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Visiting London: Top Tips for a Stress-Free Stay

16 May 2013


Photo credit: trivago.co.uk

It’s amazing how many people think that a trip to London would involve stress, overcrowded streets and smog in the air, when in actual fact, what London provides is simply incredible. A few days in London can be an extremely enjoyable experience if you know how to work the city without getting overly worked up. The density of the city can be a little overwhelming for rural dwellers but the contents of the streets should be appreciated, at least once, in your lifetime. Here are some top tips to ensure your stay in the Big Smoke is as satisfying as possible.

Accommodation

The temptation of choosing an upmarket boutique hotel may be too much, but before you consider shelling out hundreds of pounds, have a look at the more affordable alternatives. You can book cheap hotels from Travelodge online which will place you in the heart of the city. Ideally located, you can enjoy everything on your itinerary without worrying about how to get back to your hotel and you can check out knowing that you haven’t spent half your savings for the trouble.

Travel

Remember that the cost of private transport, such as the trusty Black Cab, in London isn’t the cheapest way of getting around the city. While it may be your choice elsewhere, consider your options and weigh up the costs. The volume of traffic on the roads can seriously impede your chances of getting anywhere on time and, while overground buses are a cheaper alternative, you’re still faced with hectic congestion.

Instead, consider purchasing an Oyster Card which you can top up as you go - or buy Travelcards if you prefer, so that you can use the excellent Underground network. While it may be busy during the peak times, it’s reliable and fast and will get you to where you want to go in no time. Pay attention to any engineering works so that you can plan your route and keep a pocket-size tube map with you so that you don’t get lost!

Remember to stand on the right hand side of the escalators so that those in a rush can zoom by on the left, and keep your tickets because you’ll need them to get back out again!

If all else fails, you can resort to Shank’s Pony. Often, you will only have to walk a short distance to get between places. Have a look at a proper map rather than judging distances by tube, because it’s very different!

Excursions

Anyone visiting the city will undoubtedly have a plan of action, to ensure they can keep to a schedule and see all the things they are planning to see. Many of the major sights are within walking distance of each other, meaning you can see many in one go.

Whether you want to enjoy a ride on the London Eye or you’re heading for the London Dungeons, make sure you look online for discount tickets before you travel – you can save heaps of money if you book in advance. Plus, the London Pass offers incredible value for money if the sights included make up part of your itinerary.

Most of all, try and stay relaxed. There’s nothing worse than getting worked up because of the hustle and bustle. Try and think like a Londoner and take everything in your stride and you’ll be fine! 

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