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10 February 2009

The Return of Shoe-String Adventures – King Cross Station Anyone?

By Officer

Shoe-string adventure with the Queen!

London and European countries has always been too far fetch for a budget traveler like me (read: cheapo and will steal if theres a chance). Things have changed now and I officially declare London demystified.

Visiting the Queen no longer belongs to TV or internet visits now and taking the Hogwarts express from King Cross will no longer remain just in my Harry Potter books stacked in a corner. Without further ado, here’s my 2 pence worth for all you budget travelers out there seeking value behind your every pound :p

1. Fly Dirt Cheap

Unless you are contemplating using a broomstick, I suggest visiting all possible options for your pick. If you are aiming for ‘ridiculously’ low fare to London, make sure you watch and hunt down your target price down! I know AirAsia/AirAsia X usually lets the cat outta the bag a day ahead of promos via the RedAlert newsletter or sign up as an AirAsia Great Britain fan. Alternatively, sneak your way into the planes unnoticed, hold the pilot hostage with a banana, just do whatever it takes to get you on board for dirt cheap. (Hey, everyone can dream right?)

2. Get Budget Oysters

There are dirt cheap ways to get on the road. No, not the seafood – rather get hold of the Oyster Cards. The cards give you the lowest fare for all single journey on bus, Tube, trams, DLR, London Overground and some National Rail services in London. Kinda like how RapidKL buses work in Kuala Lumpur. Pay just RM2 and get unlimited rides on the same service around city center. Or you could stinge and just take number 11 (leg-power!) all the way and prepare for a quick trip back home.

3. Stay under the London Bridge

Obviously not…London has its fair share of budget Accommodation. If you are the type of person who can sleep anywhere and doesn’t mind sharing the bathroom with others, you’ll be surprised to know that the cheapest accommodation in London can start from as low as £6.90 per person per night.

If backpacker style of accommodation is not your cup of tea, there is always Bed and Breakfast Hotels, starting from £35 per night for the room which can be a pinch but don’t complain if extra luxury is what you’re looking for. Otherwise, London Bridge beckons.

4. See For Free, Do things for FREE

Surprise! Surprise! Who would have thought that you don’t need to pay a single cent to museums, attractions, entertainment and events in London! Do things for FREE . If you are a fan of museums and galleries, don’t miss out on the British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Science Museum and Natural History Museum.

Love strolling in the park? Bring your picnic basket and head over to the Royal Parks, made up of The Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park, The Green Park, Bushy Park and Richmond Park. Take stroll and remember to take lots of pictures.

Apart from that, there’s also some fun things to do with a minimal charges. I.e. London walking tours, cinema, opera and theater performances.

5. Eat Well, Eat Cheap

If I’m going to be walking my way through London, I’m so not going to go hungry! London has ‘competitive’ (read: cheap) priced supermarkets that can be found across London, so I’m pretty sure I’m not going to have to drop 5 pounds or busk for my meals.

Cheap flights, cheap stays, cheap food and free sights have got me all hyped up about London. Never would I have thought that London would be within my reach BEFORE retirement (not like I’m employed or paid anyway)! I’ve got my raincoat and umbrella with laces; ready for a stroll in the Royal Parks.

Anyone care to join me? London Bridge’s calling.

  • Yap

    London was only a dream. But with hope and AirAsia, watch out London, here I come with 11 others in tow. Wow!!! It’s a dream come true: London and onto Iceland!

  • Andrea

    Great post and funny too with totally useful info. Hope to see more to other destinations too :)

    Rawwwk…

  • Hemala

    I might go this year and I shall forever remember blinky and this blog post

  • Sai Heng

    Well done. Airasia….Now visiting London is not just a fancy dream….its so much closer to reality than ever before. Now I can wish to win some interesting contest by Airasia and get to go London for FREE….yet another fancy dream…..but its okay….dream on…