When travel kicks up again, things are going to look different! Don’t worry, Big Ben will still be there (however, we do hope that the scaffolding will come down soon), but countries, airlines, hotels etc. will have specific protocols that we, as travellers, will need to be up to date on when travelling. However, some things will never change – here are 5 things that will always be a good idea to travel with and book in advance when going to London.
Travel Card / Oyster Card
1. Travel Card / Oyster Card: These cards are worth it – what better way to get around London! Your planned length of stay in London will determine what card is best for you. If you are doing a few stopovers in London best to purchase the Oyster Card (the Oyster is primarily for Londoners and those visiting on non-consecutive days.) If you are staying in London any longer than 4 days at any given time, best to pick up the Visitor Travel Card – the 7day card has the best value as they are valid for travel at any time, including peak periods and no picture I.D. is required. (NOTE: Children: Children under 5 travel free on all services. Children under 11 travel free, after 9.30am, on the underground system and the DLR (Dockland Light Railway) when accompanied by an adult with a valid Travel Card).
Hop on / Hop off City Tour
2. Enjoy 24 or 48 hours of continuous touring on 6 different routes on a Hop-on/Hop-off City tour, plus a bonus of free walking tours and a river cruise! Explore London at your own pace and height! Get out from the underground and get a good view from above in the big red bus – what better way to see the city! London has so many great, walkable neighbourhoods that are right around the corner from each other – but you’d never know it if you stayed underground!
London Pass vs London Explorer Pass
3. You can’t go to London and not see some of the fantastic attractions. Whether you are the type of person to visit Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kew Gardens or Kensington Gardens, passes are an excellent value for a traveler if you plan on visiting more than 1 or 2 attractions. The London Pass offers free, front-of-the-line entry to over 60 London attractions, along with a free 160- page guidebook and other special offers. Travellers will want to take note that the London Pass must be used on consecutive days – so visit as many as you can over 3, 4 or 6 days! Or, if you are looking at only visiting a few sites over various days during your trip, then the London Explorer Pass will save time and money with this multi-attraction sightseeing card for your choice of 3, 4 or 5 attractions, on non-consecutive days.
4. Airport Transfers – take them if you can! Landing at 7am is not pretty when you haven’t slept much on the flight over or when your travelling companion doesn’t know what way is up. Yes, the tube goes out to Heathrow and Gatwick has train connections to Victoria, but nothing says, “Welcome to London” better than a driver holding a sign with your name, on it! The cost isn’t as much as you think, for around $80/pp CAD for a car for 2 can take you from Heathrow to your central London hotel – yes please I’m in! 5. A Day tour out of London. There is so much to see just outside of the city: Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, or Highclere Castle to see some of the filming locations of Downton Abbey, or maybe you want to travel to the scholarly town of Oxford or Regency/Roman Bath. You could get yourself on a train to see the country (rail passes available) but, whatever is of interest to you, guided day tours by motorcoach are a great way to see the sites with an informed guide, so you can relax and enjoy and not have your head in a travel guide book.
When travelling to London there are so many tips that we would love to share with you – but hope this small snipit helps. If you are looking for more information or want to book some of these tickets, you know where to go …. DHTOUR.