Avoid breakfast

A basic continental breakfast is not worth the added expense (Photo by Karen Bryan)
A basic continental breakfast is not worth the added expense

A Full English breakfast is lovely and worthwhile; a dull, continental-style one isn't worth the added expense

hotel breakfast usually costs anywhere from £5 to £35 per person, so if you have the option of opting out and getting some of that amount knocked off your hotel bill, you should do so.

Hotel breakfasts—unless you are staying at a B&B and getting the Full English cooked breakfast—are usually "continental breakfasts." That means they normally consist of croissants and/or rolls, maybe some packaged jams, tea or coffee, and some sort of weird European orange drink that tastes likes an early (and, thankfully, discarded) formula for Tang; it's wet, sweet, and vaguely orangey, but it certainly ain't juice.

Heck, you can get the same "hotel breakfast" (minus the definitely-not-Tang) from the corner cafe for £10 or less. Plus, if you patronize the neighborhood joint, you get the chance to rub elbows with locals on their way to work rather than share a hotel breakfast in a room filled with other tourists. Only on very rare occasions and in the very cheapest hotels do they charge you as little for breakfast as the local cafe would.

Now I know that some hotels lay on a much more impressive spread—slices of ham, cheese, teensy boxes of cold cereal, even hot prepared foods like eggs and grilled breakfast meats—but even that is truly not worth the added expense. Skip it, hit the local spots, and get on with your day quickly and, dare I say, more authentically.

I do, of course, make exceptions when I'm staying at a B&B—where breakfast is, by definition, included in the rates. But not at hotels—not if I can get out of it, at least.

If, however, your hotel insists that breakfast is included in the rate and you cannot opt out, then you have carte blanche to bring your day pack down to breakfast with you and load it up with enough extra food to make at least a decent mid-morning snack if not a light picnic lunch out of it.

After all, the hotel did insist, and you are paying through the nose for it (just don't be obvious about it; for some reason, they seem to frown upon this act of nonviolent protest).

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