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10 Quick Tips for Traveling in London

"London, England" by Tim Morris
[Image via Fickr “London, England” by Tim Morris]

London is so entrancing and enthralling, it’s hard to to stare open-mouthed as locals try and make their way through the city. I imagine tripping over tourists can grow rather tiresome. But it is my (perhaps misguided) belief that the British on the more tolerant side of the spectrum.

To make your travels abroad a bit easier for yourself, and those lovely Brits, try to use some of these tips

1. The tube seems to be the breeding ground for issues. There are several rules you follow:

  • Those on the tube get off before you get on. (Common sense.)
  • Don’t hold the doors open to let your crew on. (This delays the train.)
  • Bags stay in your hands, never on a seat. (More common sense.)

2. On the escalators, there is a passing lane and walking lane. If you stand on the left…you will be run over and trampled with a few delightfully vulgar terms being tossed around. Right Lane- Stand, Left Lane – Walking.

3. Don’t underestimate how vast and confusing the streets of London is. So, if (or when) you get lost, ask someone working in a shop or other outlet. They are being paid, while other locals walking about are usually trying to get somewhere and don’t want to stop and help you locate Marylebone.

4. If the pub is closing…so are the tubes.

5. No one wants to hear what you are listening to on your iPod. (That is actually something I wish everyone would realize.) Being loud or boisterous is not appreciated.

6. Take a black cab and avoid the minicab. You are likely to get a fair/cheaper ride that gets you where you need to be faster.

7. Embrace those touristy boat rides and double-decker bus tours. Traffic can be a pain and using the tube during rush hour is never a good idea. They will take the stress out of trying to navigate the city.

8. Soho is fun, but becomes a pinnacle of noise and, well, brothels at night.

9. Don’t scoff at the prices. It’s annoying and rude. Just come to grips with the fact that you will be paying at least 10£ (about $16) for a burger.

10. Leicester Square…while it is a must-see mecca for some, it can also be a nightmare.