Last August, I took our London-obsessed daughter to London for a week-long girls’ trip! The great thing about visiting London with kids is that it doesn’t have to break the bank! We did this trip on the cheap and were able to hack the flights and spend much of our time staying with a friend. There are also so many free things to do in London that it’s easy to see the city in a budget-friendly way!
So, how much does a 7-day trip to London cost? Would you believe that my daughter and I spent 7 days in England for under $1000? Here’s how we did it!
How much does a week in London cost? The budget-friendly edition.
Here’s a breakdown of what I spent for one week in London – with many thanks to travel hacking and my dear friend, Richelle. All prices have been converted to USD.
Side note: You don’t need to bring any cash to the UK. I did not need it at all. Instead, find a credit card with no transaction fees – I recommend the Chase Sapphire. Let me know if you need a referral link. 😉
✈️Flights – $293. I booked these with AA miles obtained from two credit card sign-up bonuses, so I only had to pay taxes and fees. Thankfully, the taxes on child fares are significantly less. If you’re traveling as two adults, expect to spend $400 in taxes when flying into London – it’s one of the most heavily taxed cities for airfare.
🏨Accommodation – $0. We planned to crash with a friend for the duration of our trip, but when we arrived in London, my friend informed me that a pipe had burst on her street and she was without water. For someone who just arrived off a red-eye flight and desperately wanted a shower, this was not great news. Thankfully, I always keep some Chase Ultimate Rewards points in my account. I was able to transfer these to Hyatt and stay 2 nights at the Andaz London Liverpool Street for $0 using Hyatt points. This hotel was swanky and C and I thoroughly enjoyed the lush bedding, Nespresso machine, & towel heater. Lol.
The other 5 nights we were lucky enough to be hosted by my friend. Yes, I know this isn’t typical, but we could have stayed a bit further out of the city using Hyatt points and that would have worked, too! Ask me if you need help with ideas on how to best utilize your points! I highly recommend Andaz London for its close proximity to the Tube and the short walk to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
🚆Bus & Tube tickets – $65. Visit London while your kids are young because children 10 and under can travel on London’s transport for free! This was a major money-saver!
🎟️Attraction tickets – $135. I was intentional about what we chose to see and we skipped attractions like the London Eye because of the cost. However, we did explore the Tower of London and a special exhibit on Beatrix Potter at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I was also lucky enough to get a great deal on Mary Poppins tickets! ☂️
TIP: Travelers can save money on St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey by visiting during a service. No, you won’t get to tour the nooks and crannies of these massive buildings, but for those who want to see London without spending a fortune, this is a great way! We attended a Sunday morning worship service at St. Paul’s and an Evensong service at Westminster. You won’t be allowed to take photos while in the service, but we took selfies in both places (arrive early) and no one was phased.
🐻Souvenirs- $50 We had to bring home a few items for the big brothers and little sister.
🥧Food – $355! Ouch! We ate mostly take-out and pub meals, but we did prepare a few easy meals at my friend’s house. (i.e. Sainsbury’s is your friend). I could have been more stingy here, but I didn’t limit my coffee intake…or chocolate croissants for my girl. Food costs have increased throughout the world, and London is no exception.
🤕Travel insurance – $43. I will not travel internationally without it! My mother once had a medical emergency overseas and that has stuck in my mind ever since.
💲Total spent: $942 (and if I was an old Mastercard commercial, I’d say that traveling to London with my daughter was pretty much priceless).
We spent a week in London for well under $1000! However, I realize that for most people, the biggest costs when traveling are the flights and lodging, which we saved thousands on by using credit card points (read more about how we do that HERE). We also were strategic about what London attractions we chose to visit and we saved lots of money on buses and the Tube because my daughter was free.
Free things to do in London with kids
If you can’t save as much on flights or hotels, you can reduce your London trip cost by focusing on free things to do with kids in London. Here are some ideas (and they are all things we did).
- Visit the Garden at 120 for a free birds-eye view of London
- Stop at Paddington Station and see Paddington Bear
- Visit the free Natural History Museum and see where Paddington the movie was filmed.
- Explore Parliament Hill for the playground and a great view of London
- Take a photo with Mary Poppins (the statue) in Leicester Square
- Tempt your little one with the 4-story Hanley’s Toy Store! We loved all the London-themed displays.
- Watch the Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace with thousands of your closest friends. Ha!
- Walk across Tower Bridge, one of London’s most popular sites.
- Dance among the flowers at the Hill Garden & Pergola in Hampstead Heath
- On that same note, visit Queen Mary’s Rose Harden within Regent’s Park
- Let your mouth water as you peruse the food stalls at Harrod’s
- Sit in the dreamy courtyard of the Victoria and Albert Museum
- Take a photo in the popular Trafalgar Square
- Walk through the Borough Market and then gaze at history in Southwark Cathedral
- See some of the world’s greatest art (and enjoy the air conditioning) in the National Gallery
As you can see, we covered a lot of ground in London and were able to see so much – without breaking the bank. I hope I can show you that exploring the world with your kids doesn’t have to bankrupt you, there are places I see in Ohio where spending just a long weekend would cost more than taking my daughter to London for an entire week! Let me know if you’d like more information on points and miles!
Have you been to London? How did you save money on your trip? What was your favorite attraction?
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