London’s always busy. Even in winter months, there are conferences and plenty of other reasons for people to look for a cheap place to stay. Book early to get the best choice.
Share a bathroom if you’re on a very tight budget
In traditional B&B hotels, rooms without their own bathrooms are cheaper. You’ll probably only have to share a bathroom with a few other rooms and there’ll be a washbasin in your room.
Pick a hotel with English breakfast
Serious money savers might want to choose this option. Not all hotels offer English breakfast, some offer a ‘Continental’ style breakfast — cereal, toast, bread, jam and so on. A proper cooked English breakfast is filling, and you can last until the evening with just a light lunch.
Avoid the budget chains if you need WiFi
Most budget chains provide WiFi but they do charge. Many of the smaller traditional B&B hotels are now offering free WiFi. Even if it’s not free, it will be much cheaper than the chain hotels.
If you’re a family of four, consider a budget chain
The maximum they can accommodate is two adults and two children but if you can book in advance, the price is the same as a traditional B&B hotel. Breakfast isn’t included but Travelodge and Premier Inn allow two children to eat for free with a paying adult. Of course you don’t have to eat breakfast at the hotel. Most hotels are only a few minutes’ walk from a cafe where an English breakfasts will cost between £3.50–£5.50.
More than two children? Stay in a traditional B&B hotel
Some have rooms for five and a few can accommodate up to six people. If you’re travelling with more than four children, the best option is a private room in a hostel. All the YHA hostels are suitable for families.
Watch out for credit card fees
Some small hotels, not the budget chains, charge an extra 2–3% if you pay your bill with a credit card. It’s perfectly legal for them to do this, so take enough cash if you want to avoid this extra charge.
Ask to see the room before paying
It’s becoming more common to pay the whole bill at the beginning of your stay. If you haven’t already paid in advance, ask to see the room before paying.