If your goal is to create the perfect London family itinerary, follow these steps to plan the perfect family vacation with kids.
You know planning is essential to a successful family vacation in London. What you may not know is how to create an itinerary that will keep every member of your family entertained, relaxed, and excited. There are more attractions and places of interest than you can possibly see in a week or even two weeks, so you need a system that helps you choose the best options and then put them into a schedule that makes the most of time.
The following seven steps will hep you do just that. Spend as much time as needed on each step, but keep in mind that you’ll get the best deals when you plan and book your trip well in advance. Don’t leave the official arrangements to the last minute.
1. Spend some time exploring.
If you haven’t been to London before and don’t already know what you want to see and do, start by exploring online. Talk to trusted friends and family members who have visited in the past if you know anyone with that expertise.
You can include your children in this London family itinerary planning process. Talk to them about some of the attractions and points of interest that you think they may enjoy. Show them pictures or find videos of those experiences online. Pay attention to their reactions, noting attractions that will entertain the full family.
You should come away from this process with a list of must-see attractions and things you definitely want to include in the itinerary. You may also have a list of “maybes” that you can include if you have time.
2. Determine your budget.
How much can you afford to spend on the full trip? You may set a target budget that represents the amount you would like to spend plus a maximum budget that represents the absolute limit for the full trip.
From there, get quotes online for airfare and subtract that from your budget to see what you have left. This is an important step because your budget determines how much you can spend on attractions, food, and other expenses. That budget impacts what goes on your London family itinerary.
If you can book round-trip tickets now, that will solidify your travel dates so that the itinerary you set is more precise. Travel insurance is a good idea if you’re booking in advance and want to make sure you don’t lose money if something unexpected occurs along the way.
3. Decide where you will stay and what form of transportation you will use.
Where you stay in London will determine how much time you spend traveling to attractions and what form of travel you’re most likely to take. You have two basic options:
What you do on each day of your trip and how much of your time is spent transporting will depend on where you stay, so make this decision as soon as possible.
You may get the best deal if you book well in advance of your trip. Knowing exactly where you will stay also helps set your London family itinerary.
4. List the neighborhoods you want to visit along with must-see attractions within each.
Looking at all of the attractions and points of interest in London can easily overwhelm. It helps to narrow your trip down to a list of neighborhoods and the must-see attractions within each. You can explore certain neighborhoods each day of the trip, moving to a new area on schedule.
Make sure to list availability restrictions for your must-see attractions. If some activities or destinations are only open certain days or during certain hours, you will need to plan around that on your London family itinerary. Those activities can become anchors that you plan around.
5. Buy tickets in advance if possible.
Some London attractions sell out months in advance. Many now allow you to buy tickets online, securing your spot on the days you want to attend. It’s a good idea to do that for the attractions and events you definitely want to see. Those are the first additions to your London family itinerary and they should give you an idea of how much budget is left for other points of interest.
6. Play with an online London trip planner
Online London trip planners allow you to explore attractions based on your travel dates. Put in the dates to see what attractions and places of interest are available, using it to fine tune your itinerary. You may discover some new options this way.
7. Finalize your itinerary.
It’s time to put your itinerary in place while keeping an open mind to changes. Make sure to leave some cushion for delays and to schedule in breaks throughout each day. Pay attention to how much time you will spend on your feet because there are tours and other activities that will allow you to rest your feet as needed.
Don’t try to work through these steps in a single day unless you already have significant knowledge of London. You don’t want to get caught up exploring places of interest for weeks or months, but you also don’t want to rush through trip planning and miss out on some of the best attractions. Happy planning!