London, England is a top vacation destination that sits on many people’s lists of places to visit. But if you live in the USA, it’s not easy to reach any country in Europe. Flights can be expensive, so if you want to take the family with you, you can use up your entire budget just getting there. But if you do manage to gather the funds for travel, you probably don’t want to spend a lot on the rest of the vacation. Luckily, there are ways to save money while you’re staying in London, so you can see Buckingham Palace without feeling like you’re paying to stay in it. Use these techniques to have a budget family vacation in London.
Find Alternative Accommodation
London has some of the most expensive hotels in Europe. While you would probably love to stay somewhere like The Dorchester or The Savoy, it’s out of the price range of all but a few families. If you want to save money, your best option is to avoid hotels altogether. Not only will it cost you less for your accommodation, but choosing somewhere self-catered will save on food too. You can stay in service apartments, but another option is to use HouseTrip and stay in someone’s home. You can rent a holiday home that you can treat as your own while you’re in the city, and having a kitchen will mean you won’t have to eat out all the time.
Do Free Activities
London can be a very expensive city, but there are also lots of free things to do. An excellent place to start is with some of the city’s most famous museums, which are free to enter. The Science Museum and Natural History Museum are excellent for kids. The Science Museum has lots of interactive things to play with, and children love the dinosaurs at the NHM. Try the British Museum to see some real Egyptian mummies or go to the V&A Museum of Childhood for toys and other kids’ stuff.
Get an Oyster Card
If you use public transport while you’re in London, you could find that it gets costly. It’s easier than driving around, but buying individual tickets can add up. You don’t need to live there to get an Oyster card, which you can load up with cash. Using the card, you swipe in and out at each station or stop, and you’ll pay a maximum amount each day. When you’re finished with it, you can either keep it for your next visit or find a charity box, which will put the money still on it toward a good cause.
When you get to London, you might think it makes sense to take the underground or get a bus to wherever you want to go. But a lot of the main sights and areas to explore are all close to each other. You could get the tube two stops and then realize you could have walked the same distance in just a few minutes. Save money by using your own two legs to get around.
Don’t give up on your dream of a family vacation in London because you think it’s too expensive. There are always ways to make your trip cheaper.