London is a great destination for families. There are lots of fun attractions to see, places to visit, and some amazing nightlife. Travelling with kids, however, is often fraught with difficulties, not least because of the issues associated with public transport or driving through central London. So if you have a trip to London planned this year, here are a few tips to ensure everyone has a fantastic time.
Choose a Family Friendly Hotel
Hotels in the capital can be expensive. The closer you are to the main attractions such as Covent Garden, the more you can expect to pay for a 3* or 4* hotel room. There are bargains to be had if you book last minute, but with a family to accommodate, this probably won’t be an option.
Luckily though there are alternatives. There are some excellent London secret hotel deals, you may not know exactly where you’re staying but you can be sure that it’s a high quality hotel. Private accommodation is also becoming increasingly popular, even for families with your children.
Another alternative is to look at hotels outside of central London. You will need to travel into the centre via train and tube, but the money you save on hotel rooms will cancel out the extra cost of public transport. It also means you can take your car and leave it at the hotel for the duration of the trip, without worrying about the cost of London parking.
Plan Your Itinerary
It’s a good idea to have an itinerary planned before you travel. Discuss it with the kids to find out what they want to see. No doubt everyone will have a different idea of what’s fun and interesting, so try and include one ‘must-see’ attraction for every member of the family on your list. Once you have an itinerary, go online to see if there are any discount codes or special entry deals to reduce the cost. Nectar points, Tesco Clubcard Points etc can all help to cut the cost of family tickets!
Look at Travel Options
Tubes and buses are the easiest way to get around central London, although there is no reason why you can’t walk if you are feeling energetic and your baby is strapped into a buggy. Buy travel passes to cut down on the cost of transport; you can purchase these online in advance.
Kids like to eat and drink regularly. Thankfully there are hundreds of places to eat in and around London. To make it easier, however, download a restaurant app on to your smartphone, so you can see what eateries are in your vicinity wherever you happen to be.
Sticking to an itinerary like glue is useful if you don’t have a lot of time available, but try and be flexible to take into account bad weather or a sick child. So if you had a trip to London Zoo planned, but the weather is awful, go to the Natural History Museum instead and see the zoo tomorrow.
Plan Some Downtime
Trips to London can be a bit full-on, so be sure to plan a bit of downtime. Relaxing in a hotel room with a DVD is sometimes necessary to restore energy levels.
Now you have a good idea of what the pitfalls are it’s time to plan your next family trip to London!