When questioned about spending and money in London, most in the world can tell you that they use the Sterling Pound (symbol: £; also called “pounds” or “quid”). Others may even be able to tell you that coins range from a pence (1/100 of £1 to 2£) while bills typically range from £5 to £50. Yet, what are some money-related travel tips to get the most out of your quid? Find out with us at london.com.
1. Oyster Cards and London Passes
Oyster cards can be used in a myriad of public transportation options, including the buses, Tube, trams, Overground and more. By paying for your transportation using Oyster Cards, you would enjoy price caps and other discounts. Another option is to get a London Pass that gives access to multiple attractions and transportation options.
2. Off-peak Travelling
By avoiding peak travel seasons, you can manage the save mightily on expenses, from accommodations to entertainment. The low season is in January and February, where everything would be cheapest, while peak seasons where prices are at their highest are the Summer and Christmas Holidays. But fear not, there is something to do in London in every season!
And don’t forget: as travellers, you can avoid peak travelling hours during the day (between 06:30 to 09:30 and between 16:00 and 19:00, Mondays to Fridays). By avoiding these peak travel hours, not only would you enjoy the less expensive off-peak rates, you can also avoid the crowds and waits.
3. Changing money
Exchanging money in London is very convenient, with options abounding throughout the city. However, you would probably find the best rates by exchanging for pounds before you arrive at the city through pre-order rates at the major currency exchangers available in your country. However, do remember that the pound is falling, so do not do this too far in advance.
And if you do forget to exchange money beforehand, only make the exchange you need at the airport. As veteran travellers know, their rates are often the worst, and this is also the case in London.
4. Prepaid Cards
Various companies offer different prepaid cards that not only allows you to set your exchange rates at the moment you choose but also allows you to better budget your holiday spending. The way they charge and service provided also vary: options like the app-based Revolut provide the technological savvy with global spending power with only your phone, acting like a deposit card for multiple currencies. Other options, like Caxton Mastercard or FairFX, are work in more of a traditional manner with their services based around traditional exchange rates.
5. Credit Cards and Debit Cards
Credit and debit cards are commonly used options in London, and both are readily accepted across the city. However, do note that debit cards commonly have higher services charges when used in London. Also, if you plan on heading to London’s many amazing markets, note that they may accept cash only.