8 Money Saving Travel Tips Exploring Around London (UK)

So you are looking to save money on a trip to London? Probably finding ways that you can stretch that budget and save on London attractions. Let me share with you on how I typically travel to London on a budget.

Since I’ve been living here in the UK for the past decade I have visited London countless times, I’m going to share with you some London tips on how to travel London for cheap using coach, cheap train tickets and other ways to save money.

Read More: Best UK Travel Itinerary for 2 Weeks

It’s always the best time to visit London because there is always something happening in the city. Various London attractions deals are always readily available for the locals and visitors like the London pass, 2 for 1 London attractions deals and other promotions on offer to visit London on a budget.

The capital of the United Kingdom is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. The beating heart of the UK offers a wide array of modern and upbeat vibes, rich royal history and unmissable London attractions to visit.

Read More: Best Day Tours and Places to Visit Near London (UK)

Travel budget-friendly tips in travelling to and around London.

1. Boris Bikes

If you love to cycle and care about carbon footprint emissions, you can rent a Boris bike.  The bicycle rental scheme was named after the previous mayor of London – Boris Johnson. There are loads of Boris bike rental stations dotted around the city, which you can use to travel from point A to B or go for a DIY city bike tour.

Boris bikes in London

Here’s how Boris bikes work in London in step-by-step instructions.  Just simply hire it from the nearest docking station, pay using debit or credit cards, and return it when you reached your destination in the nearest docking bay. 

Make sure that you are staying within the bike lanes and know the rules on the road.  Safety first!

2. Day Travelcard

If you are travelling by train to London, you have the option to buy a travel day card to the city that is valid from zone 1 to 6.

London Day Travelcard

This card can be used on the London Underground, Overground, DLR and London buses. 

This is an optional add-on to your train tickets instead of buying single tickets every time when you reach London. 

Read More: London Attractions: 49 Best Things to Do in London (UK)

3. Using Group Saver Or other Discount Cards

If you are travelling with a friend, partner or family from anywhere in the UK you have to take advantage of the discounted rail fares.

National rail offers these railcard discounts for the whole year. These cards are non-transferable and can only be used by the registered person or people in the railcard.

16-25 UK Train Railcard
16-25 UK Train Railcard

When I was a bit younger, I signed up for the 16-24 railcard that gave me a 1/3 off my rail fares to London and anywhere in the UK.  

Pro tip: For you to maximize your 16-24 and 26-30 railcard, you can renew it for another 3 years before your 25th birthday and this will be still valid even if you are more than 24 years old.

These railcards and group saver tickets should be valid and within the terms and conditions when you travel and use them to avail of the discount. You can sign up for the railcard deals here.

Read More: Best Hotels in London on a Budget Near the Main Attractions

4. Book your coach or train tickets in advance

As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm!  Booking your coach or train tickets in advance will give you the advantage to get a cheap coach and trains to London.

Birmingham New Street Train station to London
Birmingham New Street

You can typically book around 3 months in advance prior to your travel. When I was going weekly to London from Birmingham I was able to buy a £10 rail ticket (one way) and around £2 to £4 on coach fares (one way). That’s an absolute bargain!

Booking your coach and train travel during the off-peak hour will also cut down the price of fares. The typical train fares to London are starting around £50 and are much more expensive if you book the first class rail service! You can book your train tickets here to go to and from London anywhere in the UK.

I wrote another blog post about 5 Easy Ways to Get from London to Birmingham. It’s a very detailed one very handy if you want to venture out of London.

Read More: The Best Luxury Hotels in London That Will Make You Feel Like Royalty

5. Walk

Walking is another way to save money when travelling around London and is good for your health too.

St. James's Park in London

If time is not an issue, walking down the streets of central London can be relaxing most especially around the tourist attractions.  So make sure to wear your walking boots or trainers!

I personally love walking around central London if I’m not in a hurry to go somewhere. Most especially walking through the Royal Parks and other London attractions.

6. London Double Decker bus

The iconic London Red double-decker bus is another way to cheaply travel around London.

London Double decker bus

The city has a regular bus service from Zone 1 to 6.  So you can easily go from point A to B. Just make sure to get the correct bus and follow the bus time schedule.  You can use your travel day card, debit card or the London Oyster card. 

Buses in London do not accept cash anymore.

7. Use Oyster Card

Another saying goes, When in Rome, do what the Romans do! Using the Oyster card is what the locals use to move around the city.

London Oyster Card

You can easily buy an Oyster card from any underground station or corner shop in London.

You typically have to put around £10 credits on your account to activate it. The maximum price cap is applicable when using the Oyster card. You can check your London Underground fares here.

You can also keep the Oyster card as a souvenir or use it again when you go back to London.

Read more: Contactless, Travelcard or Oyster card: Which is Cheaper and Best for Tourists

8. Don’t go there!

Yes, you read it right.  London is the most popular place to visit in the UK however it comes with a hefty price tag.

There are plenty of other English countryside attractions that are not far from London.

If you are interested to see the London Attractions: 49 Best Things to Do in London (UK) here are our suggestions around the city.  Then if you are looking for where to stay in London, I made this blog post about the Best Hotels in London on a Budget Near the Main Attractions that won’t hurt your budget.

Then if you are planning to visit different places around the UK, you can check out this Best UK Travel Itinerary for 2 Weeks and the other Best Places to Visit in the UK. I hope these blog posts will help you plan your perfect UK trip, alternatively, you can check some helpful Travel Essentials List: What to Pack for Carry-On Luggage Like A Boss

See more of our Travel tips and Guides and  United Kingdom posts or look for more other world destinations here.

I hope my London budget-friendly travel tips helped you in planning your trip to the UK’s capital. Enjoy your visit to the Queen!

Money Saving travel tips to London on a budget


Ryazan Tristram EverythingZany Author Bio

Ryazan Tristram

Travel Writer & Photographer

Ryazan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She also has more than 10 years of work experience gained from working in the hotel and travel sectors in Asia and Europe. Her work has been featured and published on Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, World Travel Guide, MSN, CNBC, GMA, Daily Mail UK, Lonely Planet and many more. She is currently living in the UK as a dual citizen (British – Filipina). Join her in travelling around the UK and beyond with a mission to promote sustainable tourism and share travel guides, travel tips, foodies, history and culture.

2 thoughts on “8 Money Saving Travel Tips Exploring Around London (UK)”

Leave a comment