For those who want to visit London on a holiday and are overwhelmed by the high prices, there are ample ways to enjoy a wonderful trip without having to break the bank. All it takes is a little bit of research and looking around for the best deals. And there are plenty of budget friendly hotels as well as attractions, where you could save make considerable savings on the trip.
The very first thing to look for is suitable accommodation at an affordable price. The good news is that you can stay within Central London, without actually having to spend too much. A good place to look would be the London hotels near Paddington station that offer value for money.
One such luxury hotel is the Park Grand Lancaster Gate hotel that offers premium accommodation and facilities at a very competitive price. A few other ways by which you could trim your expenses while on a trip to London are:
Travelling around the city
The Oyster Card: Using private transport like taxis and minicabs leads to additional expenditure. London has one of the most well developed public transport networks, so why not make the most of it. It is the most cost-effective and convenient way to travel any distance in the city and becomes a lot more economical, if you get yourself a transit pass like the visitor Oyster Card. You could choose to buy your card before your trip and have it delivered to your postal address or alternatively buy one upon arrival at any Tube Station. And you could preload a decent sum, which even if there is a balance at the end of your trip can be refunded at any ticket booth. You also have the option to either return the card and have £5 reimbursed or choose to keep it for a later trip.
Get the London Tube app: With the proliferation of smart-phones travel has become far more convenient, with thousands of apps to make your trip hassle free. One must have app to download if you are in London is the London Tube app that offers users detailed instructions of routes and how to get from one destination to the another in the most convenient manner. It also states the approximate time taken for the trip.
Use the bus services: Many tourists get caught up in travel by the Underground as there are detailed maps at every station to show where your next destination is. The fact is that buses on many an occasion can be a more convenient option to travel to key destinations in the city. You could also download apps like the London Bus Free Map and Route Planner.
Try the Hop-on-Hop-off option: A great way to sightsee while saving money is to use the hop-on -hop off London bus tours. They are particularly effective if you are running short of time or just want a great overview of the city before you actually decide, which places to visit and explore in detail at a later stage. These bus tours offer five different routes along the city and with live commentary from professional guides; it is a wonderful way to enjoy the stunning sights of London.
Travel from Heathrow to London: Needless to say, if you want to have a pleasurable trip you need to pack light! This will make it far more convenient to travel on public transport with your baggage. Once you arrive at Heathrow you can get to the central London using the London Underground. After you land at the arrivals terminals look out for the signage to the Underground. Once you reach the entrance of the Underground head to the ticket kiosk and buy a London visitor oyster card (if you do not already have one) and top it up with a suitable amount. You could then ask for details at the information desk, as to how to head best to your destination.
Try exploring the city on foot: Although, London is massive city the good thing is that many of the top tourist attractions are within walking distance of each other. This is more so if you are within central London where most of the major attractions are within walking distance of one another. So make it a point to stroll around when in the centre of the city as it will save on travel costs and be a much more pleasurable way to view the attractions along the route.
Another key aspect to remember is a street can have more than one name. This is applicable to both main streets as well as the smaller ones. A case in point is Charing Cross suddenly transforms to Tottenham Road and the smaller Mortimer street magically becomes Goodge. If you are aware of the change in appellation it will be far easier to navigate around London. And keep a keen eye out whenever you are at an intersection as the markings will indicate which direction to look out for traffic. It does take a bit of practice to get used to the varying flow of traffic on London’s roads.
And yes the Google Maps app is indispensable! One of the most useful apps whether you are in London or in any other major city on the planet, is the Google Maps app. While it is not recommended to keep your head down in your phone navigating the busy streets of London, looking up the app from time to time is definitely of benefit. This is especially, when you are finding your way around the tiny or more obscure streets of the city.
Get a free map at the hotel: While apps have definitely made life far easier for travellers there is nothing to replace the good old paper maps, which still hold their own against technology. You can pick up a free map at the concierge desk or ask the reservation staff for one.