#TravelexTourist- how would you spend $150 in London?

Friday, January 29, 2016

One of the hardest things I found when adjusting to life in the UK was converting dollars into pounds.  I was used to living in a small college town in Michigan, where my friends were all pH students and I had a 'proper' job.  Living in London was a complete 180 from this.  It has taken me 3 years to stop converting prices back into dollars to help me gauge the costs of things.

I was really excited when Travelex USA contacted me to see how far $150 would go in London.  I am always looking for a good deal, as well as up for exploring new neighbourhoods in town.  It was really easy to pick up my card from a Travelex kiosk.  I chose BHS near Oxford Circus as it was easy to get to from work and near one of my favourite shops in London.

Based on exchange rates of the day, my $150 converted to £108.41.  I took my card and immediately headed over to Liberty.

Liberty, started in 1845 is located in a magnificent Tudor building just behind Oxford Circus, this department store showcases unique products made by British business.  I headed straight to the haberdashery department to pursue the walls of fabric. Liberty is famous for their 'Liberty print' which is floral. Nike collaborates with Liberty too offering shoes and apparel in a modern Liberty print.  After several laps around the department, I got a pack of fat quarters to make my first quilt for only £20.  

Next, I decided to see London from a different point of view by signing up for yoga at the top of the Shard with Yogasphere for £40.  The class is 60 minutes long and mats are provided. Up to 60 people can take part the class is followed by 30 minutes of private viewing time plus a goody bag worth £100 on your way out.  It was sunny the morning I did it, and it was amazing to be warmed with sunshine while working on  my flow.  Yogasphere even uses Travelex for their yoga retreats abroad too!  What a small world

After yoga, I took a very short walk over to Borough Market for a schmorgasbord of food and drink choices (various prices).  If you are a foody or like trying new things, I highly recommend visiting this iconic market.  I picked up a hot chocolate and soft pretzel for £5.25.  From here, you can head over for a walk or run along the Southbank (free but if you want to run at a good pace, go early in the morning to avoid strolling tourists). You will see The Globe, St Paul's and London Eye if you go all the way to Westminster Bridge and Big Ben.


After Borough Market and the Southbank, I stopped home to change, picked up James, and we headed to the London Zoo (£20.70 each for adults for off-peak season).  I have only been 2 times in the 5 years I have lived in London (James hasn't been the entire time we have lived here) but I am an animal nerd.  I love zoos and aquariums.  We ended up walking over 5km checking out the different exhibits and listening to a talk about giraffes.  It was nice to spend time with James too as marathon training has been taking over my life as of late.

Hard to get a selfie with lemurs on
the  move.
After the zoo, we walked down to Daunt Books on Marylebone Street to look at books.  We have too many but always seem to find room for one more.  It is fantastic for browsing, with a huge travel section and really knowledgeable staff.

In total, I spent £106.65 and really enjoyed visiting a few of my favourite places in London while trying something new.

Here are two more tips I have for making your money go a little bit further in London:

For something free to do, I suggest visiting the Science Museum. This museum currently has a free exhibit on Craving: Can your food control you?  In the same neighbourhood, you can also visit the V&A Museum (lovely centre garden with fountain for sunny days) and the Natural History Museum.

You cannot come to London without seeing a show. However, you can easily spend over £100 on a pair of tickets. Use lastminute.com or visit the TKTS booth to get a deal on theatre if you don't mind what you see. I recommend Bend it Like Beckham for a sporty-themed show.  Sadler's Wells showcases dance performances- from ballet, to hip hop, to flamenco.  You will be amazed at the athleticism of the dancers.

If you had £100 to spend in London, what would you do?  What tips do you have for making the money last a bit longer?


  1. That's an epic day in London - Daunts especially is one of my favourite places!

    1. Thanks Emma. Do you usually browse when you are there or pick up a book too?

  2. Next time I am in London I am doing what you recommended. Sounds like fun!

    1. I think you have done a few of these but we can definitely do the rest. Come back soon!


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