Learning as you go is one of the best parts of travel. But sometimes, it sucks to make silly and cliché tourist mistakes.
While London feels less intimidating than other hotspot destinations—especially to Americans—it is important to remember that London is still in a foreign country and there are different customs and norms that you should be aware of.
The last thing you want to do is embarrass yourself while traveling. And we don’t want you to endure that, especially when there are some really simple ways to avoid the common mistakes tourists make. That way you can arrive in London and feel right at home and instead focus on having an epic time!
So to help you prepare for your next trip to London, we have rounded up the top five mistakes people make and how you can avoid making them yourself while in the heart of the United Kingdom.
Mistake #1: Trying to See it All
London is an enormous city. So, while looking at a map it may seem feasible to conquer it all, the reality is you can’t. Rather than exhaust yourself running around the city all holiday long and not getting to really immerse yourself in an experience, we recommend picking and choosing the key experiences you want to have and plotting them out on a map. You will also want to pre-book your experiences online so that you don’t have to spend all day waiting in line.
A great hack to really maximize your time in London is to also make the most of the luggage storage London services, which are conveniently located near all the major transportation stations. That way, you can organize your itinerary so that you can squeeze in some last-minute experiences before catching the train out of London without having to lug your suitcases around.
So when you visit London, make sure to focus on quality experiences over quality. Even if you live in London, it can take years to experience it all.
Mistake #2: Explore the Surrounding Region
While the city of London itself has so much to offer and is full of diversity, the outskirts regions of London are just as incredible too. Many people miss out on seeing the countryside of London and all the history and charm there is to discover there. So when you visit London, give yourself at least one day to take a day trip to the likes of Cambridge, Bath or Oxford. We promise you it is totally worth it and will certainly be a highlight of your trip.
Mistake #3: Pack for All Weather
While London on a sunny day is hard to beat, it is also extremely rare. Regardless of whether you are visiting in the summer or winter, don’t assume that you will get great weather. In fact, arrive prepared for any type of weather to happen—especially the rain. One of the most important items to pack for your trip to London is an umbrella. It is likely you will need it for at least some part of every day you are there.
Mistake #4: Choose a Vacation Rental Over a Hotel
While there are some incredibly luxurious hotels in London, they won’t give you the true local London experience. In fact, most of the hotels in London are extremely overpriced for what you get. So instead, get more value for your money and stay at a vacation rental or apartment in the city. You will not only get to stay in a local area but experience how true Londoners live. It is one of the best parts about experiencing London and will also allow you to make some home-cooked meals after a trip to the most incredible artisan markets. L
Mistake #5: Take the Bus Over a Cab
While traveling in the iconic black cabs is a bucket list experience for many, you won’t want to simply rely on those for transportation your entire trip. Instead, take the double-decker busses around the city. As a tourist, you can get a hop-on-hop off a pass that lets you get to all the top sites in the city without continually having to re-purchase a bus ticket each time. But make sure you hold on while on the bus, as bus drivers in London are notorious for going fast and making it an entertaining ride.
So the next time you are in London, keep these five mistakes in mind. And know that with a bit of pre-planning, you don’t have to make the common mistakes that so many others do.