Getting to the Games: The Cost of Travel, Tickets and Souvenirs for the 2012 Olympics

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Posted on 07/09/2012

Spectators and scalpers are snatching up nearly 11 million tickets to the London 2012 games. Once touted as the most expensive games in Olympic history, some bargains are now starting to surface. But if you’re still thinking about how you can get to the games, here’s what you can expect to fork over for some Olympic action.


Ticket to the Opening Ceremony Undoubtedly plenty of records will be broken in London, and according to Guinness World Records, one has already been smashed. The most expensive ticket in Olympic history is one for the Opening Ceremony in London, which costs $3,250. Fortunately for the frugal-minded, there are more affordable events. The cheapest tickets for the games are just $35.


Hotel Deals
According to the UK newspaper The Guardian, rooms in central London hotels are being discounted as much as 30% as the games approach. The reason is because hotels pushed up their prices for the games, causing bookings to fall by 35%. Now they’re trying to score last minute business. The newspaper reports that visitors can score centrally located rooms for as little as $125 a night.


Rental Property Record Breakers
Some savvy travelers swear by rental properties rather than hotels, saying it can save big bucks. But according to news reports, the London Olympics set a new record in the rental property world. A Covent Garden property is expected to become the world’s priciest during the Olympics, costing its renters $223,000 a week, which breaks down to $21 a minute.


Souvenir Prices Vary
More than 50 retailers are officially licensed to sell Olympic souvenirs, but what’s not monitored is how much they’re charging for the souvenirs. The same stuffed mascot that costs about $15 at one shop can cost three times as much at another retailer, according to the BBC. Organizers expect to make about $133 million off souvenir sales alone which should be a clue that many of those trinkets and keepsakes are pretty pricey.


Airline Ticket Prices Mostly Sky High
Travel expert Peter Greenberg says airline ticket prices are already soaring. Currently a round trip ticket during the Olympics will cost more than $1,200. It’s unlikely that any discounted fares remain so this could be one of the priciest parts of a trip to the Olympics. But then again, you are witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime event.


By Alison Storm


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