Author Topic: London Stay Budget  (Read 3521 times)

phimag512

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London Stay Budget
« on: January 12, 2017, 07:44:13 AM »
Hi all, we are planning a trip to London at the end of the year, and I wanted to get some ideas of place to stay while I'm there without breaking the bank for the week. Does anyone have any recommended hotels close to the city (tourist area)? Would it make more sense to do an Airbnb, rather than a hotel? I've never done one of them and wonder if anyone had good experiences with them. Thanks all!

Trifele

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 07:51:19 AM »
When we travel we find the break even point between hotel and AirBnB is around the 4 day mark, give or take.  After that point it is cheaper to do AirBnB.  If you are willing to cook for yourself your savings increase even more with an AirBnB rental if you have access to a kitchen/ette. 

I've done some dream planning for a week in London (haven't made the trip yet) and recall seeing some neat homestays as well, if you'd be into that.  Check out Homestay.com for one example of those sites . . .

Good luck!  Great time to go, with Brexit and the strength of the dollar right now
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 08:16:20 AM by Trifele »

Tris Prior

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 08:08:47 AM »
Posting to follow. We're hoping for London in 2018 and are trying to figure out how much to save.

KCM5

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 08:13:42 AM »
The Travelodge by Euston Station

Not super nice, and no atmosphere, but SO REASONABLY PRICED! Think like 40 pounds a night.


mbl

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 08:24:51 AM »
We were in London in Oct 2015.
Stayed in an AirBnB, a beautiful 2 bedroom duplex in West Hampstead in a converted school building.
Full modern kitchen.  2 full baths and a washer/dryer combo unit.

Secure entry from the street into the courtyard and secure code entry into the building.

We paid $2500 for 9 nights and it was absolutely worth it.

West Hampstead is on the Jubilee tube line.  There is also a stop on the overground there.
We had a 5 minute walk through a lovely neighborhood to get to the tube and about 15 minutes to the center of London.

We took our breakfast a few dinners at the flat which worked very well.

You need to do your research as to what you want to see.
We rode horses in St. James park, visited Kensington Palace,  did high tea at Fortnum and Mason's, ate at the Duck and Waffle.
I would suggest you get tickets(which are free) to the Sky Garden which affords a breathtaking view of London.
We have friends there who are members of Soho House so we got to go to the Shoreditch location  one evening...great experience.

I would also recommend Borough market and Spitalfields market.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 11:31:06 AM by mbl »

phimag512

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 08:25:37 AM »
We are looking for about 5 days, 4 nights. I tried looking on several sites (Expedia, Travelzoo, hotels.com). As for flights, I've been able to find some decent deals heading out of NY for around $300+ round trip.

Thanks, KCM5, I'll look over that place.

Trifele, I'll keep checking out Airbnb and homestay to see if it makes sense, prices to do that. I just wasn't sure if there were specific spots that were better to stay around, I was looking around Kensington or Kings Cross.

phimag512

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 08:27:48 AM »
Thanks MBL, I'm already making a list of places we want to go and see. :)

tomatops

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 08:32:00 AM »
I spent a week in London and they have some pretty nice hostels that rent out bunk beds or double rooms. I stayed at the YHA on Oxford Street, which was a fantastic location.

My accommodation as a single traveler was about $40 CAD a night plus you get a shared kitchen.

Also: if you are a Harry Potter fan, take the hour train ride to see the Warner Bros studio. It's incredible and well worth the price!

catccc

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 08:39:23 AM »
I just booked (last month) a London/Paris trip for my family of 4 with British Airways for April 2017! 
Kids are 5 & 8, so we thought a whole week in a single city might not be the best for their potentially short attention spans.

The package includes flights from Newark, NJ, to London, London to Paris, and back to NJ.  And 6 nights hotel  (sharing a single room).  They look nice, both are Novotel Hotels and both in decent locations.

Total for 4 people, including 3 legs of flights and 6 nights hotel, $3,094.  I was pretty pleased with that price!!!  I'm figuring another $900-$1000 for food and activities while abroad.  Out of curiosity, I tried to book just the flights at ba.com, and the exact same flights (same flight days, times, numbers) were coming up as $14K total.  (what?!  I don't get it.)

I have been to both cities before, but I am very much looking forward to the Warner Bros. Studio (Harry Potter) tour!

Packages with gate1 travel and go-today.com insisted on putting the 4 of us in 2 rooms, ba.com did not.  So my tip is to book flight and hotel together.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 08:43:15 AM by catccc »

YoungGranny

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 08:53:49 AM »
I can't be much help with stay, we got to stay for free for 6 nights at the W because my DH accumulated enough points travelling for work...however, I do recommend grabbing breakfast at My Tea Shop near london bridge. It's a small 4, table shop but the workers are wonderful and the full English breakfast was delicious and reasonably price :)

ausername

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 09:55:14 AM »
I always stay at the Ibis at London City Airport....it's very good value (about 40 pounds a night for a room that sleeps up to three people, breakfast is optional and extra). It's a ten minute walk from the airport and there's a tram (the DLR) which brings you in directly to Bank in central London. The rooms are very clean but I know some people might consider them "basic" - I don't! You can go anywhere you want in London easily from there.  I'd recommend getting an oyster card for transport too...the tube and DLR system is so good that I wouldn't worry about being in "the tourist area"... (by the way, if you're coming from the states you won't be flying in to London City Airport I'm guessing, but it might still be worth considering)

http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-3578-ibis-budget-london-city-airport/index.shtml
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 09:58:03 AM by ausername »

KCM5

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 10:06:47 AM »
We are looking for about 5 days, 4 nights. I tried looking on several sites (Expedia, Travelzoo, hotels.com). As for flights, I've been able to find some decent deals heading out of NY for around $300+ round trip.

Thanks, KCM5, I'll look over that place.

Trifele, I'll keep checking out Airbnb and homestay to see if it makes sense, prices to do that. I just wasn't sure if there were specific spots that were better to stay around, I was looking around Kensington or Kings Cross.

There's a Travelodge by King's Cross, too! :)

(I just really love cheap lodging!)

Also, while hostels are great and I love them, they're reasonably cheap for a single person but usually end up more than a basic hotel room shared by two people. But I'm sure you'll do the math.

And eating out in the UK is quite a bit more expensive and I've always found groceries to be quite reasonable (shop at Aldi or Lidl), so depending on how you vacation, it might make sense to get a place with a kitchen.

mbl

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 11:31:57 AM »
We are looking for about 5 days, 4 nights. I tried looking on several sites (Expedia, Travelzoo, hotels.com). As for flights, I've been able to find some decent deals heading out of NY for around $300+ round trip.

Thanks, KCM5, I'll look over that place.

Trifele, I'll keep checking out Airbnb and homestay to see if it makes sense, prices to do that. I just wasn't sure if there were specific spots that were better to stay around, I was looking around Kensington or Kings Cross.

Going outside of the center of town will only be a few more minutes on the tube and will be a bit less costly.

mbl

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 11:37:20 AM »
I always stay at the Ibis at London City Airport....it's very good value (about 40 pounds a night for a room that sleeps up to three people, breakfast is optional and extra). It's a ten minute walk from the airport and there's a tram (the DLR) which brings you in directly to Bank in central London. The rooms are very clean but I know some people might consider them "basic" - I don't! You can go anywhere you want in London easily from there.  I'd recommend getting an oyster card for transport too...the tube and DLR system is so good that I wouldn't worry about being in "the tourist area"... (by the way, if you're coming from the states you won't be flying in to London City Airport I'm guessing, but it might still be worth considering)

http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-3578-ibis-budget-london-city-airport/index.shtml
Yes to the Oyster card.
I believe that there is a 5 deposit which is refunded when the card is surrendered.
We didn't bother with the tourist oyster card, we just kept putting 20 on it at a time.
Our friends lent us the two Oyster cards but you can get them at the stations during the day.

CatamaranSailor

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 12:40:11 PM »
My son and I stayed in London for 9 days. We stayed in Marylebone and would hop on the Bakerloo line to get into the city. It worked out well. We used the tube extensively. I would suggest a place that has at least a basic kitchen and laundry facilities. I would NOT suggest AirBnB. I know a lot of people have had good experiences with them (we did as well right up until they completely f***** us...a post for another time). AirBnB is great until you have a problem and then there is ZERO customer service or support. The good news is there are a number of good agencies that manage short term flat rentals. If you get the Oyster card, shop and eat at your flat, you can enjoy London for probably 1/2 of what most people pay. We had a ball! Enjoy! My son still gets all giddy when he watches the opening scens of Sherlock and see where we were standing in Picadilly Circus. :)

cerat0n1a

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2017, 04:06:02 AM »
Yes to the Oyster card.
I believe that there is a 5 deposit which is refunded when the card is surrendered.
We didn't bother with the tourist oyster card, we just kept putting 20 on it at a time.
Our friends lent us the two Oyster cards but you can get them at the stations during the day.

If you have a debit card (Visa) which permits contactless payment (most Europeans do), you can just pay with that, just touch it to the machine as you go through, same price as an Oyster card.

If you're visiting from the States, the Oyster card (even with the 5 deposit) will pretty much pay for itself on your first tube trip. A journey which costs 1.50 on the card would be more like 8 or 9 if you bought a ticket.

aspiringnomad

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2017, 07:48:04 AM »
Last time there we stayed in one of the university dormitories (think it was LSE) close to Covent Garden for 30 per night. Not sure if the timing of our visit outside of a semester allowed for it, but it's hard find a cheaper price than that so close-in.

EconDiva

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2017, 09:59:11 AM »
We were in London in Oct 2015.
Stayed in an AirBnB, a beautiful 2 bedroom duplex in West Hampstead in a converted school building.
Full modern kitchen.  2 full baths and a washer/dryer combo unit.

Secure entry from the street into the courtyard and secure code entry into the building.

We paid $2500 for 9 nights and it was absolutely worth it.

West Hampstead is on the Jubilee tube line.  There is also a stop on the overground there.
We had a 5 minute walk through a lovely neighborhood to get to the tube and about 15 minutes to the center of London.

We took our breakfast a few dinners at the flat which worked very well.

You need to do your research as to what you want to see.
We rode horses in St. James park, visited Kensington Palace,  did high tea at Fortnum and Mason's, ate at the Duck and Waffle.
I would suggest you get tickets(which are free) to the Sky Garden which affords a breathtaking view of London.
We have friends there who are members of Soho House so we got to go to the Shoreditch location  one evening...great experience.

I would also recommend Borough market and Spitalfields market.

I second the Borough market.

weeblesim

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2017, 02:34:29 PM »
Depending on your budget, I would recommend either a Travelodge hotel or Air BnB. I've stayed at the Travelodge near Kings Cross and it was a reasonable price and location. Not very interesting way to stay. You can often get deals for around 35-40 per night.
Air BnB you could stay somewhere really interesting if thats your thing. A decent apartment will cost around 120 per night, but can be in an area where it would be really expensive to stay in a hotel.

There is a comedy club in Angel that does a show every night for free (you have to wait in line and they have a maximum capacity for their building, so you have to get there early, but worth the wait if you want to do something for free!)

Whilst in London I would also recommend doing afternoon tea, prices can really vary 30-60 per person.

Oyster cards are the way to go, but you won't necessarily need to get the underground to everywhere. If you are only going one or two stops in zone 1 then walking it is very easy and would save money.

Have a great trip!

EconDiva

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2017, 05:33:00 PM »
I stayed here last month:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g186338-d555057-Reviews-Ibis_London_City_Shoreditch-London_England.html

It was $126.02 all in for one night which is about $27 more than what I wanted to pay max, but it is like a block from the Aldgate East station which was super convenient for me getting to London Tower Bridge.

Also, it was on a Friday the week before Christmas.  Did a quick search for a random Friday in mid-March and it's going for $87/night FYI.  Basic room but clean, nice lobby and a bar on the lobby level.  3 star hotel that I'd say is probably accurate (or could go for a 3.5).

Butterfingers

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Re: London Stay Budget
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2017, 05:36:43 PM »
We paid $2500 for 9 nights and it was absolutely worth it.
Tell me that's a typo! How many people are we talking about?