|St Paul's Cathedral|
I am writing this from London. It is years since I was in London. A former job used to take me here quite often, but the last time was about 12 years ago. So it is great to be back. We are here for 4 nights, and then spending another 3 nights in Oxford before returning home.
The true frugalist would have avoided a holiday altogether, of course, even one of just a week in length. I confess that I have cheated a little on this one, as the majority of it was paid for before the Year began. Nevertheless, things have been done on a budget, and I am determined to stick to one. It helps that Friend Claire, with whom I am holidaying, has a mortgage to pay off, and so has similar aspirations to frugality.
Accordingly, we have laid down one Frugal Holiday Principal, from which we are determined not to deviate: No Frittering. We want to enjoy our holiday. It would be a waste of money not to enjoy it. So while we shall mostly content outselves with free museums and art galleries, etc. (of which there are plenty in London), we are happy to spend money if there is something we really want to do. In particular, Friend Claire wants to go on the London Eye, and we both want to see a show.
But what we shall avoid are the countless little careless expenses which add up and up. No lattes while out and about. No expensive cafe lunches. No paying extra to be "fast tracked" on the London Eye. The Special Exhibitions in the galleries and museums are not necessary, when there is so much else to see anyway. No ice creams. No postcards home, no souvenirs, no fripperies. We shall take care of these pennies, and spend the pounds on the stuff that really matters.
We got off to a good start by sensible advance planning for the train journey. We purchased the return ticket from Edinburgh to London back in June, and it cost us only £56 each. (Buses take a whole day - we only have a week, and had to leave Edinburgh after 2pm, so this was not really an option.) We also ate a hearty lunch before travelling, and took along for the journey a 49p packet of oreos, and some strawberries that had been in Friend Claire's fridge. We remembered the bottles of water. And when we got here at 8pm, we went foraging for food and found a fast food shop and dined remarkably well for £6.50.
So this will not be a cheap week in the usual round of things. But it will, hopefully, be a cheap holiday. At any rater, as holidays in London go.
Total Expenditure: £12.59 (includes Tube ticket)