My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Do You Hear London Calling?

2010/12/30by Donna Hull

london-england-tower-bridge

Tower Bridge

Are you planning a baby boomer trip to London? Better start saving those pennies because it’s an expensive destination. But, boomer readers, we’re scouring the Internet to find the best travel advice for you to make that trip to London affordable. In today’s guest post, expert budget travel planner, Shereen Rayle of Shereen Travels Cheap, shows us how to save money and enjoy London at the same time.

London is one of those places that keeps calling you back. A baby boomer traveler can visit multiple times without having the same experience twice. There’s so much to do and see that even two weeks is barely enough time to scratch the surface.

If, like me, you like to stay as long as possible while on vacation, it can be hard to keep control of your travel budget in a place like London. Being one of the most expensive travel destinations, it’s certainly easy to spend much more than you intended. Here are five ways to save that will stretch your baby boomer travel dollar a bit further, enabling you to stay longer and see more.

1. Purchase a pass

With a London Pass, for one price, boomers gain admission into 55 attractions, skip the box office queues and receive discounts on museums, shopping, dining and tours. The Pass covers many excellent attractions including a tour of Wimbledon, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the HMS Belfast and Kensington Palace. Even visiting just a portion of the list will save considerable travel dollars over purchasing tickets separately. The best deal on this is the 6-day pass, which runs a little under $200 and includes transportation on buses, the tube, trams and trains until the expiration date of the pass. Baby boomer travelers can also purchase the London Pass without the transportation option. It’s available in 1-, 2- and 3-day options, with or without transportation, as well.

2. Find London theater tickets at Broadway Box

London has a wide variety of theater experiences that shouldn’t be missed. Two tickets can cost a small fortune, but boomers using Broadway Box will find amazing discount codes for almost any show that they are interested in seeing. Besides the considerable theater price cuts, dinner and show deals are also included. In some cases, dinner turns out to be free with the package purchase.

3. Take a walk

London Walks has the most diverse tours of London, available any day of the week. Costing around $20 per person, they are some of the most affordable tours of the city, covering everything from St. Paul’s Cathedral to Harry Potter. Walk in the steps of John, Paul, George and Ringo with the Beatles’ Walks or taste local brews or cuisine with the Pub and Food Walks. Each outing is roughly one mile, usually has a resting point and lasts for an average of two hours. Fodor’s rates them “the first and best of the walking tour firms”.

4. Shop the Markets

england-london-bus

London bus

London has a variety of open-air markets, which can be great for finding bargains or just browsing. Two of the most popular, where boomers will still find a deal, are Camden Lock Market and Portabello Road Market. Open 7 days a week, Camden Lock Market is always bustling and is really diverse. Buy a rare book and have your palm read in the same trip. In the two miles of Portabello Road Market, you’ll find everything from antique treasures to fruits and vegetables. The market may look very familiar to those baby boomers who saw the movie, Notting Hill.

5. Learn about London’s history for free

Sure, you’ll find the same information from a book or on the Internet, but why not make a trip to the Museum of London for that history lesson? Admission is free, the exhibits are world class and it’s easy to access from the Underground. When you’re finished, pop into one of the nearby pubs, called free houses, for a bite to eat and a pint.

With these five ways to save across the pond, baby boomer travelers will stretch their travel dollars, getting more out of the trip. Explore England’s capital for less and cross off more items on boomer “must-do” travel lists. Cheers!

Shereen Rayle runs a blog and Facebook page called Shereen Travels Cheap. She loves planning travel almost as much as taking the actual trip. Shereen helps her readers take better vacations and save money by suggesting useful budget travel tips, websites and products.

Do you have a London budget travel tip to share? Post a comment to tell us about it. We’ll use your suggestions when Alan and I finally travel to London.



A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer December 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Great tips from Shereen, Donna; she obviously have been to London and speak from experience!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
December 30, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Jen. Yes, Shereen provided us with practical
information on saving money in London. It’s a pleasure to publish this
guest post.

Reply

Beth December 30, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Thanks, Donna. Going to be in London this August before a cruise!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
December 30, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Great, Beth! Hope this information will help you plan a fun time in
London.

Reply

Anil December 31, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I second the recommendation for London Walks, some of my favorite travel memories from a great city. I took several of their tours which are fun, informative, and memorable.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
December 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Thanks, Anil, for telling us about your experience with London Walks.
Good to know that you found them enjoyable.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
January 2, 2011 at 1:13 am

Thanks for adding to our tips list, Tara. Come back anytime.

Reply

Barbara Weibel January 3, 2011 at 3:23 am

Since I’m likely London bound this summer, I’m filing this one away for future reference. Thanks Donna!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
January 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Glad we could provide information to help with your London travel
plans. If you use any of these suggestions, please come back to tell
us about your experience.

Reply

Mark H January 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

One of the best things about London is its suite of free (or very cheap) world class museums. From the British Museum (one of the finest I’ve ever visited) to the galleries to the British Library, their are superbly presented museums for all tastes that could soak up months of London visit time.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
January 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Mark, between your remarks and Shereen’s post, I’m really wanting to
visit London.

Reply

melodie January 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

I lived around London for 2 years so here are my two cents: Don’t buy the London Pass! With this pass, you get (and pay for) a zone 1-6 travel card but in reality, you only need a zone 1-2. Also, before going, do a Google search like: “London 2 for 1 vouchers”. Depending on the time of the year, you can get vouchers for a lot of attractions. For transport, do like the locals: Buy an Oyster Card. Put 10 or 20 pounds on it (depending on how many days you stay) and use it in buses or in the tube. Even if you use it a lot, at one point, you’ll have reached the daily limit (5,50 pounds, I think, the price of a day pass) and then all transport after that will be free. Sometimes with the Oyster Card, you can find vouchers for 2 for 1 Thames cruises. If you really really want to buy the London Pass, do a very thorough search beforehand and use it for the most expansive attractions, keep the free museums and stuff for later. But if you do that, you might be rushed to stay less time than you would in one place.

For the markets, don’t forget Borough Market. Best one for food! Also, I think Portabello is not open 7 days a week.

For theater tickets, I always used Theater Monkey http://www.theatremonkey.com/ We got some great prices for all kinds of show.

To eat on the cheap, walk into any grocery store (Tesco, Sainsbury, M&S, Waitrose) and buy sandwiches, juices, fruit and go eat them along the Thames, in parks, in front of the Abbey. Everybody does it, even the locals. At night, pub food is the cheapest. Kids are allowed in pubs.

Finally, as soon as you step into London, buy the weekly magazine Time Out London. It will tell you everything there is to do (free or not) in London that week. Great source of information.

Enjoy London! The most beautiful, fun, grandiose city!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
January 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Thanks, Melodie, for such detailed information. I know our readers
will benefit from your London knowledge.

Reply

melodie January 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm

No problem. I love London so much that I want every traveler that goes there to enjoy their visit as much as possible!

Kristine Drake
Twitter:
April 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

Hello Donna!
Thanks for a great post! I just came home from 5 days in London. I absolutely fell in love with the city and recommend all boomers to visit! I was there with my son, a student in England, and we found a great hotel on a great location at an affordable price! Kensington Close, off the tube station High Street Kensington, at 105 GBP per night. http://www.kensingtonclosehotel.com/
I look forward to reading about you and Alan going there yourselves!
BTW, the Oyster card was great. We used the double decker a lot for sightseeing!
Happy Easter!
Kristine Drake recently posted..I fell in love with London!My Profile

Reply

Brette Sember
Twitter:
April 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm

We stayed in an apartment and it was much cheaper than a hotel, plus we had a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms! The London Pass is a good deal but do the math. It didn’t make sense for us since we were not planning to go to enough places on the list. Buy a pass for the Tube – it is cheaper than paying each time you use it.
Brette Sember recently posted..Introducing The Muffin Tin Cookbook!My Profile

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Donna Hull
Twitter:
April 24, 2012 at 7:53 am

Brette, thanks for these great London tips! I know our readers will appreciate them.

Reply

Ron Whitaker February 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Ahhh…London!

I’ve never been but really want to go. It would be nice to visit a foreign country where I could at least speak the language! (One less hurdle to worry about!)

Out of those tours and such, is there one that focuses on London foods? That would be a fun tour!
Ron Whitaker recently posted..Are You a Boomer Who Simply Has Too Much Stuff? [VIDEO]My Profile

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