We all know that a trip to London is no walk in the park (unless you’re walking in its many parks). With its intricate Underground system, its sprawling amount of boroughs and so much to see, a trip to London no matter how short or long requires a certain amount of preparation. You may also have a wide spanning range of reasons to visit London, whether it be on a family holiday or a business trip, you will still have to organise your time efficiently, factoring in train and public transport travel, money and time. The latter of these, there is not enough time in the world in which to experience the whole city; all locals will confess to not having seen the whole of London even if they have lived here for decades so you will be forgiven for not having not seen everything from Ealing to Stratford. With this in mind there’s still plenty for you to do to make sure you’re ready for all that London has to offer.
Thrifty in the City
London, as one of the financial capitals of the world is well known for being an expensive place to live in and visit. This is not only due to how easy it is to spend money on events but on travel to. So before you even come to the city, be sure you have saved up enough money over the previous weeks and months to give you the freedom to do what you set out to London. This is the same as any other holiday but in London it has more importance due to the expenses that can build up from living in the city. With this in mind there are many money saving tips you can pick up so as to be thrifty in London. Take as an example the public transport system. If you have organised yourself well you’ll know where you’ll be going to every day of your visit and therefore you can buy a weekly, daily or monthly travel card accordingly. Keep in mind the zone system; if you believe you won’t be leaving Zone 1 for your whole visit then there’s no point in investing in a zone 1-2 travel card. The great thing about investing in a travel card for your oyster or contactless payment is that if you are taking over two journeys a day then you will be saving money. Another tip for travel is to only travel at off peak times when the tube prices are lower.
On top of this you can find many deals on eating and drinking through online websites and voucher websites as well as there being many free or pay what you can events across the city. Not every gig has to cost 15 quid and not every theatre performance has to take you over into triple digits. Keep thrifty and search for the best deals through websites, apps and ticket sellers in the city.
Where to stay
Organising your hotel is crucial to enjoying your visit. You don’t want to end up getting a hotel in the outskirts of the city and end up spending half of your visit in trains and taxis. That is why the Grand Park Lancaster Gate is some of the best value and best placed four star Budget Accommodation in London. At the Grand Park Hotel you get a great mix of luxury and ease of travel. With many tube stations located in vicinity including Paddington, Marble Arch and Lancaster Gate you will be well placed to travel to all corners of the city. On top of this, the location next to Hyde Park means that you are centrally located and in walking distances from many of London’s most iconic attractions. Hyde Park in itself is a great day out, and be sure not to miss the luxury food services available at the Grand Park Hotel.
What to do
Here’s the tricky part, with so much to do and so many different people visiting the city, you will have to factor in your audience. If you are travelling solo, then you don’t have to worry about the interests of any one but yourself whilst if you are with a family then you will have to keep everybody happy on your holiday. One of the best ways to factor in all ages is a visit to some of London’s iconic museums. Kids will love the Science Museum due to its interactive and fun features whilst adults will also learn a lot. The Natural History museum also has a huge range of exhibits that will keep all ages enthralled, not forgetting the incredible animatronic dinosaur display and looming fossils of long extinct animals that ooze information and are incredibly memorable. What’s more, both of these museums are located next door to each other near South Kensington tube station. The incredible amount of free art galleries will also keep all ages entertained with its stunning displays from famous artists like Hockney, Turner and Picasso.
As with any major city, a certain amount of vigilance is needed when traversing the streets of London, especially late at night. With the busy roads at rush hour and opportunistic thieves in the area, pick pocketing and bike theft is rife in London’s more crowded areas. Keeping your valuables and possessions close by and secure on your persons is crucial to your enjoyment. No one wants to end up money-less in London or more importantly critically injured in a hectic A and E ward in the city. Cross at crossings, keep your possessions safe and your young ones accounted for when the city gets busy.