Have fun without breaking the bank
By Sylvia Nankivell from Student Money Saver
If there’s one happening spot where everyone wants to hang out, it’s London. But as anyone with a cash flow problem knows, that’s easier said than done!
Being one of the world’s premier capital cities comes with a hefty price tag. From expensive clothes shops to the price of a pint, it’s a real eye opener.
But don’t worry… there are places in London where you and your friends can spend quality time together without breaking the bank.
We’ll give you 5 budget-happy tips to help you make the most of your money in this iconic location…
#1 | Eat, drink and save money
There’s nothing like a good chat with mates over a meal, or a swift cup of coffee. However, these can be costly options if you’re knocking about in the capital.
Here’s the thing. If you head online you can snap up all kinds of tasty deals from major outlets. There are various ways of getting a free Costa coffee for example.
Also, there are rather helpful websites that collect all the hottest promotions in one place. The great thing about London is the variety!
Whether quaffing a caffeine fix or sucking down some pasta, there are no shortage of delicious food and drink offers to take advantage of.
#2 | Take down travel costs
Unless you live in the same place as your pals, there’s bound to be travel involved in your socialising plans. And with travel comes expensive tickets.
Think on your feet. Why not walk to wherever it is you’re going? Provided it’s within easy reach you get some exercise and take the pressure off your wallet.
Haven’t got an Oyster Card? You’re missing out. They’re cheaper than One Day Travelcards, so are perfect for heading here, there and everywhere on the Tube.
Plus they’re flexible, meaning if there’s a Tube stoppage you can use the card for bus travel. Be warned, London buses can be slower than a snail with rheumatism!
Another lesser-known way of saving on London travel is to travel at certain times. If you wait until after 9.30am to step on the tube, and avoid between 4pm and 7pm, then you won’t be paying peak time fees.
You can fiddle around with this handy little tfl fare finder tool, to see if its worth going off-peak on your route.
#3 | Get quizzing
If your friends are anything like ours they enjoy two things. Having a drink and expressing an opinion. But what about an ideal place where they can do both…?
We have the perfect solution. A pub quiz! It’s inexpensive, as long as you don’t overdo it on the booze, and is a win-win for you and the establishment you’re in.
The pub quiz is a simple yet effective formula that’s become a go-to destination for groups of mates for years. And there are many websites pointing you to the best ones.
#4 | A cheap chuckle
Another popular combo where big fun meets a full bar is the comedy club. The image of a grotty basement where drunks throw glasses at the acts is so last century.
Comedy is cool. And you don’t have to pay out for the big names either. You’re still practically guaranteed a laugh with a smaller act who may take off in the future.
The best part is that London is packed with comedy clubs, and some of them even have free entry. Now you can’t say fairer than that.
Worst case scenario is you watch a bad act, but at least you’ll have had a tipple and caught up with your mates. You can always bond over how little you laughed…!
#5 | Fun for free
Stand up comedy isn’t the only activity you can do in the capital for free. There’s plenty of spaces for you and your friends to socialise, as long as you know where to look.
The Notting Hill Carnival is one event where you don’t need to fork out, though it only happens once a year. There’s also the Regent St Motor Show if cars are your thing.
Go online to find details of the grandest events for zero outlay. Or if it’s a nice day just sit in the park, chill out and check out that unmistakeable London skyline.