I had never considered what I would do if I visited England, much less how long it would take to make it worthwhile.
The Costs Involved
I would be flying from the U.S. to England. As of today, to book a ticket to stay for a month in London, is just over $5,000 with taxes and fees. Once I get to London, how will I survive for a month? I did some digging, and the current rate for survival for a month is $1903.00--that is from pounds to U.S. dollars. If you have $5,000 for spending money, here is the breakdown of where that money will go.
To rent a 1 bedroom flat or house, I found one listing source to be a house share for 416 pounds or $660. That was just a listing from one source. You may find them cheaper than that, but like the U.S., you have to pay attention to where you are renting for it be so cheap. I did not get any luck in finding a short term rental, so you may have to call around. If you are wanting to rent a hotel room for a month, that can be costly as hotel rooms can range from 83 pounds or $131 on up; this can easily add up and other expenses are not even calculated yet. When you combine your flight with a hotel, you may be able to find some savings there.
Utilities such as electricity, gas, water may be included in rent or your landlord may pay for it. If you are responsible for paying for utilities for the month, it can range between 150-300 pounds if you are conservative.
Internet usage is 10-15 pounds/month. This may also be included in rent or may be paid for you during that month.
When grocery shopping, you can easily pay 20-30 pounds every week.
You may be responsible in paying council tax while there, and that covers the collection of trash, road costs, and social services. This may also be included in rent.
Transportation costs. Depending on where you are staying, you may only need to use public transportation. However, if you need to rent a car, bundling your flight may give you a discount. According to http://www.londontown.com/London/Public_Transport, if you are a visitor to London, the travel card is the way to go, and that can start at 6.5 pounds. This page also has all the necessary information you need to know about London's transportation. If you own an iPad, downloading an app called London Tube, will help keep track of your travel, and it also tells you from where you are at, and how close you are to the nearest tube.
Then, of course, is the entertainment. This site, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/8679900/London-Events-Calendar-2011-2012.html, will give you a list of upcoming events in London. This site, http://www.visitlondon.com/events/, will also give you more information on what to do and where to go.
The Smart Sit Down
To survive on $5,000 for a month in England seems like a lot, but you may be surprised on how fast it gets used up. It is going to cost you at the most $2000 to stay for the month. That leaves $3,000 to play with. If you are a person who likes to stretch their money, you will have enough, but if you are going to try and take in as much as you can during your stay, you might find that $5,000 comes up a bit short. Tickets to events, especially last minute, can cost more than if you had booked ahead of schedule. Museums, art galleries, attractions, it can just all add up. You have to remember that at the time of this writing, a pound to dollars is $1.58, and as the currency market goes, it is constantly changing.
Now with only $3,000--this is dollars, not pounds--to spend after living expenses in London, I would sit down and put together an itinerary of sorts. Peruse the sites I suggested to see what you would like to do while visiting London. You will want to eat out, but are you going to do that everyday? That adds up too. Just a smart sit down will do wonders in managing your money when you decide to travel in London, England.