Having a cheap holiday or backpacking experience in London Yes it is possible

London's prices are as mad as their cabbies! In this post I will cover how to have a cheap holiday or backpacking experience without going bonkers in the process.

In this post I will cover:
- How to get to London for cheap
- Cheap and ree accomodation in London
- Eating Cheaply in London
- Seeing London Cheap and Free
- How to stay long term in London
- More ways to save money whilst travelling

After travelling for 9 months through Europe and the Middle East, I can tell
you that London is much more than I expected! I thought it would just be another Australia with bad weather and grumpy white people. To my delight I was wrong - it did have bad weather and grumpy pale people, but it was also an incredibly multicultural experience.

Getting there cheaply

Before we get into the cheap flights, you should first be decided on which of the 4 airports you want to fly to because a flight may be cheap, but the additional cost of getting into London itself from the airport can be quiet hefty and you should include it in the total flight cost.
There are a few flight travel websites you can use, but they mostly seem to
feature the main expensive airlines.
This site on the other hand only focuses on the discount airlines, you tell it
where you want to go and it tells
you which discount airlines go there: http://www.whichbudget.com

Cheap and Free Accomodation
Prices keep going up and down depending on demand, so it is difficult/
pointless for me to list them. You will more likely benefit if you book through
Hostelbookers.com and compare the prices for yourself. The good thing about this booking site is that unlike its main competitor hostelworld, it doesn't charge a US$2 booking fee on top of the 10% deposit. A nice saving in itself.

The other option of course is to join http://couchsurfing.org – a worldwide network for making connections between travellers and the communites they visit. People offering their couches for free! A worldwide phenomenon. At last check their were over 1000 people in the UK willing to spare a couch  give it a go, but remember to read what people have already said about someone whose couch you are planning on staying on.

Cheap Food
I would usually recommend trying the local food in every country you go to, but in the case of the UK, besides Fish ‘n’ Chips, what local food??? If you are looking for a seriously cheap backpacking experience, most serious backpackers know already to cook in the hostel kitchen. Why not use a cheap supermarket in the UK like the locals do (I recommend Sainsburys) . Save the money for your drinking habbit, you’ll need it.

Or, if you’ve done the AO thing and your over your problem and still want to try some local food, why not check out Time Out’s reviews of budget food in London – starting from 8.55 pounds.

Seeing London Cheap and Free

There are many free museums in London, including the main British museum which showcases stolen or ‘borrowed’ cultural pieces (including the stolen Greek Elgin Marbles). For a list of the many free museums, click here.

You may also be interested in a free tour of London. There is a company called New Europe tours which offer free 3 hour tours of London every day and also in all the major cities of Europe. How can they be free? you ask, what is the catch?

Technically it is free because the guide relies on your donations. At the end
of the 3 hrs, people are asked to pay what they thought it was
worth, if you didnt enjoy it you are welcome to pay nothing.

I have been to four or five of these in different cities and they vary in
quality but are generally very good or excellent. Find them here.

Want to stay here 6 months or longer?If for some reason you enjoy London or are generally a little bit sadistic, and have a recognised University Degree in just about anything, you can stay in the UK and teach in their highschools. Contact their Immigration and Education departments for more information.

More ways to save money whilst travelling

Also, if you're looking for more comprehensive tips on saving money wherever you go, you might consider the following two books: