How to Budget for a London City Break

Recent research from TripAdvisor showed that London is the seventh most expensive city in the world for tourists, but that doesn’t mean that visiting on a shoestring isn’t possible. By planning carefully in advance, travellers can ensure that their trip runs smoothly and stays on budget.

It can be easy to spend more than intended upon arrival if you are not well-prepared – it’s tempting to go into the nearest restaurant when your stomach is rumbling only to discover extremely expensive items on the menu, for example, while paying for theatre tickets at the last minute can be just as costly.

By creating a schedule beforehand and paying for your travel needs in advance, you can use your time more efficiently so that you get the most out of your holiday. This also limits the amount of cash you need while there, reducing the risk of overspending.

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Restaurants


Eating out can take a big chunk out of your finances, so it’s a good idea to carefully plan where you want to go and determine what is affordable. It’s a good idea to check out early-bird, mid-week or set menus and time your visit accordingly in order to save cash.

If you require more flexibility, you should consider the Hospitality Line ‘dine as you please’ cheque scheme. This provides you with vouchers to redeem for meal and drink combinations at a variety of prestigious and well-located restaurants - they cover a range of cuisines to suit your mood.

Attractions


Buy tickets for attractions in advance and you might be able to save money and miss the queues. Look on the associated websites or purchase easy-to-redeem vouchers from specialist providers like Hospitality Line – the London Eye, the Shard and Madam Tussauds are just some of the must-visits across the English capital.

Transport


The sights of London span a huge area, so you would probably find yourself shelling out for bus, Tube and black cab rides if you arrived unprepared. However, there are a number of different ways to cut the cost of travelling around the English capital.

Carefully plan your schedule so that you visit nearby attractions and restaurants on the same day and you should be able to get around London by foot. Mark everything on a map so you can create the most efficient routes while taking in everything you want to see.

You can also buy Travelcards, which allow you to take as many trips as you like on the Tube or bus systems. This is a great option if you’re looking to pack in a lot of attractions in a short space of time – make sure you only pay for the zone and timescale you require in order to save even more money.

Photo by Duncan Harris via Flickr Creative Commons