Not sure if people are aware of this but the UK, especially London, is the second most expensive countries to travel (rated in 2016). It is not just because of its strong and most valuable currency, it’s everything involving travelling around the country. In this post, all pound sterling will be converted to US dollars to show you how expensive it is. If you disagree with any of these or have heard of somewhere else that’s got more expensive things please let us know in the comment (we would love to hear about it!). This is based on an opinion of travellers with a low-medium budget.
Let’s have a look at what else besides its currency that is expensive.
Yes, it is the public transportation that is expensive (surprisingly). The price of a one-way ticket from Gatwick airport to Falmouth, Cornwall is £37.5 ($48.9) when booked a month in advance; however, if buying at a ticket office for the time that you arrive it can cost you £150 ($195.6).. ouch. And this sky rocketed price applies to both in the city and cross country trains!
Tip of the day #1: Go with Megabus, National Express or buses, and if you’re in London take the subway (or the tube)… it will save your wallet from crying. Also, try not to take a bus across city… it’s a ripped off. We took a return bus from Glasgow to Glencoe and it costs £24 ($31.3) per person. It possibly could have been cheaper and we could have had more chance to explore Scotland if rented a car.
We’re pretty sure you’re going to say… “Food in restaurants are expensive everywhere not just in the UK”… hear me out because we mean it when we say they’re expensive.
It’s rare to not pay at least £10 ($13.04) for a dish in the UK, even in the country side like St. Ives and Falmouth are expensive. Also the portion size just makes you shed tears a bit because they are not like American size where you can get a massive plate of food for $10. The size is only a little bit bigger than that they serve in South East Asia.
We had brie cheese and lasagna at the Italian restaurant in London and it cost us at least £30 ($39.12).
When we were in Scotland we thought it would get cheaper… but no, there’s no difference because a Japanese take-away took, again, at least £10 out of our pocket for one dish.
Tip of the day #2: Get food from markets such as Borough market or from supermarkets (if you don’t mind whichever kind of food and you’re on a budget).
You can say hotels are expensive everywhere but we had to pay £90 ($117.35) per night to stay in a very tiny room that barely fit two people with two suitcases for the first trip, and £80 ($104.31) per night for a decent room that didn’t even include breakfast.
The reason why we said these prices are quite high for its rooms because if you were in Thailand, £90 will easily get you a quite spacious and luxurious resort (not a hotel) room!
Tip of the day #3: Stay in hostels or book hotels at least 2 months in advance (3 months is about great) because even Premier Inn in London will take £90 a night out of your bank account.
Oh my lord, don’t even get us counting how much we paid for taxis. A taxi ride from Victotia Coach Station to Travelodge, City Road cost approximately £33 ($43.03) –compared to buses it is 6 times more expensive. The research suggests that taxi meters in the UK increase 10p (13 cents) every 10 seconds or pretty much 1p every second, and all meters start at £3.5 ($4.56). And the traffic in London is such a headache, not only it takes forever to get anywhere, you also have to pay more for the taxi as the meter doesn’t stop going up even when stuck in traffic!
5. Drinks in bars
Alcohol is pricey regardless but in bars and pubs are worse than usual. Surprisingly it’s really cheap in clubs, £2.5 ($3.26) per shot (unless you go to more expensive clubs which can cause £7 or $9.13 per drink).
In bars £7.5 ($9.78) is the standard price you can get for a cocktail… again, this doesn’t apply in major cities of the UK.