London is one of the most diverse cities globally, and it contains so many contrasts within its ancient streets. With London being such an iconic city, visiting for a break away from your daily routine is always great. From architecture to culture, entertainment, and shopping, there is something for everyone in this exciting city.
Plan Your Vacation Well in Advance
The first important thing you need to keep in mind when planning your vacation is to plan. If possible, you should plan for your London vacation at least two months ahead of time. It will help you secure the date of your choice and gives you more options regarding booking hotels, seats on the flight, etc. Also, it will be a lot less expensive to book everything well in advance.
Avoid going during the peak season as most people tend to go on vacations. In addition, the prices are higher, and the risk involved is that you might not be able to get all you want.
If you have no choice but to go during peak season, do your study as much as possible before leaving home. Confirm to reserve your hotel and plane tickets well before to avoid any last-minute hassles or disappointments if things do not go as planned.
Choose Your Travel Dates Wisely
If you have never visited London before, it is to know when the best time of year is to go. The weather is notoriously unpredictable, and even in summer, you can end up with a few rainy days. However, good weather is more important than any other factor. After all, no one wants to have their vacation ruined by rain or wind!
In general, temperatures are high between May and September, and this is the peak tourist season (although London is busy all year round). Avoid school holidays as this is when flights and hotels are more expensive. Check out our guide on choosing the perfect holiday destination if you need more help deciding where and when to go.
Decide on a Good Deal
Finding affordable travel options can be a challenge, but not impossible. Here are some tips that will help you find a good deal:
- Cheap flights: You should buy your flight tickets far in advance to save money on them. Do not wait until the last moment as airfares tend to rise as the date of travel approaches. You can also compare flight tickets offered by different airlines for your destination and pick the one that offers the lowest fare.
- Cheap hotels: Hotels near airports, railway stations, and bus terminals are generally cheaper than others. You can search for such hotels through different websites offering hotel comparison services and book those with low rates and facilities. If your schedule allows, you should visit London during the off-season when hotels offer discounts on room rates to attract people. If your budget is tight, you should consider staying at hostels or B&Bs instead of conventional hotels as they are cheaper than regular hotel rooms.
- Cheap rental cars: The car rental companies charge more if you pick up a car from an airport or railway station because they have to pay taxes and other charges for operating there. Instead, head to their office located elsewhere in town, pick up your car, and save money on taxes and various fees levied at airports or train stations. In addition, weekday rentals usually cost less than weekend rentals as fewer people hire cars on weekdays due to work commitments and check out both types of deals before making a final booking decision.
Research Before Your Trip
Take the following steps to prepare for your trip and make the most of your visit:
- Know the weather forecast. You can do this a day before your trip starts. Check Google to know tomorrow’s weather in London. It will give you a sense of how the Climate will be. It is almost always cloudy with a high chance of precipitation, so you should bring a jacket and umbrella if you plan on spending any time outside. If you are lucky enough to have some nice weather during your trip, pack sunscreen, and a swimsuit. You may have the rare opportunity to enjoy one of Britain’s many lovely beaches and drift along the riverbank without getting rained out!
- Bring comfortable shoes. You will have to do a lot of walking while in London, so investing in some good walking shoes is essential. Wearing stylish shoes or heels may seem pleasant at first, but pounding the sidewalk all day becomes uncomfortable.
- Use maps. You can use Google Maps or another navigation app on your phone when traveling from place to place. You can also try buying a paper map from an information center or gift shop near where you are staying in order. It is not only an aid while navigating but also as a souvenir after your visit!
Map Out the Places You Want to See and the Activities You Want to Do
You must have heard London is a large and busy city. So do not get intimidated if you plan well.
- Map out the places you want to see and the activities you want to do. There are many ways to discover a big city such as London. You can use online apps like TripAdvisor or Google Maps, look at travel magazines, ask some friends who have recently been there for tips, or even talk with locals on social media!
- Do not miss out on the major attractions (Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus). Some of these are well-known just because they are so iconic: not only do they make great photo ops, but they are also probably on your Instagram list!
Make Sure to Cover the Most Popular Tourist Attractions in the City
Explore the best sights to get the most out of your trip. These include the London Eye (the massive Ferris wheel overlooking the city), Tower Bridge (you might have seen it in the new Kingsman movie), Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Big Ben.
If you would like to see as many tourist attractions as possible without walking miles around the city, consider taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour that departs every 15 minutes. There are more than 30 stops all over London. Another great way of seeing a lot of attractions is by taking a guided walking tour around London because they offer detailed information about each site you visit.
They also show you hidden treasures in London that only locals know. If you like art museums, consider getting tickets online beforehand so that you do not have to waste time waiting outside in line on your vacation day!
London Has Some Excellent Hotels for Tourists
There are many hotels to select from in London, regardless of your budget or taste. The city has family-friendly hotels, and many offer great deals for children. Some good examples include the Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel, which charges no extra fee for accommodations with up to two children under 18 years old, and The Hoxton Holborn, where families can stay in adjoining rooms. So you do not have to worry about the kiddos keeping you up all night.
Even if these hotels are fantastic, there is no need to spend a fortune on lodging.
It is wise not to book a hotel without first checking its TripAdvisor reviews. Some places may be inexpensive but offer low-quality service or amenities if a hotel is frequently booked solid with tourists during peak season and generally has excellent ratings. However, staying in a hotel is worthwhile with all of the perks.
Get Around Using Public Transport
London has an extensive public transport system considered the best in the world. If you stay in London for more than a few days, you will use the London underground (the tube), buses, trams, and overground trains. The good news is that although they are running independently, they all work together on one ticketing system, so it’s effortless to move around the city.
Get an Oyster travel card if you will be in London for a few days or longer. You may purchase them at any railway station, and they will be immediately deducted from your card account when your travel begins. There are different tickets available that offer many benefits. For week-long trips, I would recommend the Travelcard with unlimited travel across the city on all forms of public transport during peak times (zone 1). In addition, it gives you access to most tourist attractions within central London, such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Tower Bridge.
With Some Planning, London Can Be a Great Summer Destination
London may be a terrific summer trip if you plan. During the summer, London is a fantastic destination to visit. Take advantage of London’s amazing weather and tourist attractions while planning and preparing for your vacation.