Want to see the Cardinals in the UK? 9 tips for traveling to London on a budget

It's official: The Arizona Cardinals will take on the Los Angeles Rams at London's Twickenham Stadium On Sunday, Oct. 22. The game will begin at 7 p.m. London time (10 a.m. Arizona time).

If you're planning to go but aren't sure where to start or just need some tips on booking a trip that doesn't break the bank, you've come to the right place. Here are seven tips for getting to the UK in October.

1. Get a passport.

Obvious, but important to not forget this one: You'll want to start here if you've never traveled outside the country. Passport fees vary depending on your age and whether you're getting one for the first time or simply need to renew an expired one, but you can expect to pay between $80-$135.

Keep in mind that it typically takes 4 to 6 weeks to obtain a passport once you apply for one, so the sooner, the better.

2. Pick the best time to fly.

In terms of cost, the best time to book an international flight is roughly seven weeks beforehand, according to cheapair.com. Also, according to a new study by Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation, Sunday is the best day of the week to book a flight -- especially if you're traveling to Europe and especially if you're booking at least three weeks in advance.

3. Look at low-cost airline options.

You'll have to travel a bit out of the way, but if you're looking to save as much money as possible, it may be worth your while to fly into Los Angeles or Chicago before heading to London.

As of this writing, a pair of low-cost airlines -- Norwegian Air, and WOW Air out of Iceland -- are offering round-trip flights from Los Angeles and Chicago to London's Gatwick airport for roughly $600 per person in October, depending on which days you depart.

Keep in mind that you may have to pay for a number of basic add-ons, including carry-on bags and personal items -- and you'll probably have very little leg space for your 11-hour flight. If those are things you can live with, be sure to check out those deals.

4. Bundle and save.

A number of travel sites such as Expedia offer a certain amount of savings if you purchase airline tickets and a hotel reservation at the same time. If you play your cards right, you could find a flight/hotel combo in London for as little as $2,000 for two people for a four-night stay.

Want to compare multiple sites for deals on airfare and hotel reservations at the same time? Sites like Kayak.com can help you do that.

Hint: Don't worry too much about booking a hotel near the stadium; there's an easy way to get there on game day. (Keep reading.)

5. Consider Airbnb.

If you've never done Airbnb: It's a site that allows people who will be out of town or who have an extra room to spare to offer their residence to travelers, just as hotels do, for a short-term stay.

As of this writing, there remain a handful of options near Twickenham Stadium that range from $78-$134 per night, and have all received excellent reviews. But if you don't care where in London you'll stay, your options increase tremendously. Some well-reviewed places are going for as little as $50 per night.

If you've never done Airbnb, make sure to read reviews of other travelers before booking, and be sure to review the "house rules" for the place you'd like to stay. Also, go here for some handy tips for first-time Airbnb renters.

6. Oh, yeah: The tickets.

You probably didn't travel all the way to London in October to NOT watch the Cardinals game. If you signed up for the NFL's presale for that game, go here. If not, don't sweat it: You still have options.

The NFL Ticket Exchange by Ticketmaster is the NFL's verified fan-to-fan ticket resale site, and you can keep your eye on this as the game gets closer. But if you want to secure tickets sooner, try StubHub, where tickets (again, as of this writing) are going for as little as $90 (plus fees). If you're willing to pay more, lower-level seats near the 50-yard line are available for about $320 apiece. But keep in mind: Just like flight costs, ticket costs often go down as the event draws nearer.

7. Purchase an Oyster Card.

If you want to explore London during your stay, you don't have to drive. It's easy to take the London Underground subway system throughout the city, and the easiest way to do that is by purchasing an Oyster Card and loading it with enough money to travel to and from where you want to go. The card can also be reloaded at anytime.

You can either purchase an Oyster Card in advance or buy one at any Underground station. (Really, it takes just a couple minutes, so you might as well wait until you get there and avoid postage fees.)

Also, both of the nearest Underground stations (Richmond on the District Line and Hounslow East on the Piccadilly Line) are roughly two miles from Twickenham Stadium -- and on game days, a shuttle bus travels from the nearest Underground stations to the stadium. More information about transportation to and from the game should become available as we get closer.

8. Check out free and inexpensive attractions.

Speaking of things to do in London: Check out this guide of 101 free things to do in the city, including museums, art galleries, live music and comedy clubs. And here are another 101 options that cost less than 10 pounds (13 dollars).

9. Purchase a London Pass.

If you have a little money to spend, the London Pass is an excellent investment. The costs vary, but if you want to see as many historic London attractions as possible during your stay, it'll be worth it. Sites on the pass include the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the London Zoo, Hampton Court Palace and a River Thames cruise.

Print this article Back to Top