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Travel tips: Going to the London Olympics without breaking your wallet

May 5, 2012 9:00pm
An American travel editor has a really valuable tip for foreigners going to London for the 2012 Olympics this July: Expect the trip to be expensive.

The 2012 Summer Olympics in London from July 27 to August 12 is one of the biggest events of the year.

The Olympics is an international sporting event held every two years (summer and winter games alternating) featuring thousands of athletes from more than 200 nations all over the world.

In a report of the news site Fox Business, Robert Reid, editor of the Lonely Planet travel guides, said getting ready for the Olympics starts with the mindset that the event is not going to be cheap.

To enjoy the event fully, Reid said people need to tighten their belts.
"It's just a question of how to save a little bit here and there, as much as you can," Reid said.

In the Fox Business article, Jason Clampet, senior online editor at said it was always expensive to go to the United Kingdom in summer.

He said the Olympics will just add to the soaring seasonal prices. Thus, people should not expect a mark-down on ticket prices.
"Buy now because prices aren't going to go down. There won't be any last-minute deals," Clampet said.
However, he said people can still try to look for deals on airfare prices and compare the most affordable prices available and fly at off-peak times.

He added that booking a flight with out-of-the-way connections might save travelers some cash.
Where to Sleep
Fox Business noted that room rates are hitting the ceiling as hotel rooms are getting scarcer by the minute.
Although the London Organizing Committee has declared another 120,000 available rooms for booking, prices will still be steep, Fox Business said.

Laurie Stalick, owner of Arvida Travel in Granada Hills, California, said: "Hotel availability is still scarce, with room rates in the city averaging $500 or more per night."

For those with a limited budget, Stalick suggested checking out bed and breakfasts, house rentals, and lodging outside of central London.

For $25 a night, adventurous ones can camp out near the areas where the sports events will be held, she said.

Clampet noted that food in London was not cheap, averaging $25 per person per meal.

He said a good alternative would be to buy street food which costs much less.
Stalick, on the other hand, recommended pubs which had reasonable prices for good food.

Getting around London
When going around London, Clampet highly recommends using an "Oyster Card," or a transit pass that reduces transportation fees of buses and the underground system by up to 40 percent.
Fox Business also said that renting a bike is also a good option which costs nothing for the first 30 minutes and around $24 for 3 hours.
Public transportation is also free for those who have a ticket for an Olympic event on the same day. - with Andrei Medina, VVP, GMA News
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