London Travel Tips to Lighten Up Your City Break

London Travel Tips to Lighten Up Your City Break

If you’re heading to London, then you will likely already have some ideas about what you want to do – from where you want to eat to the best Park Grand Kensington accommodation to book, what you want to see, and which attractions you want to add to your itinerary.

However, what many tourists and travellers find is that they get so caught up in the details and individual attractions that form the basis of their trip that they forget to pay attention to the overarching organisational aspects – including packing to ensure they are comfortable throughout their stay, budgeting, and factoring transport into each day’s plans and activities.

In this blog, we’re spotlighting the most important aspects of travelling to London which need organising prior to and during arrival, which will let you really relax and enjoy your stay without coming across unexpected problems and challenges.

Pack Sensibly

Packing is integral when planning a trip to London, and while most of the hotels near Earls Court tube allow for quick and easy access to the shops if you forget something, planning what you will need in advance is important for ensuring you have the right footwear and layers for the forecasted weather.

One of the safest assumptions you can make when travelling to London is that it will almost definitely rain – and so you will need coats, layers, and an umbrella. Another assumption you can almost certainly guarantee is that you will do a lot of walking, and so will need access to comfortable and supportive shoes which you are happy to walk around in all day.

As part of your packing plan, we always recommend factoring in a few more formal outfits for theatre visits and nice meals out, and always add a swimsuit to your bag in case you have the opportunity to enjoy one of London’s iconic spas.

Create a Budget

Create a Budget

Creating a budget in advance of your stay in London is one of the best things you can do to help control your spending and outgoings – with adequate research helping you to understand the cost of the different attractions on your list and the expected costs of meals you want to enjoy.

One tip that we always share with guests is to relegate a few meals to street food and markets, as not only are these more cost effective but they allow you to enjoy delicacies and treats from all over the world and from a selection of independent producers.

Another tip – and one we mention later in this blog – is to compile a list of all the free attractions in London and add some of those to your itinerary to combine culture and experience with cost-saving.

Get the Bus / Walk / Cycle

With so many of the top tourist hotels near Earls Court tube station and other central stations, it can be easy to overlook other forms of transportation and rely solely on the London underground during your city stay. And to be fair, there’s a good reason why the tube is the most popular mode of transport in the city – connecting the boroughs and different locations via a reliable network of underground trains which run every few minutes and make even the longest journeys feel effortless.

However, using the tube constantly throughout the day can soon add up and cost you more than you expect – not to mention, by heading down the steps and onto the tube, you lose the views which you would enjoy if you chose an above-ground mode of transportation.

The bus is one alternative which allows you to enjoy and revel in your surroundings, while still keeping costs down and activity at a minimum. Tour buses and even afternoon tea buses are all available for those seeking an enhanced experience, letting you tick off two boxes at once by combining different experiences on your to-do list as part of your travel and transportation plans.

Another option is to hire one of the Boris bikes available across the city and use the multitude of cycle lanes, or consider walking to enjoy the views and discover new routes and attractions that you might otherwise have missed.

Travel doesn’t have to just be something practical – it can become part of the experience too.

Understand the Tipping Culture

Tipping is different in different regions and countries, with London a destination where tips are gratefully received but not expected in the same way as they are across the USA and other locations.

As a general rule, a good meal deserves a tip of around 10%, with most restaurants and eateries outlining their tip policy in terms of who gets the tip on their menu or on the reception / welcome desk.

Research Free Attractions

We mentioned this tip earlier in the blog, but when it comes to cost saving and identifying the best things to do in and around London, pay attention to those attractions which are free to enjoy. For example, if you want to enjoy at least one afternoon or evening somewhere with a great view across London’s skyline, rather than paying to go up The Shard or on the London Eye, book yourself a free slot to visit the Sky Garden. The views are just as good, the setting is magnificent, and the whole thing doesn’t cost a penny (unless you start ordering drinks).

Other free attractions to research include museums, the National Gallery, and V&A, the Tate Modern, and more. And if you’re visiting in the spring or summer months, why not spend an afternoon enjoying the Royal Parks – a stone’s throw from the hotels near Earls Court with a variety of sport pitches, footpaths, cycle paths, and both rustic and manicured garden settings throughout. These parks are open to the public all year round and are favoured by travellers and locals alike.

Planning a trip to London doesn’t have to be stressful – with these tips all designed to make your arrival and city break more enjoyable from start to finish.