London can be an expensive city, even more so when visiting with kids. Finding the best budget family accommodation in London requires a bit of research, but it can definitely be done! Read on and find out some great budget hotel recommendations, where to search for apartments and other options.
Budget family accommodation in London
So what do we need to think about when looking for the best place to stay in London with kids?
Well location is important, as is the type of place you’ll want to stay too. Will you eat out in London or self cater? How often will you be travelling around and where to.
Best location in London to stay
London is a well connected city by public transport and it’s easy to get around on the tube or buses if you want to, therefore finding the perfect area to stay in isn’t so much of an issue. However if you have an itinerary of places you want to see and things you want to do, then take a look at the maps and see if there is an area that would be a good base and mean you could walk to the sights. As a family, transport can add up, so bear that in mind if you find a cheaper hotel a little way out of the centre of London.
Near the airport? I’d say no, unless you’re flying from the City Airport, all of the airports are way out of the city and you’d spend a lot of your time getting to and from sights. The airports are well connected, especially Heathrow as it’s on the tube line
Hotel or Apartment?
Whether you choose a hotel or apartment in London will depend on what you want from your holiday. Do you want to be on the go, sightseeing and only just falling in to bed at night? Or will you want a place you can hang out in the evenings if you travel a little slower? The size of your family might also play a part here – getting family rooms often work out for groups of up to about 4 people, but larger than than and you might struggle.
Best kid friendly hotels in London
In order to find the best accommodation for you and your family take a look at a comparison site which will search many of the hotels in the areas that you want to be in and find you the best deals from all the booking websites out there. I use Hotels Combined and really recommend it – you can search for London hotels here.
Although I recommend looking at Hotels Combined, I want to also tell you about a budget hotel chain that isn’t featured in it. Travelodge has cheap, basic hotel rooms that can be great if all you want is a place to lay your head. They have all been rejuvenated in recent years too and I think are excellent value for money. Obviously prices change, but you’re looking at around £130 per night in Covent Garden, to less than £100 per night at Kings Cross station for a family room fitting 4 people. Do check them out and see if there is a hotel that could work for you.
Another good chain is Premier Inn which is worth checking – I tend to find Travelodge cheaper though on the whole. Click here to see more.
Here’s a few more choices that might help you narrow down the search for family friendly hotels in London:
The Montana Hotel is a good choice if you want to be close to the Natural History museum and the Kensington area which is a popular choice for tourists, safe and well connected by tube. It comes highly recommended and is good value for the area.
On the other side of the river, but near the London Eye, houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the Imperial War museum is the Novotel London Waterloo. It’s a good hotel and decent chain and not too expensive for the location.
If you’re dead set on being in the heart of the shops, theatre district and right next to Trafalgar square then consider the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire – it’s not really budget, but a good choice in this area.
Apartment Options in London
If you’re not keen on hotels and are looking for other budget family accommodation in London then I highly recommend looking for an apartment to rent for your time there. This is great if you’re a larger family or visiting London with teenagers.
I’ve seen apartments for in the region of £150 per night in the centre of London that will fit four people on Airbnb which is my platform of choice for this kind of accommodation. If you’re looking to save money on eating out then apartments can be a great idea, especially with fussy kids or if you’re like us and just prefer to spend our money on other things.
I’ve used Airbnb many times so can personally vouch for the site – if you’re thinking of booking for the first time, consider using my link to get a discount off your first booking.
HomeAway is also great for apartment hunting and another one I have used personally. You can check out listings here.
Other ideas for where to stay in London with kids
When we stayed in London we were really lucky and found a great housesit which meant that we had no accommodation costs at all. If you think it’s something that you might like to try then I encourage you to look into opportunities. It’s not an easy option mind you! I’ve written more about housesitting here and if you’re curious about giving it a go there’s some useful links there.
Another option which might work if you’re just going to be in London for a night or two is Couchsurfing – you can request a bed in a local’s home for free! We’ve never tried it ourselves, but for some it could work brilliantly and be an amazing opportunity!
If you’re considering a trip to London with kids then check out these other useful posts too: