London is one of the most appealing cities in the world. The city offers a wide range of attractions including architectural aesthetics, splendid natural landscapes, breathtaking museums, and whatnot. Unlike most other cities, it is easy and comfortable to explore the capital city of England with your kids. Note that kids under 5 years of age can travel on any London public transportation system for free. Plus, most of the stations and streets in the city are buggy friendly. Most importantly, breastfeeding in public is legal and widely accepted in the English capital city.
Furthermore, Londoners are very cautious and particular when it comes to following the rules. In other words, it can be said the city runs on rules. While this comes as the second nature to the locals, following the rules here will be challenging for a foreigner and might take some time to understand and adapt to this protocol. So, if you are planning your private London tours for the first time, it is better to refer to the following points and act accordingly as you travel around the city.
Avoid Traveling in Tubes during the Peak Hours
The rush hours in London when it comes to tube trains are from 07:30 to 09:30 am and from 05:00 to 07:00 pm. It is recommended to avoid traveling during this time window, particularly if you have a lot of luggage. Note that the stations will be extremely congested and the locals will be rushing to their home from work and vice Versa. So, blocking their way with your luggage may make them furious and can expect some unfriendly stares from your co-passengers.
Plus, you are likely to be swept up in the crowd and it will be hard to balance with luggage in hand. Besides, the train fares tend to spike up during these golden hours. However, you will understand the ‘no eye contact’ policy of locals if you happen to be in the station at this time. You are likely to be amazed to see how nicely Londoners will avoid eye contact despite the incredible physical proximity.
Stand on the Left Side of the Elevator
This is the most important rule that almost every Londoner practices. Never stand on the left side of the escalator at underground train stations no matter your circumstances. On a related note, this area is dedicated for walking. As mentioned earlier, locals here tend to lead a busy life and will be rushing up and down.
Standing on the left side of the escalator may create traffic or block their way. This action will soon single you out and you may experience some disapproving tuts and hatred on your private London tours. So, always use the right side of the escalator for standing and left side for walking.
Purchase Travel Cards or One-Way Tickets
Without any doubts, most travelers may opt to buy travel cards to trim down their overall sightseeing expenses as well as transportation costs. However, buying an Oyster card will be the best option that you may consider to get the best bang for your bucks as well as easily fit in with the locals. This card features daily price caps and ‘pay as you go’ facilities.
Note that Oyster cards are much affordable than most other travel cards. You can also consider the contactless payment card as well at the same price. Anyhow, this type of cards will be always better than a single one-way ticket. Opt for the latter option only if you wish to pay double your ticket fare.
One of the major attractions in London is the happening nightlife here. The city is crammed with numerous dance bars, pubs, discotheques, etc. In other words, you can see at least one pub in every corner or street in the city. In fact, pubs can be defined as the center of social life in the United Kingdom.
If you yearn to experience the London life to the fullest, make sure to join the after-work locals and ‘get a round in’ for your team as the Londoners usually say. When you order beverages, make sure to specify larger or the ale you would like to have rather than just saying beer. Besides, tipping is not expected in most London nightclubs.
Falling for Expensive Tourist Traps
Like any other hottest tourist destinations, there is a pool of tourist traps in London as well, particularly the expensive ones. Most travelers who are on the maiden London trip are likely to fall for it as well. However, always keep in mind that it is not necessary to break your bank to travel around London. You can make your trip cost-effective by skipping the expensive and clichéd city attractions like the London Dungeons, Madame Tussauds, etc. Rather, consider the less popular or underrated options, especially the unrivaled collection of art galleries and museums in the city that can be ventured for free of cost.
Be amazed by the popular artworks of the veterans like Da Vinci, Van Gogh, etc. Plus, you can contemplate on the centuries-old skeletons of dinosaurs and other rare and antique collection without paying a penny. You can also consider alternatives to the popular London attractions to make your private London tours even more affordable. For instance, you may go to the Sky Garden to behold a spectacular panorama of the city rather than purchasing expensive London Eye tickets.