Since I can't get London off my mind, I figured we could at least switch gears a bit from the places planned for my trip and focus on my budget instead.
Keep in mind as you read, we will be in London for 7 days and will have a direct flight from New York to London.
Heathrow Express: £28
Weekly Tube Pass (Zones 1-2): £33
Breakfasts (7 breakfasts in England): £10/per breakfast (7)
Lunches (7 lunches in England): £15/per lunch (7)
Dinners (8 dinners in England): £20/per dinner (8)
Transport to Stow-on-the-Wold: £30
St. Paul's Cathedral Tour: £18
Airport Food: £20
Spend Money: £225
Total: £694 approx. $1,041 (with a 1.5 exchange)
**keep in mind that the exchange rate is very low right now so the price could drop below $950 if things stay as is until March.
I will now give you a better understanding of what the costs include and why we chose to include them in our budget. Here's a breakdown:
- To take full advantage of our night in London, my friends and I are going to opt to take the Heathrow Express. It will cut our transport time down and allow us to get to our Airbnb in time to grab a pub dinner.
- A cheaper option would be to take the tube into the city and then transfer at Victoria Station or Kings Cross.
- A more expensive option would be to take a cab from the airport into the city
- Rather than put so much money on our Oyster cards, my friends and I have opted to buy a weekly unlimited pass for zones 1 and 2. This will make planning easier. We don't have to limit our tube trips and we can just see what the weather is like and how tired we are. We are going to avoid cabs and Ubers. This will be much more feasible with the night tubes running.
- A £10 breakfast in London can mean a lot of things. If you are really hungry, you can go to most pubs in London and get a full English breakfast with tea or coffee for £10. You could also get a coffee and pastry at Starbucks if you want a lighter meal. If you want to go even cheaper, you can just stock up on cereal and milk from Tesco or Sainsburys.
- For lunches, there are too many choices to even name. Some of my favorites are sushi from Wasabi which will cost anywhere from £7-14. You can also go to a sit down and get a lunch special for around £15. Once again, if you want to be cheaper than £15, you can head to a grocery store. Tesco has a meal deal for £3 that includes a sandwich, side dish like chips, and a drink.
- £20 for dinner might seem like not enough but don't forget we budgeted spend money that could be used for extra alcohol. However, if you would like just one drink then this budget should be correct. Also keep in mind that you probably will want a cheeky Nandos one day for dinner. You can get a chicken pita with two sides for £8.95. The extra cash you save that day can go towards another dinner at a pricer spot like the Coppa Club.
- Transport for Stow-on-the-Wold is budgeted for £30. This price should allow you to go to most day trip locations outside of London. The national rail is great and pretty affordable plus there is a great Megabus system out of Victoria Coach Station. Some other fantastic day trips include: Brighton Beach, Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford, and Cambridge.
- Now for the £18 budgeted St. Paul's Cathedral Tour, you could use that for the view of your choice. You can do the London Eye for £21, The Shard is £35, Tower Bridge for £11, etc. We chose St. Paul's because it will have great view of East London. Plus, we will get to see the amazing architecture inside the cathedral.
- Airport food is pretty self explanatory but this budget will include a quick meal with a drink or a coffee and snack. You have to remember that they will feed you on the plane too!
- Spend money was tricky for me. I wasn't sure how much to budget because I will be limited to one suitcase and a carryon to fit everything into. However, I also included coffees, tea, and sweets into this spend. I believe that around £50 will be enough for all of those extra snacks and £175 will be for souvenirs.