About 37.9 million tourists visited the UK in 2018. In 2017, tourism reached an all-time high with 39.2 million visitors. Before you head out and start traveling to London, though, it helps to have a plan.
Charting your adventure will ensure you make the most of your trip. Otherwise, you might unintentionally miss out on an amazing opportunity.
Keep reading to discover the 10 pro tips you need to consider before traveling to the UK. With these tips, you can plan an epic adventure you’ll remember for years to come. Start charting your course with these 10 London travel tips today!
Chart Your Course
Before traveling to London, try to plan as much as possible. You’ll want to consider where you’re going, when you’re leaving, and who you’re going with.
Take the time to make a list of all the places you want to visit. What type of trip are you planning? Are you hoping to see the sights, or relax?
You can chart your course based on whether or not you want to:
- Relax at a resort
- Ride on a road trip
- Explore cities
- Venture the countryside
- Shop in the city
- See the sides
Who are you traveling with? How do they want to spend the course of the trip?
Decide whether you want to stay in London or travel throughout the UK. If you plan on leaving London, you’ll need to plan a way to get around. You’ll also need to consider different places you’ll explore.
Don’t forget to consider the duration of your trip. How long you plan on visiting London can determine where you’ll go and when.
If you’re planning with a group, confirm everyone’s travel days. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
You might want to consider hosting a meeting. Make a list of what everyone wants to do during the trip. Then, plot your course to maximize your time.
Plan How You’ll Get Around
Don’t forget: London is big! There’s a lot you’ll want to see and do.
To make the most of your London travel plans, consider getting an Oyster Card. An Oyster Card is free (though you have to pay a deposit) and will allow you to travel the tube.
Getting an Oyster Card at the beginning of your trip will help minimize travel-related expenses. You can get an Oyster Card at most tube stations, already preloaded.
Otherwise, take the time to walk between tube stops. Keep your head up and take in the view around you.
When planning your travel to London, consider flying into one of the low-cost airports. For example, you can arrive at London Stansted or London Southend. The downside, however, is that you’ll need to travel from the airport to the city center.
Don’t forget to check out these Tailwins loyalty programs to get rewarded for your flight.
If you’re traveling with a student, as a couple, or with a senior, you might receive a discount rail or tube fare.
You can also rent a bike in London! Instead of relying on the tube, you can cycle around the city and take in the sights. Biking around London is a great way to learn your way around.
Find Free Attractions
Americans spent about $782.4 billion on leisure trips in 2019. Before traveling to London, make a budget for your journey. Consider how much you’ll spend on travel, hotels, entertainment, and food.
If you don’t make a budget beforehand, however, you might not realize you’ve overspent until after your trip.
There are plenty of free attractions you might consider during your trip. For example, many of the museums are free. These museums include the:
- Tate Modern
- British Museum
- Science Museum
- Natural History Museum
- National Portrait Gallery
Take in the city’s rich heritage and history by exploring one of these museums.
You can also visit Big Ben for free! Big Ben is the bell located in Queen Elizabeth II Tower.
Schedule a Show
Consider watching a show in the west-end during your visit, too. The TKTS booth in Leicester Square sells unsold tickets for each day at a discount. You can take in the theatre at a discounted price and add a little entertainment to your trip.
Take a Tour
Before traveling to London, consider scheduling a tour. There are plenty of hop-on-hop-off buses that will carry you around the city. If you want to save money, hop onto one of the red London buses and head upstairs.
From there, you can see sighs like the Houses of Parliament, Leicester Square, The London Eye, and Big Ben. Then, hop off and explore on foot!
Try the Cuisine
Don’t forget to get a taste of London while you’re there! Consider trying one of London’s favorites such as fish and chips.
You can also visit the markets in London, including Borough Market, which is full of tasty treats. Don’t forget to visit the dessert stalls while you’re at it!
Head Inside Buckingham Palace
During the summer, consider scheduling a tour of Buckingham Palace.
Make sure to purchase your tickets online before you travel to London. Otherwise, you might find all the tours booked! Touring the palace can give you a better sense of what it’s like to live like royalty.
Carry an Umbrella
While you’re out and about on foot, don’t forget to take an umbrella with you. London’s weather is often unpredictable, so you never know when it might rain.
Otherwise, make sure to wear your favorite pair of comfy shoes as you start walking around the city.
Notice Notting Hill
If you’re visiting London’s East-End, don’t forget to explore Nottingham Hill. Stop by for brunch before exploring the area on foot.
While it’s a great stop for the foodies in your group, Notting Hill is also known for its annual carnival, high-end shops, and Victorian townhouses!
Meet the Locals
Take the time to learn from the locals, too. Londoners are friendly and ready to aid your travels. Ask them about local hot-spots or restaurant suggestions.
You never know where you might end up based on their recommendations!
Plan It Right: 10 Key Tips for Traveling to London
Ready to plan a trip you’ll never forget? Keep these 10 tips for traveling to London in mind. With these tips, you can chart a course for an amazing adventure!
Searching for more seasoned advice for your trip? Explore the Europe section of our blog for more helpful travel guides!