London is the destination at the top of most people’s travel lists, it’s a vibrant and modern city which has a unique attraction and draws in millions of tourists each year. There’s no denying that London is a great city, however, it can be a very stressful place for travellers, especially for travellers who are used to visiting quieter destinations. London is busy and hectic, and if you don’t adequately prepare yourself prior to your visit then you are going to struggle and stress yourself out.
Preparing yourself for a visit to what is arguably the capital of the world is a must, and it doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part prior to your arrival. Here are a few things you can do before you arrive to make your trip easier.
Research luggage storage options
If you are arriving into London several hours before you can check into your hotel, you are going to want to leave your luggage somewhere so that you can go and explore the city whilst you wait for your check-in time.
Take it from somebody who lives in the UK, London is not somewhere where you want to be dragging around bulky suitcases and lugging around bags with you whilst you try and see the sights. London is a busy place and with transportation such as the Tube already being cramped and hard to navigate, why would you want to make the job harder for yourself? There are plenty of luggage storage companies in London at convenient locations that will happily look after your bags.
Draw up a budget
London is by far one of the most expensive cities in the world; so much so in fact, that people who work within London are generally paid a higher salary than those who work outside of London just so that they can afford the increased cost of living.
If you are visiting London and hoping to eat out every night, do some shopping, see the sights and visit bars, be prepared to spend at least £100 to £200 per person per day. It’s a very expensive city and planning for this is crucial.
Buy a London Pass
A London Pass is useful if you plan on visiting a lot of the premium paid attractions in London such as the London Eye. The London Pass is a pre-paid card which is worth buying; London is an expensive city and paying for each member of your party to enter an attraction, especially when you want to see a lot of them, can very quickly add up.
A London Pass will get you into many of the city’s major attractions for free. You need to look at the card carefully, though, as there are certain restrictions and exemptions, such as specific times when you can visit each attraction with your London Pass.
Some Tube stations are very close to each other, so in some cases, it’s much easier to walk between them rather than waiting for the train. And the best part is that it’s completely free. For instance, the Covent Garden and Leicester Square stations are literally less than five minutes from each other. So, make sure you don’t stick to the Tube only and see if you can walk to your destination instead when you have the chance.
A lot of people don’t really think twice when coming into the city, and fly into either the airport they know the best, or the one closest to where they’ll be staying. If you’re on a budget, you should consider booking a flight with a company like Easy Jet or Ryan Air. They’re more likely to pick cheaper landing spots, such as Stansted for instance, and will allow you to save on your trip.
While you’ll have to be prepared for the 45 minutes to 1 hour commute to the city, it’ll still cost you less then landing at Heathrow.
While London can get expensive at times, there are plenty of world class activities you can enjoy for cheap or free. There are tons of free museum exhibitions all over the city. The British Museum, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum are all open to the public and often host some of the most breath-taking exhibitions you’ll ever see.
If you want to catch a West End show while in the city, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either. You can get a significant discount by hitting the TKTS booth that is located straight in the middle of Leicester Square and looking for the remaining unsold tickets.
Planning a trip to London is always exciting, but make sure to look at the practical considerations whilst you are at it.