Monday, 18 June 2012

Visiting London during the summer? Be prepared!

London things to do
(Photo courtesy of neate photos on Flickr)
London is gearing up for a busy few months.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations took place early this month as millions took to the streets and this four-day festival of events will now be followed by the 2012 Olympics in July and August as well as the Paralympics in late August and early September.
Add in the usual influx of seasonal tourists and it’s clearly going to be an eventful summer with millions of people keen to get involved and be part of it all.
If you are thinking of organising a trip to London over the next few months of already have done then here are a few things to consider so you’re properly prepared.
London’s entertainment scene is always a popular lure for visitors keen to watch current West End shows or attend a music or comedy gig. And this summer there’s certainly plenty going on!
A quick word of warning for anyone that wants to see the best West End shows or go to the more high-profile events – book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Demand for tickets is always high in peak tourist times so secure your tickets early and even save yourself a few quid with the West End show offers available. Don’t run the risk of turning up ticketless when you can save time and money sorting it all out online.
Getting around
The excellent transport network in London will be busier than usual this summer, so allow extra time to make journeys around the city.
Print off one of the many free street maps available online – like this one – to help you get about more easily and so you don’t need to buy one. Bonus. It may also be useful to download a free smartphone Tube map app so you can negotiate your way quickly and easily around the Underground.
Speaking of the Tube, assess whether getting an Oyster Card is a good idea financially depending on how long you plan on being in London. It may work out cheaper to get one rather than buy a day pass every day. Hiring a bike is also a different way of seeing the city – weather permitting, of course.
Are you a foody? Research is the key if so because there’s definitely no shortage of places to eat in London, no matter what your budget.
Most well-known chain restaurants are likely to have online offers and money-off vouchers so print off a few before arriving in the city. Even if you don’t end up using them and dine elsewhere, stick a couple in your rucksack just in case.
Show common sense and your stay in London should (hopefully!) be incident free, but it’s important be security conscious.
Don’t leave any bags unattended, be wary of pickpockets in crowded areas, leave expensive items such as jewellery at home, avoid carrying around large amounts of cash, never get in an unlicensed taxi and try to blend into your surroundings a little.
Enjoy London!

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