Travelling to the UK, and London in particular is an amazing cultural and entertainment experience and one not to be missed when travelling overseas. But it can also be somewhat overwhelming if you are not fully prepared, so keep reading below and check out our top LONDON travel tips for when you go there.
Plan your trip well
Can you imagine going all that way only to miss out on seeing some of the special events or places on your list? Well, it happens because people don’t plan their trip based around the time of year they intend travelling. For instance, March is a wonderful time to see all the fantastic gardens start to come alive with the warmer spring weather, while a visit in June will allow you to take in all the Royal pomp and ceremony with Trooping the Colour and the Changing the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace. And street parties and festivals occur from July through to September. Check out where you want to go, what attractions you plan to visit, when or if they close for annual maintenance or holidays, and know the best times of day to visit. London is a big city and while you might think a day or two there will suffice, you would be sadly mistaken. Our tip is to double whatever time you think you might need to really allow you to see it all and take your time so you enjoy it.
Grab a Visitor Oyster Card
If you want to get around cheaply and easily this card is a pay-as-you-go smartcard which can be used to pay for all public transport. It is accepted everywhere and offers many discounts on riverboats, the Tube, and at many restaurants and cafes. It really is the stress-free way to get around the city.
Book before your travel
I know many people like to ‘wing it’ and wait until they arrive in a city before booking accommodation and such, but our experience tells us the opposite works best for London. If you take the risk however, and miss out during a peak travel period, you could be sleeping on the streets, so don’t risk it. Save yourself a LOT of stress by booking whatever you can before you travel. By the time we touched down at Heathrow we knew where we were staying, what tours we were booked on, and where to go each day we were there. And with no stress! You can often save money as well as not having to stand in long queues if you have pre booked some attractions like the London Eye. And grab a return ticket for the Airport Express Train while on the Internet. It will save you a fortune in cab fares and is so much easier.
Get yourself a London Pass
If you plan to see all the local attractions while in London, this one little pass is a beauty! Once again, we are talking no stress, no queues, and entry to over 60 tours, museums and attractions. It can all be done on your smartphone and they even throw in a free guidebook!
Pack a good pair of walking shoes
Many people use the Tube to get around because it is so handy, but by doing so they miss so much of London that exists between the train stops. We spent hour after hour walking around, seeing the parks, visiting the shops and pubs, wandering from Harrods to Big Ben and to Buckingham Palace. And this is the reason you need to allow the extra time. Anyone can visit London in a day and see all the major attractions from the bus, but to really explore the city you need to be prepared to walk some of it.
Don’t forget the kids
If you are travelling as a family, London has some awesome free and paid adventures that the kids will love too. Theatre shows, parks, kids museums, playgrounds, theme parks, the zoo, and even a 4-in-1 attraction pass that the kids will love.
And if you are looking for some great money-saving tips for when you are there, check out the options online so you can save a bundle each day too. Yes, London can be a big, expensive city, but there are cheaper ways to do it, and you can still have a ball. Many of their historic churches, cathedrals museums, and galleries offer free entry and are well worth a visit, and if you love stately homes and castles, grab yourself a National Trust Touring Pass for free entry to over 300 properties!
And who knows, maybe we’ll even see you over there one day in our future travels.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling lifestyle.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food or drink featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.