Who doesn’t want to travel to the misty, emerald isles of Great Britain? England in particular holds a special fascination for Americans, whose colonial lineage means we share much of our culture, language, food, and customs with the Commonwealth.
Happily, there’s never been a better time to go. Although Covid-19 knocked travel back considerably, the tourism industry has rebounded impressively since the country’s widespread reopening.
Forecasted numbers for 2023 put the number of visitors at 37.5 million, not too far below the high point of 2017 at 41.1 million.
Plus, the British are highly motivated to show you a good time! According to Statista, “Travel and tourism contribute significantly to the economy in the United Kingdom (UK).
In 2021, an estimated 131.5 billion British pounds of the country’s gross domestic product was generated, directly and indirectly, by this sector.” Because of this, England makes visitors feel welcome.
It’s easy to get there from the US, with tons of flight options. You don’t need a visa, and their public transport is awesome. Plus, if you follow the tips below, you can enjoy a week there quite affordably.
Let us guide you through the basic considerations of a trip to England — read on!
Average Trip to England Cost in 2024
An average one-week trip to England for two people in 2024 will cost up to $5,000:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $125 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $800 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $150 per person, per day
- Transportation: $300 total
- Total Cost: $5,000
England has a high GDP and the pound is a very strong currency, so it’s not necessarily the most affordable place to which to travel. However, flights there are quite reasonable, and with the right tips, you can travel on a budget.
And at $5,000 for a week for two people, it’s definitely one of the more affordable international vacations out there.
Most of your cost will come from activities and lodging, with transportation and airfare making it a more affordable vacation. If you’re a consummate price shopper, you can winnow down all of these expenses by booking everything well in advance and sticking to your reservations.
Considering England took Covid-19 very seriously and had some of the most restrictive lockdowns in the world, though, it’s smart to plan ahead for another health crisis.
You might want to get insurance on your flights, hotels, and car rentals to make sure you get your money back if things change. Intro to the next section, where we will break down costs by item.
We’ll take a look at accommodations, flights, activities, food and drink, and transportation. That way, you’ll have all the information you need to build a budget vacation from scratch. If you want, you can spend more in some categories to save in others – it’s all up to you!
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England Trip Cost: Average by Item
England is highly motivated to make travel appealing to visitors, considering how much of the economy is dependent on them.
Although this took a dip during the pandemic, as discussed, this has rebounded considerably. So while some of the activities are expensive and you can definitely spend plenty on lodging, England offers ways to keep costs down.
Lodging in England isn’t the cheapest. For a three-star hotel, expect to pay about $100 to $150 a night, with some cheaper options hovering around $75.
In a quaint village such as Highgate – a popular British destination – you’ll shell out a roughly equivalent price, though the more affordable options are less likely. Some B&Bs can run into the hundreds of dollars a night range.
It’s possible to find hostels in London for as little as $10 a night, but don’t expect the same options in the smaller towns and villages. Overall, budget about $125 per night and you’ll be plenty comfortable.
Also, prices for lodging tend to go up the closer you get to your travel date. For this reason, you should book your lodging as soon as you have your tickets.
Plus, if you want to go the Airbnb or VRBO route, this is the only way to assure you will get the kind of place you want – especially in crowded areas. To a lesser extent, this applies to hotels as well.
In fact, it’s true even for campsites. If you’re going camping anywhere in the world, book those sites 9-12 months in advance, because they fill up just as surely as private homes and hotels.
An average round-trip flight from Los Angeles to London is about $800, while New York to London will run you slightly less. If you’re a good price shopper, you can shave off a few hundred dollars by flying during the low season and booking well ahead of time.
Expect to pay more if you’re not flying out of a hub. For instance, a flight from Portland, OR, is more like $900. Want to save money on your flights? Always surf prices in private browsing mode.
Once you’ve searched, for example, “flights from Chicago to Heathrow,” the internet knows that you’re interested. On the second or third browsing session, those prices will go up — meaning you’ll pay more just for being judicious and taking your time to buy a ticket.
If you stick to private browsing, you’ll always see a neutral price that represents that current market.
Note that while buying tickets just before you leave is a great way to save money domestically, when airlines are trying to fill relatively short hops, this is a terrible international strategy. Always book tickets well ahead of time.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
First and foremost, an English high tea is well worth the cost. It’s essentially a smorgasbord of tiny desserts, but you get to justify it by calling it “tea.” There are plenty of places to get a good high tea in England, but London is probably the best.
“This city is renowned for putting on some of the world’s best spreads – with tiny cakes, little finger sarnies and pots of perfect tea the name of the delicious game,” reports Time Out London.
“They’re not cheap – expect to pay in the region of £50 to £80 for the pleasure per person, but you’ll be in for a treat and a half.” Another unmissable experience, at least if you’re a bibliophile, is a literary heritage tour.
Many British companies offer tours of places related to literary greats, such as Jane Austen or Shakespeare. They’ll whisk you away on fantastic adventures around the country, showing you where authors lived and wrote, the sites by which they were inspired, and the settings of their works.
Many of the day trips are very affordable, costing only a few hundred dollars. A quick 3-hour spin around London is only about $32.
Many of these tours are offered on an overnight basis, where you spend your entire trip being wined and dined. Expect to pay about $1,000 a day per person, so this isn’t the most affordable option.
However, this includes the cost of all food, entrance fees to attractions, transportation, lodging, and sometimes flights. If you’re trying to do your trip in style, this is the way to go if you want to spend out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Other sites you should consider putting on the itinerary include Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, and the Eden Project.
Some sites have entrance fees, and others are free for viewing from the outside. Overall, though, an average per-day cost for a regular trip to England is about $150 per person.
This includes museum fees, three meals and snacks, a few drinks, and park entrance fees. You can do it on less if you skip big attractions and stick to free walking tours, which will come in at more like $100.
When it comes to England, transportation is a major consideration. Rental cars are pretty doable. You can get them for as little as $30 a day for four people, and that includes unlimited mileage – though remember you’ll have to pay gas yourself.
Taxi prices, on the other hand, are steep as heck. You’ll pay between $7 and $15 per mile, depending on the day of the week and the time of day.
If you’ll be taking one short ride a day inside a city, then it’s probably worth it to avoid the hassle of rental cars, but otherwise, think twice.
Public transportation may just be your best option. London’s transport system is excellent, with on-time schedules and a plethora of options for getting from A to B. This is true even for trains between cities or countries.
A train from London to Edinburgh is only $45, and from London to Paris is $65. Note that flying within the country is not particularly cheap, so you’ll likely want to stay on the ground.
Whatever the case, plan to spend about $300 total on transportation, assuming you avoid private cars and flights and take a minimum of cabs.
Things to Consider
Now that we’ve discussed basics, here are a few more things to keep in mind:
- Safety in London and other big cities is a concern for young and solo travelers, especially women. If you’re going out at night, stick to crowded and well-lit areas, with securely attached backpacks and purses. Don’t get into cars until you’ve verified the driver, and always lock your doors at night.
- England is an easy country in which to travel, and its proximity to Ireland, Wales, and Scotland makes for great vacation potential. If you only have a week, we recommend you do England right. However, if you can spare 10 days or 2 weeks, it’s definitely worth heading outside the country to see what’s nearby. And it’s that many more stamps in your passport!
- Drowning is a problem in England. The harsh Atlantic Ocean takes its toll, as do lakes and rivers across the country. Always follow the posted rules and keep drinking to a minimum around water.
- Try the tea. As we explained above, this is more like “definitely try the array of tiny finger desserts that no one should have to live without,” but same dif.
- Bring a camera. Of course, this advice is true for all international – and domestic – and any – vacations, but especially in England where there’s so much heritage. If your phone works well enough, that’s great! Just be sure to check the storage on your phone before you go.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to visit England?
Most people like to go in summer or at Christmas time, when the climate is favorable or everything is its most magical. However, if you can stomach some rain, you’ll find winter, spring, and fall more affordable.
Is England expensive?
Yes, England is somewhat expensive, but the tips above will help you save considerably.
How should I dress?
The short answer to the question of what to pack is LOTS of layers! England has springlike weather much of the year – even in high summer – and a lot of rain at other times. Bring everything from tank tops and shorts to your thick raincoat.
Do the English drive on the left side of the road?
Although renting cars in England is affordable, not to mention a great way to see the countryside and ruins, you should be aware that the British drive on the left side of the road.
For people used to driving on the right, this can take some serious getting used to. Go slow and always think twice before making a turn, and you should be fine.
What are the best activities in England?
High tea, Stonehenge, royal lodgings, and literary tours will all show you a magical time. However, you can’t go wrong with simply walking on cobblestones for days.
So, What Is the Average Cost for an England Trip?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost
|$125 per night
|✈️ Average Flight Cost
|$800 per person
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities
|$150 per person, per day
|💲 Total Cost
The average cost of a one-week trip to England is around $5,000 for two people, which is a great way to spend your vacation budget this year or next. Let us know how it goes!