.
Carrybean is offline  

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