This last November I traveled to London, England with a married couple and there two children. The trip went very well thanks to a few little things we made sure to do and NOT to do..
- DON’T ANNOUNCE THAT YOU’RE AMERICAN! Everybody probably already knows, and advertising the fact to waiters, bartenders, locals, etc. just adds to the notion that Americans are loud and obnoxious.
- WEAR DARK CLOTHES! If you don’t want to be immediately pegged as an American (which you don’t) it is important to dress similar to the people around you. When I was there in November, I wore a pair of Khaki pants and boy did I stick out like a sore thumb. When I say I was the only person wearing anything colored Khaki! Honestly, I was the only one! But seriously, if your going in the winter, don’t pack your wool coat if it is white, and please don’t bring any shirts that are yellow or purple! You’ll be the only one!
- BUY AN OYSTER CARD! When you first arrive at the airport, find that window that looks like it is for tourists, or just ask anyone who looks official where to buy an oyster card. I promise you this will be the most economically smart decision you make on your trip. An oyster card is something you pre-pay for, but it allows you unlimited use of London’s Underground (subway rail), the cheapest and most convenient way to get around London HANDS DOWN! Taking cabs around London can be expensive (everything;s expensive- ITS EUROPE), and paying for every trip on the Underground will add up quickly…get the OYSTER CARD 🙂
- LOOK BOTH WAYS WHEN CROSSING THE STREET! Sounds pretty basic and easy, but I did write this for a reason. When we first arrived at the hotel, we decided we were hungry and went “wandering” to find a place to eat. Still jet lagged and very tired, one of my travel companions looked the wrong way before she crossed the street and almost was killed by a car (seriously) and then looked the wrong way again from the middle of the road and would’ve gotten hit by another car if it hadn’t had the brakes of a BMW.
- GO UP IN THE MILLENNIUM EYE! This was pretty much the highlight of the trip! The millennium eye is the worlds largest Ferris wheel (basically). From the top of the eye, you will be able to see about 80% of all the awesome monuments in London, and the view of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben is unparalleled. The eye only cost around 40 euros but it is totally worth it.
P.S. The guard at Buckingham Palace that everybody thinks you can mess with and make faces at and stuff like that, well that’s just not true, the only thing you are ALLOWED to do, is stand next to him and take a picture.