London spans over 1500 square kilometres, with 32 boroughs, hundreds of underground stations and six major airports serving the city and its residents and visitors. It’s no surprise then, that London takes the prize for biggest city in Europe. It’s one of the key draws for tourists and returning guests of the Montcalm spa and hotels; the sheer size means that each visit can see you having completely new experiences. Indeed, many locals to the city haven’t visited every area of it and you’d be hard pressed to fit all 32 boroughs in during a weekend visit!
London’s size and wealth of attractions are vitally supported by the city’s efficient transport system. Whether enjoying a sightseeing tour or a Montcalm afternoon tea, the 272 tube stations and 700 bus routes mean that you can easily travel the whole of London and pack your day with adventures. But travel in the city can rack up a cost if you’re not careful. This blog will explore some of the ways that visitors to the English capital can save money on their travel.
First Off – Air Travel
Air travel to London is one of the easiest ways of reaching the city from overseas. If you book far enough in advance, you can find flights as cheap as £20. But it’s worth planning in advance not only for your flights but for the journey from the airport to your accommodation. Every airport in London is situated closer to a different part of the city and unless you don’t have a choice, it might be worth booking accommodation that is in relative proximity to your airport.
The reason for this is that you will undoubtedly save money on travel from the airport if, for instance, you book a room at the Montcalm Hotel Chiswell Street when travelling into City Airport. This is because the journey from the East end, riverside airport is cheaper when you keep the destination close to the airport you’re travelling into. Options for Heathrow arrivals might include West London tourist hotspots such as Paddington and Kensington, whilst Gatwick arrivals may want to look at rooms in South London to save money.
Express Airport Trains Are Pricey
The above being said, travel via express trains into the city can be far pricier than underground and bus services. Unless you need to get somewhere fast, the public transport system could save you tens of pounds. On the day tickets for express airport trains may get you into stations such as Paddington from Heathrow in 15 minutes, but they’ll cost you up to £25. Underground fares will cost £3.50 off peak and £5.50 at peak times.
Taxis Or Uber?
If you’re staying in London and need to get across the city fast, remember that apps such as Uber and Bolt are usually cheaper than a classic London Hackney Cab. That being said, digital apps such as Gett will help you to compare prices when Uber surges occur. These surges are often at peak times of travel, including times when pick ups from late night events in specific areas occur. At these peak times on the Uber app, you can see fares rise to 1.7 times their normal amount. At these times, a London Hackney cab could very well be of better value for money. Use Getts to compare prices in London at any time.
Oyster Cards And Public Transport
Oyster cards will save you more money per journey than buying a paper ticket. Whilst Oyster cards are the same price per journey and daily cap as pay as you go contactless, there are more flexible travel tickets available on the Oyster card. For instance, Oysters – the blue contactless travel cards you can buy for five pounds from any station in the city – will allow you to buy a daily, weekly or even monthly travel card that will save you money.
You can also link up your Oyster to your student, under 30 and over 60 railcards to get up to a third off your fare per journey at off peak times. These are Oyster card benefits that aren’t available if you only use your contactless payment card.
Know Your Travel Zones
Whether you’re visiting Ealing or London Bridge, knowing your travel zones and the fares associated with them will help you to manage your London budget. If you’re travelling across many travel zones, you’ll most likely rack up a higher fare per journey. Daily caps for zones 1 to 6, for instance, is £14.10, whilst a daily cap for if you’re travelling only in zone 1 for the day is £7.70. Luckily, many of the Montcalm luxury hotels are situated in zone 1 – most stops in the heart of the city – so if you want to save money during your stay at Montcalm hotels in Marble Arch, Barbican and Kensington, you can stick to only using the tube to navigate zone 1.
Make The Most Of City Hoppers On Buses
If you’re using buses to explore the city and are getting several within 60 minutes, you can save money by using the same contactless payment card as your previous bus. The city hopper works by spending for your first journey – an adult ticket price is £1.50 – and not taking money off your card for any other bus boarded within 60 minutes of the first payment. It’s important then, that you use the same card for multiple journeys.
Avoid Rush Hour And Peak Fares
Peak fares can rise by a pound per journey if you are travelling between the hours of 06.30 am and 09.30 am or between 4 pm and 7 pm on weekdays. With tube lines busier and journeys more uncomfortable, you’ll essentially be paying more for a less enjoyable journey at these times.
If you want to see more of the city and save money on public transport, then consider hiring a Santander Cycle from one of 800 docking stations in the city. At just £2 per 30 minutes of use, this is a great budget way of sightseeing and zipping around the city.