How to save money in London? Here are some tips and advice for those just starting out
Save money on transport in London
Public transportation is undoubtedly the best way to get around in the most populous city in Europe. How can au pairs save on transport and not have to give up a large part of their salary? Just take some precautions.
Buy an Oyster Card
An excellent opportunity is having an Oyster Card. This rechargeable travel card allows you to use most of London’s means of transport, just by paying according to how much you are going to use it (pay as you go). In practice, you pay a maximum daily amount regardless of the number of your trips. The Oyster Card is ideal for au pairs who enroll in an English school while staying as a family and who wish to discover all of London’s attractions in their spare time.
Plan your trips
In London, the cost of travel on public transport depends on the timetable. Of course, traveling during rush hour costs more. For this reason, it may be more advantageous to plan your trips to avoid peak times, which go from 6:30 to 8:30 and from 16:30 to 19, and to take advantage of the off-peak times to reduced rate. Another solution is to visit the city during the weekend when only reduced rates are applied on public transport.
Visit London on a budget
Another expense item that affects the au pair portfolio is linked to the cost of attractions in the English capital. Even in this case, however, there are ways to save on admission tickets to the main museums, public buildings, and churches.
Free entry to museums and art galleries
In one of the most expensive cities par excellence, discovering that the main museums and art galleries are free seven days a week, is truly a surprise. In fact, it is possible to visit the permanent collections of the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, or the Nation Gallery without spending anything and entering as many times as you want. On the website of the Tourist Board, you will find a list of all the museums and art galleries with free admission.
Discover London’s churches during mass:
An unusual and free way to visit London’s churches can be to attend a mass. Obviously, you will not be able to see the whole church as in a paid tourist visit, and you will not be able to take pictures. But attending a mass will allow you to discover well-known religious buildings in an original way, such as Westminster Abbey or St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is also a good way for au pairs to improve their understanding of the English accent.
Stay in London in September to not miss the Open House
The Open House takes place every September in London. It is a week-long event that allows you to visit numerous London buildings for free. For example, you can enter the prime minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street or see the famous 40-story building in the City’s financial heart known as Gherkin (cucumber) due to its unusual shape. In short, check the calendar before departure!