London 2012 Olympic Games tickets go on sale!

Applications for tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games opened on the 15th March for residents of the UK and designated European countries. People can apply any time during the 42-day application period via the London 2012 ticketing website

Preparations for the Olympics are well on course and it looks set to be a fantastic event that will highlight London’s wealth of attractions. Accommodation during this period is already being booked out with prices often at inflated prices. If you’re interested in visiting London during the Olympics why not consider a home exchange vacation!

Notting Hill, London

Portobello, LondonPublic transport as well as local shops, friendly pubs and restaurants are close by. Cinemas, bars and fine shopping are at ten minutes walk in Notting Hill. A nice walk along the canal takes you to Regents Park and Camden.

Exchange Request: USA, UK, Europe, Cape Town

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Hampstead, London

Hampstead, LondonWe live in a fabulous large raised ground floor apartment of 1800 sq ft in one of London’s most elegant streets in Hampstead. Our flat is beautifully decorated with hardwood floors and many antiques but also contemporary pieces. An amazing part of London!

Exchange Request: Open to Offers.

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Arranged a home exchange in London? Budget tips for your visit

London Money Saving IdeasGuest post by Laura Porter

People will always tell you London is an expensive city but I live here with a young family and I’m not a millionaire. Locals know where the deals can be found, and visitors often don’t, so I’m here to share some tips to show you a trip to London can suit anyone’s budget.

I write the About.com London Travel site and the London for Free pages are some of the most popular with ideas from the unusual ceremonies to the many free museums and galleries.

Accommodation and food are usually the biggest part of your vacation budget and by choosing a Home Exchange you have already reduced those costs. Don’t let dining spoil your frugal planning as there are many Budget Restaurants in London and I’ve also got a list of ideas on how to eat in London for under £5.

Walking is an excellent way to get around London and you’ll see so much more but if you need to travel longer distances then make sure you have an Oyster Card, which can be bought before you arrive, as cash fares on tubes and buses are more expensive. There is also daily capping on lots of travel so once you reach the maximum daily fare all your other journeys are free. There’s further good news for families as children travel for free on London transport but you may need to order a photocard in advance.

Then what about London’s West End Shows? You would expect all tickets to be very expensive but I’ve got lots of tips on how to save money on theatre tickets.

If you discover a lot of the attractions you want to visit are not free then consider a sightseeing pass that covers a lot of the biggies so you may want to plan a few days seeing the hard-hitters such as the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral.

As well as these ideas, I like to have some vouchers printed and in my wallet at all times from Smartsave as they can get you discounts at attractions, restaurants and more. These are great is you want to be spontaneous as you do not need to book in advance for a discount.

There are also great offers to be found on the ‘mob buying’ sites which offer amazing discounts and once enough people commit to buy you all get the deal. My personal favourite is Groupon, but others include KGB Deals, Living Social and Wahanda. Sign up as soon as you know you are coming to London and buy some deals in advance.

I hope you can now see London is not prohibitively expensive; it’s all about knowing where to find the bargains. I hope I’ve managed to start you on the right track here.

Laura Porter lives in London and writes the About.com London Travel site.

London 2012 Olympics – Home Exchange Offers!

Home Base Holidays members in London and nearby are starting to look ahead to swaps during the 2012 Olympics. No doubt many Londoners will want to stay in the city to take in some of the events but others will be pleased to escape at a time when the city will be busier than normal.

A few samples of recent home exchange offers for the period of the Games:

  • Bright, comfortable, well equipped 4 bed family house in quiet street in family neighbourhood in Highbury, Islington (in photo above). Keen on countryside / seaside swaps in Europe and UK for long weekends or longer during the rest of the year. Also open to offers of swaps for London Olympics 2012. See full home exchange offer, HE20987
  • We are offering a lovely terraced Victorian house with lots of original features; five minutes walk from Alexandra Palace park, which has a huge playground, boating lake, cafe, skate park, pitch’n’putt golf, ice skating rink as well as fabulous Sunday farmer’s market and amazing views over London. We love the sea and surfing so are especially interested in exchanges with people who live on the coast. We are also keen to be out of London during the Olympics so if you are interested in swapping then, do get in touch! See full home exchange offer, HE21328.
  • Beautiful 2 bed top floor apartment in a small town in the stockbroker belt on the outskirts of London. It’s the home of film, rock and football stars Chelsea FC is based there. Trains from Cobham whisk you into Central London in 39 mins, Wimbledon 19 mins. Nearby M25 London orbital is great for communications to all points, the A3 to central London in 40ish mins. Property poss available for the Olympics, some events nearby. Home Swap offer in Cobham, Surrey HE25126
  • Mid Terraced Edwardian Property on 3 floors with enclosed private garden, small Art/Music studio. Within walking distance to town centre and train station. 30 mins to London and Cambridge. Home Swap offer in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, HE25018
  • Our house is situated in a small cul de sac 2 minutes walk from Victoria Park Village which has many shops restaurants and cafes and is close to Victoria Park. it is a ten minute walk to the fashionable London Fields and Broadway Market, and a bus goes from the village to the Millenium Bridge which serves the Tate modern and St. Pauls. We are located close to the Olympic Park, and a new bus route now serves the route to the Olympics. Again it is a bus ride to the fashionable areas of Brick Lane, Colombia Road, Shoreditch and Hoxton. See full home exchange offer, HE24841
  • Attractive 3 bedroom house, close to London and Brighton, it’s in-between both cities and easy reachable by train London 60 minutes. Willing to swap during second week of the Olympics in 2012, and we have registered for tickets. Exchange offer in Crawley, West Sussex, HE24541

Browse all London listings (or use Detailed Search to search by the key word, Olympics, to restrict the results).

See Now’s the time to plan a home exchange in London for the 2012 Olympics for links to useful information to help you plan your trip.