Going to the Olympics: How to Make it Affordable

Nobody hands out gold medals for achievements in saving money, unfortunately. But you can save money if you’re traveling to London to watch U.S. athletes compete for gold at the 2012 Summer Games.

For the fan who’s looking to travel to London without spending a ton of money, The Frugal Toad has compiled a list of saving strategies.  Some highlights:


Eating out in London can be pricey. To lower your tab, The Frugal Toad recommends using Tastecard, a mobile app and Web service that offers discounts of up to 50 percent at popular London eateries.


If you haven’t long ago booked a hotel for the London Olympics, you may have lots of trouble finding a “vacant” sign. But if you’re an adventurous last-minute traveler, consider camping. Camp in London offers guests live, on-stage entertainment, a number of food outlets and a bar. Set at the Low Hall Sports Ground – a nearly 50-acre field in northeast London’s Walthamstow district – the campgrounds are just a 10 minute shuttle ride from Olympic Park. Plus, Camp in London is very affordable. Lodging choices include pitch-your-own-tent camping (starting at the equivalent of $31), pre-erected tents (from $62.50) and luxury tents, complete with beds, bedding, tables and rugs ($312 and up) – all of which were available at press time.


For those who prefer an actual roof over their heads, The Frugal Toad found some bargain rentals, if you don’t mind flat-living. Toad listed some inexpensive apartments ranging from $58 per night in Brighton (an hour or two away from Olympic Park, depending on how you travel) to $142 for an evening in Central London (less than 10 minutes from Olympic Park).


The Frugal Toad also lists some great local freebies, such as free wi-fi at Barbican Centre, Camden Arts Centre and Royal Festival Hall; free exhibits, tours and talks at The British Museum; and free lunchtime concerts at St. Martin in the Fields (donations accepted). And if all this money-saving builds your appetite, you can head to any of the 20 farmers’ markets set up throughout London for an inexpensive traditional meat pie.

Are you planning on going to the Olympics? How will you keep costs low while in London?

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