Written by Khushboo Masih.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to visit a foreign country? Especially London or your planned trip to London but don’t know where to start from? Or you don’t want to flush out the money like water in just one week. London can be expensive but can be budgeted and can avoid unnecessary expenses throughout your travel.
Here are some things that you should keep in mind while travelling to London.
1. Weather and Climate
London can have a moderate climate but sunny sunshine is quite rare as the weather is usually cold and rainy. The hottest temperature can be 30° Celsius. The hottest month is July, Coldest is January and wettest is October. Weather can change anytime but looking forward that it is a cold region country, pack your bags with more of cardigans and sweaters and umbrella can also work fine if you are travelling or visiting during the rainy season. The best time to visit London can be up to you, which suits you the best but always look for the weather! Cause you don’t want to catch a cold.
2. Transportation- The Oyster Card
Walking through the streets can be an adventure as it is a new country but walking through long-distance destinations? Yup, it can’t be possible only by walking. You can travel through red buses, underground tube (underground metro), river services, trams, cycle hire, etc but one thing all these transports have common is the oyster card either you can pay each time you use a transport or just go for an oyster card. So, an oyster card is like a smart card. You put money on it and use it while using any transport facilities. It is cheaper than the paper ticket you buy for every travel and offers great discounts every time you travel. So, ding ding ding! Savings!! Here I come.
3. Get the Best of English Cuisine
To the foodies out there who want to taste every flavour without much expense on the food section so there are many places, you can try different yet delicious food under let’s say £10. Bacon naan at Dishoom, Daily plate at Angelina, House fry at chick ‘n’ Sours, Brisket bun Smokestak and many more but there are some main dishes one must try if visiting London is the fish and chips and English breakfast followed by tea and sandwiches.
4. Free Places You Can Visit
Who doesn’t like free stuff and when it is free in London! I think you must visit these places. British Museum, famous for the Rosetta Stone. It is a key to understand Egyptian hieroglyphs- ancient script. St Paul Cathedral, you will be amazed to see the view of central London from there. Interested in the gothic theme visit Westminster Abbey. Tower of London to see the ancient ceremony performing from the past 700 years. Interested in theatre and drama then you must visit Theatre Royal Stratford East.
5. Following the Left and Right Rule When On the Escalator
Can’t walk much and wanted to take escalator? Then you must know the left and right rule which is strictly followed in London. So, this rule focuses on the stand on the right and walks on the left thing. When you want the machine to do the walking than standing on the right side will be the best option or if you are in a hurry and still choose to be on an escalator then walking through the left side will be the option for you. It comes under the escalator etiquettes.
6. Book In Advance
This book in advance thing can be very helpful while visiting London as you don’t want to spend extra bucks just in one place or you can book in advance for the same place with less cost. Starting with accommodation that you can get with a cost-benefit value. Love Harry Potter and wanted to visit Hogwarts? Then you should book in advance the Harry Potter studio tour, the sky garden and musical plays and ceremony on the keys to the Tower of London. These are some things you must book in advance and don’t wanted to miss out on seeing all the amazing things.
7. Don’t Jump a Queue
Okay so jumping a queue is bad in every country but if you do that in London there will be strict consequences. Especially it is illegal to jump a queue at the London transport ticket machine. You have to join the queue from the back where the queue has been started and cannot break in between no matter how many people are standing. This comes under the London transportation law. No matter what will be your excuse, if you broke the queue you will be fine up to £1000.
8. Clothing Essentials- Avoid Looking Like a Tourist
Try not to look like a fashion model while travelling to London. People in London usually dress up casual and not so formal even the working sector people try to be as casual as possible. Don’t wear I love London t-shirts unless you want to spot out as a tourist or visitor. You can wear black as black, it’s a common and neutral colour in London. Try not to be too fancy and sparkly and always be prepared for the change in weather so always carry something extra as suitable by the London weather. Always carry a backpack for the essentials. Be as casual as possible so you can blend it with the Londoners.
9. No Table Service in Pub
In London, whoever is above 18 of age can buy an alcoholic drink. They call ‘Soft Drink’ for non-alcoholic drinks. As a rule, they have a challenge 21 or challenge 25 things in which if someone looks suspicious that he or she is under 21then they have to prove that they are above 18 years of age. Waiters don’t come up to you while you are sitting. You have to go to the bar counter for the drinks and don’t wave or whistle as the servers will assume that you are breaking the virtual queue and they will just ignore you. A virtual queue is an observation they are doing with the people and seeing that if everyone is served or not. Payment of every drink is made when you order something and when you are done ordering just step aside for other people to order.
10. Safe Travel
Okay so, travelling is amazing especially in London but keeping oneself and our loved one’s safety is a must no matter which country you are visiting but here we are talking about London so these are the tips you should keep in mind.
- Call 999 or 112 to contact the police, ambulance, and fire department.
- Don’t leave your belongings anywhere unattended as it makes creating a panic attack among other tourists and if you see any unattended object then inform the local staff or police.
- Only use taxes and cabs which are registered and cars drive on the left side in London so be safe while crossing the road. Don’t take drinks from strangers and many restaurants/bars offer clips under the table so use it to secure the belonging while you are in the restaurants/bars.
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Khushboo Masih, a contributor at The Strong Traveller, is a student of Business Administration, possesses creativity and passion for writing which finally landed her on The Strong Traveller. Apart from that she is quite optimistic and efficient at work, never stops learning and achieving her dreams. Writing is her hobby and she truly believes that one should never ignore the creativity of oneself.