5 Tips to Travel the UK on A Budget
Traveling to the UK, and around the UK, doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive. While there are only so many discounts you can receive on airfare, once you get to the UK, there are a great many budget friendly options to choose among; from accommodations to travel. Here are five ways you can save while traveling in the United Kingdom:
1. When to Travel
The United Kingdom’s weather is very similar to that of North America: warmer summers and colder winters. Aside from Christmas, winter and spring are the best times to travel to the UK if you are traveling on a budget. Avoid the dead of summer; June through August, and the holidays if you want to save a penny or two. Be sure, however, to look at the opening and closing dates of any attractions on your must see list. Some attractions in the UK are seasonal and you’ll have to decide if it’s more important to see certain sites or to travel on a budget.
If you are staying in a major city, like London, the cheapest way, by far, to travel will be on foot. The United Kingdom is incredibly pedestrian friendly if you are staying in a centralized location. If you plan on exploring the country, outside of its urban centers, look to Travel cards for the Tube, or Underground, and an Oyster Card for above ground trains. Tourists in the know recommend purchasing a pass for the majority of your travel and sticking to single tickets for trips you are taking to far-off destinations.
You’d not think it, but staying in an apartment is often cheaper than staying in a hotel. You can also look on sites like Craigslist for people that want to swap houses for a certain period of time. You’ll have to be comfortable letting strangers into your home, and your travel dates will need to be flexible, but house swapping can be a great way to visit a new city on a budget.
Alternately, look to hostels for cheap sources of accommodation. Hostels can be found in virtually any city in the UK and are both pleasant and budget-friendly. From the barest bones to amazing amenities, hostels offer something for every traveler.
You can often find great discounts on travel when you book tours. Whether you are looking for all-inclusive packages or simple passes to specific attractions, tours are a great way to stick to your budget when traveling. The Cornwall Crusader tour from Haggis Adventures, for example, is a five day tour through England and Wales that costs just $359 per person. There are a great number of tours like this one if you search the web or speak to your travel agent.
If you live in America, there is no other way to get to the United Kingdom than flying. If you fly off-season, you’re sure to find better rates from the major airlines. Look to sites like Travelocity and Expedia to find the best deals on airfare. If you can keep your travel dates flexible, you’ll find even better deals than you would normally. If you are staying in an apartment or a hostel with laundry facilities, skip the checked baggage and opt for a carry-on; you’ll save money as almost every airline is now charging a fee per checked bag.
Traveling to the United Kingdom can be done, no matter your budget. By shopping for great deals on airfare, taking tours and even choosing hostels for your accommodations, you’ll save an unexpected amount of money.
Sheila Barnett writes on personal finance and Travel Budgeting for financialcalculator.org, a site with just about every possible online financial calculator for investments and net worth — including a car loan calculator and even one that figures out your savings from quitting smoking.