Helpful Dos and Don’ts of Tips Traveling to London on a Budget

Here are some helpful Dos and Don’ts tips I’ve learned traveling to London so that you don’t have to make these same mistakes and you can save money!

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I’ll start with with the


Don’t Numero Uno:

Don’t buy an oyster card and wait the very last day to turn in your oyster card because you can’t return it at the airport you can only get your 5 pounds back if your at a major train station like Victoria and if your bus/train ride is at 6:00 am in the morning they are not open until 10 am or so, so yeah learn from me.


Don’t Numero Dos:

Don’t take a lot of cash with you, but take enough. Depending on your budget traveling with a lot of cash on you just isn’t common sense safe. However, keep enough with you that you can use interspersingly while you are paying for things in London. Which reminds me of:

Don’t Numero Tres:

Take a credit card that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, if you can, so you can save money.

Don’t Numero Cuatro:

Don’t expect fast service at any restaurant (usually) and don’t expect to be handed menu’s most places you will have to request for a menu and find your own place to sit. This will save you time standing and waiting for menus to be brought to you.

Don’t Numero Cinco:

Don’t book your train tickets the day of. Book way in advance you’ll save around $150. We didn’t do this thank goodness, but I can see how some people might think that it won’t be that much cheaper to book ahead, oh but it is.


Now for the


Do Numero Uno:

Do wear nice clothes/your best clothes. London is like New York dress your best especially if you don’t want to stand out too much like a tourist.

Do Numero Dos:

Do check your bill at a restaurant to see if they’ve already charged you a service fee so you don’t have to tip double the 10%. (side note: if the service you received was excellent please tip them! As a reader pointed out some restaurants or chefs charge the service fee, but do not tip the waiters what they deserve.)

Do Numero Tres:

Buy an oyster card to get around London. It’s easy to use and you save money using it.

Do Numero Cuartro:

Use the bus or ride a bike to get from place to place, it’s cheaper and saves you a lot of

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Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

money when traveling around London. Everything is super close there. The bus is £1.5 (about $2) per use and renting a bike is £2 and you can use it for 24 hours.

Do Numero Cinco:

Go the grocery store for your breakfast to save money. Little grocery stores are all around London. Just pop in one and they have cheap/delicious bananas (45 pence=75 or so cents), strawberries (£2) , yogurt (£2) for a healthy yet cheaper alternative for breakie.

Those are my dos and dont’s of traveling tips for London and how to save money. Comment down below some of your tips and tricks for traveling to London.  There’s a lot more I’ve learned and will be talking about that in my up coming blog posts soon!

Life teaches us through traveling that mistakes can indeed be a great thing to learn from!

-<3 Sarah


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jonathan says:

    Worth knowing – service charge and tips are NOT the same thing (I only learned this recently, when a well known celebrity chef was caught underpaying all the staff in all his restaurants. When service charge appears on the receipt, all that really means is “we underpay our staff, so you’re directly paying some of their salary – feel free tip tip too”. I think it should be made illegal.

    1. S. McCourt says:

      Wow good to know this thanks! A lot of places online I’ve searched before going to London say this as well so it is really helpful I will add your side note 🙂

  2. Heather says:

    So I feel bad because I should have warned you about the waiters thing…and the tip thing…and the cash thing…sorry about that! I feel responsible for a couple of “don’ts” lol

    1. S. McCourt says:

      haha DON’T feel bad lol, it’s all part of the learning experience and I would have forgotten probably even if you told me.

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