London on a Budget – a Budget Traveler's Guide to London Edit
Before you Set Off:
Cheap Flights: Budget Airlines like Ryanair, easyjet, BMI Baby have really opened Europe up for backpackers. Searching online in advance can generate really big savings.
Book a Hostel: In keeping with its status as one of the most vibrant and youthful cities, London has a range of outstanding budget accommodation. London hostels such as the Generator, the St. Christopher's Inns and the Astor hostels offer beds for as little as £13 a night. Same goes for Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage, one of the only two 5 Star Hostels in London. Online you can find as well discounts to it.
Pack your Sleeping Bag: Some London hostels charge you for sheets. Whilst a sleeping bag is extra weight, over the course of a trip it can save you quite a bit of money on bedding.
Get a Student Card: If you're under 26 years old a student card can make you some fairly major savings with discounts in many big name stores.
When you Get to London:
Currency: Wherever you are in the world, if you can possibly avoid it, don't exchange your money at the airport, as rates can be significantly higher. In London the Post Office offers a commission free exchange.
Spend the Afternoon in the Park: One of the greatest things about London is the number and size of its parks. Hyde Park, Regent's Park and Hampstead Heath are just a few places where you can spend a great afternoon
Get an Oyster Card: We can't emphasize this enough. The difference between the standard (extortionate) single fare and the Oyster-subsidized fare is a staggering 200%.
Hit the Streets: Of course, even better than saving money on an Oyster card, is not spending anything at all. Like all cities, the best way to get to know London is to explore it on foot.
Great Free Stuff: Nearly all of the museums and galleries in London, including the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Tate Modern and Tate Britain are free. See them all, because some of the other sights are a little on the pricey side.
Don't Miss Breakfast: Pretty much all London hostels give you free breakfast. It may only be a couple of slices of toast and a coffee, but it'll tide you over until lunchtime...