With a little research, a thrilling, culturally rich getaway to London can be a reality for you and your family. But where to your start with the planning process? Here’s a few basic tips to get you started in organizing a great family trip to this vibrant city.
Prep for the Plane
London will have countless stimuli to keep the kids entertained and busy. But the plane ride that so many families dread can sometimes be the biggest hurdle. Have adequate activities, snacks, and distractions to handle a long haul flight.
Take Advantage of Family Events
London is famous for a myriad of free and fun happenings year-round that welcome families. Certain festivals can be a blast for kiddos, as well as events held at attractions like the Tower of London, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, and the aquarium. Make plans in advance as these spots can fill up quickly.
Know the Differences
Although London has a similar feel to the way things work in the U.S., there are a few key things to know to help make the trip run smoothly. If bringing your own electronics, consider investing in some converters for the different sized outlets. Exchange some currency ahead of time to show the little ones the new coins and notes. Taxis, a subway system, and cars can all be used regularly in the city, but the subway, or Tube, is most popular. Speaking of cars, people in England drive on the opposite side of the road which can take some time getting used to when reserving a rental.
Do Research on Accommodation
Hotels in London can be a maze of possibilities. Choose first what will work best for your situation, like a vacation home rental, cozy B&B or a larger chain where you can rack up loyalty points. Then pair down the neighborhoods for price and location. Families can focus on perks such as included breakfast, being near a subway line, or even childcare services.
Have a Fun Language Lesson
The kids are going to love all the ‘funny’ way people in London say certain things. To avoid some finger pointing or on the fly questions, go over a few ways American English and British English can be different. For instance, Londoners call a truck a ‘lorry’, cookies are ‘biscuits’, and people often say ‘cheers’ meaning thank you.
Share Other Traveler Stories
Kids will love knowing other kids just like them have done some traveling too. Plenty of other children young and old have shared their ideas and thoughts about what their favorite things are to do in London in books and online. Check out real stories written by other kids in our Globetrotter section, including this real experience from 13-year-old Katanna.
Leave Room for Spontaneity
When undergoing a big family adventure across the pond, it can be tempting to plan every moment to make the trip perfect. But London’s wonderful surprises are what can make time spent in the city magical. Wander into a restaurant unplanned, see a show that catches your eye or bring the kids to a museum you stumble on.
Let us know if we can help in achieving your travel goals, we love to offer personal tips and advice – ask away. This post was created in partnership with the #HipmunkCityLove project. All opinions are our own and we only promote destinations we’ve experienced first hand (unless it’s on our bucket list!)