What I Did to Save Money Before My London Waddle (London Babymoon)
In a few days I’m heading off to the land of double decker buses and proper English. Normal people who are 7 months pregnant don’t try to travel trans-Atlantic, but somehow my husband and I rationalized this would be good final trip before our baby arrives.
In this post, I will go over some specific examples of how I saved money pre-trip. (Side note: I hate the term babymoon, but may use it a few times for the Googlers put there).
Our flights: $420 each round trip from Florida to London
When we first decided to go on a
babymoon vacation, we used the Kayak Explore tool to see which destinations we could get to for different prices. I wanted to stay in the U.S. or Canada originally, but a lot of within-North-America flights were fairly moderate to high prices. Also, it’s winter, so it’s probably a horrible time to visit somewhere like Toronto or Quebec.
I was persuaded to travel trans-Atlantic when I saw this time of year is Scary Clown Fest, aka Carnival (equivalent to Mardi Gras), in Germany. Flights there were either expensive or odd connections, so we ultimately decided to skip Germany and landed on a trip to London.
We ended up finding direct round trip flights for $420. A few notes though: the outgoing is overnight, we’re just doing carry-on luggage, and we arranged our vacation to involve Thursday/Friday flights. Also, travel to London may have been cheaper than other European cities this time due to Brexit.
Take a look below to see how changing dates that you book can dramatically affect prices. In the first example, flights range from $350 to $600. Book this same trip a few months later in the 2nd example, and your prices jump to $600 to $900. This is just a rough search without diving deep into airlines and connections, but you can see the general trend.
Savings: $360 (average sane flight seems to be around $600)
Winter travel gear: $55
When it came to clothing for this trip I had two problems. First, I’m from Florida and don’t have much winter clothing to begin with. Second, I’m pregnant and can’t button up the winter jackets I already own.
Since pregnancy doesn’t last forever, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on clothes. Throughout this pregnancy I’ve been buying used maternity clothes or making clothes I already own work.
I went onto Ebay and Poshmark to get ONE winter jacket that would match with everything and three neutral maternity sweaters. I found a black puffer jacket on Ebay for $25 with shipping, and 3 maternity sweaters for $30 with shipping on Poshmark.
When shopping used, give yourself a price limit that doesn’t creep up into the price range of new items. All of the sweaters, for example, were listed for under $10.
For the rest of the trip, I plan to wear clothes I already own- some of my existing sweaters and long sleeved shirts still fit. Everything is in the same general color palette (black, grey, burgundy) and can be easily interchanged.
Savings: $65 (based on an average new sweater being $25 and a jacket being $45, although these numbers can be much higher- being a light packer also helps)
As an edgy young person, I typically carry a hiking backpack through airports as a carry-on while looking judgmentally at common vacationers. Since I’m pregnant, however, I decided this would be a good trip to switch to the infamous rolling carry on.
I ended up getting a rolling carry-on bag on clearance from Target for $20. Most of the other carry-on bags I saw in stores ranged from $40 for basic soft bags, to $120 for bags that I’m assuming can be dropped from 30,000 feet and still be ok.
Will my $20 bag survive the apocalypse? No, but it will help get me to London and back.
These are just a few of the strategies we used on this trip to cut down on costs. So far, we’ve saved about $455 that can be spent on other things, like a nicer-than-usual hotel room than usual or tea and crumpets. Stay tuned for another post after the vacation about what we did in London and how we used cheap travel strategies.
Readers: Comment below on any cheap travel tips you may have, or ask me a question about planning my London Waddle.