Almost every young professional would surely love to take their internship abroad. This opportunity can help you build an international network, develop your skills, form lifelong friendships, and learn a new language. And not to mention, you also get to travel and explore new places around the globe too!
However, if you’re taking your internship in an expensive city like London, you need to be smart with how you spend. It’s a metropolis for opportunity, art, and business, but staying and traveling there can get costly. To make your internship stay and travel plans easier, we’ve gathered a few practical tips to help you save some pennies while still having the best London experience.
1. Stay at an affordable accommodation
No questions asked, the place where you’ll stay is the biggest expense you need to plan. London has the most expensive houses in the entire country. Thankfully, there are still many options to live affordably in the city. You can stay in a London hostel for an affordable rate, particularly those in Zone 1 and 2, which are also convenient locations.
It’s also best if you can find a roommate to share the room or apartment with. In addition, make sure to carefully check the rent deal to avoid frauds and scams. Only transact with legitimate and reputable accommodation sites or providers.
2. Find ways to travel cheap
If you’re planning to explore the city during your free time with a limited budget, don’t think about taking the London Tube – it’s expensive! If the company you’re interning for isn’t that far, just get a good pair of trainers and walk your way during your work schedules.
Or, you can get a bike for a cheaper transportation alternative. You can buy a second-hand from websites for everyday use or rent a Boris bike (now called Sadiq bikes or cycles) for shorter usage. Just beware of road dangers and cycle safely.
3. Eat healthy food for less
Cooking your own meals is always the more affordable and healthier option no matter where you are in the world. Limit yourself from grabbing lunches from expensive city restaurants and just pack your meal for your internship. For your grocery shopping, you can visit budget-friendly stores such as Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, or Tesco. Most of the stores in London also have pre-made meals, sandwiches, and salads, which are perfect for taking on the go. You can also explore local street markets for various fruits, vegetables, and other foods.
If you’re planning on eating out, be sure to use discount cards and voucher sites to avail of lower prices than usual. Also, eating at any restaurant, check if they have coupons or special offers that you can take advantage of.
4. Prepare a list of spots to visit
Just because you need to focus on your internship does not mean you have to miss out on the opportunity to see the best places and attractions of London. In fact, many travelers who stayed in the city for years claim that there are still tons of new experiences and things they haven’t tried even after staying there for a long time. For around £18 to £28, you can visit the famous sites of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, and Tower of London.
If you want to save money, you can take free trips to the National History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Gallery, British Museum, and Imperial War Museum. Got no intern schedule during weekends? You can take a cheap day trip outside London and check out places like Canterbury, Oxford, Cambridge, and Brighton.
5. Search for the free things
If you don’t know yet, there are many things in London that you can do for free. While taking your internship, you can tour around the city, visit a street food market, go on a relaxing walk in a park, or take a museum tour. There are also some free networking events that you can go to. Searching for an amazing view? You can visit the city’s highest public garden, Sky Garden, for free. Just ensure to book a ticket early. And since you are still a student, don’t forget to ask if you can get discounts before buying tickets or items.
Regardless of how long you’ll be staying in the huge metropolis of London, it’s always wise to living affordably. Following these tips won’t restrict you from enjoying the entire experience. They are, in fact, helpful for ensuring you’ll have the best internship days with fun travel memories!