If you haven’t read any of the prior expense reports from our trip, check them out below:
We spent 4 days and 5 nights in London, England, arriving late on the night of August 4th and leaving on the morning of August 9th. Unfortunately, Whitney and I were both very sick for our first 2-3 days in London, which meant that we spent the majority of that time in our hotel instead of exploring the city. Neither of us felt like doing anything, including eating, which was miserable. Even with that pretty major setback, we made the most of our time there once we recovered and still saw a good portion of the city.
Keep in mind that all of the expenses that I’ll talk about below are my expenses only, since Whitney and I have quite different spending habits. We split all shared expenses evenly, so my half of the shared expenses and then my individual expenses are how I calculate the numbers below.
Accommodations: Our first two nights in London we stayed in Trafalger Square at The Trafalger St. James London Curio using two free Hilton nights from a credit card sign up bonus. The hotel was very upscale and in an ideal location in the city. It would have been extremely expensive if we had paid out of pocket (around $500/night), but it was the perfect place for us to use our free night certificates. We felt quite out of place walking around in the lobby in our travel (athletic-style) clothes, while mostly everyone else was wearing suits and dresses; but, with all of the fancy hotels where we’ve stayed for free using credit card points, we’ve gotten pretty used to the feeling 😆.
After checking out of the hotel, we stayed the last three nights at an AirBnB a couple miles south of the city center, which definitely brought the cost down. The AirBnB was honestly one of the worst we’ve stayed at to date in terms of the apartment itself, but our host was very nice which made up for some of it. He made us mint tea and brought us crackers when he found out we weren’t feeling well, which actually really helped.
- Total for my expenses: $81
Food and drink: Since part of the trip we were sick and didn’t have an appetite, our food and drink expenses were pretty low in London. Free breakfast at the hotel, free breakfast at our AirBnB, and on the last morning at an extremely nice airport lounge with free food and drinks at the Heathrow Airport also helped with cutting costs. We didn’t really drink much alcohol in London and didn’t go to any overly fancy restaurants. I did eat some overpriced fish and chips in a pub on our last night, and Whitney got a “tasting board” with local beers and local pies, but despite the increased cost for this last dinner it was good and we enjoyed the experience.
- Total for my expenses: $43
Transportation: Airfare from Agadir to London was pretty reasonable, but that may have been due to our flight being in the late evening. Not landing until near midnight was not ideal, and we were nervous that we would have difficulty getting to the hotel that late since we arrived at Gatwick Airport about an hour south of the hotel. Whitney called the hotel prior to us leaving Morocco, and the concierge tried to sell her on paying $130 to have a private car sent from the hotel to pick us up at the airport… no thanks. We ended up paying $21 each for a train ticket which dropped us off about a mile from the hotel. From there we had planned to get an Uber the rest of the way, but there were so few out that it would have taken longer to wait than to just walk to the hotel. By that point it was close to 1 AM and walking with our bags was frustrating, but we made it.
Besides airfare and public transportation to and from the airport, we used the tube (London’s subway system) to get around which was pretty cheap. Our last day we walked 11 miles trying to make up for lost time from the sickness earlier in the week and see as much as we could.
- Total for my expenses: $168
Activities: Originally we had planned to keep our expenses for activities pretty low in London, opting for walking and seeing the city on foot instead. Since being sick put us behind and we still didn’t feel completely back to normal, we splurged and spent $90 each on “The London Pass” which included free admission to many of the top sights in the city. We used the pass to go to the top of The Shard (the tallest building in London), to go into the tower of London including seeing the crown jewels, to do the “Tower Bridge Exhibition” which included accessing the walkway between the two towers, to do the “London Bridge Experience” which involved some history of the bridge as well as a random haunted house type thing, and to take a water sight seeing tour on the Thames River. We would have been able to do one or two more things in the one day using The London Pass, but we got a late start that morning and didn’t realize how early some things closed (like Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral). In addition to the London Pass, we bought tickets to tour the Buckingham Palace. It’s only open certain times of the year and we just happened to be there at the right time, so we decided to check it out. It is an extremely extravegent place and we thought it was worth the price of admission.
- Total for my expenses: $123
My total expenses for 4 days and 5 nights in London, including accommodations, transportation, entertainment, and food was approximately $414!
Running total for entire trip to this point: $1,616.
We headed to Berlin, Germany next, so stay tuned for my next update and watch the Facebook page where we are posting much more frequently about the trip!