If you are looking to plan a trip to London with family soon, it can seem overwhelming with all the things you want to see and do.
You’re ready to book those tickets to London and are shopping around for the most reasonable prices. Before you start throwing clothing in suitcases and telling the kids the exciting news, spend a few moments reading our tips for planning a trip to London with family. There’s no end to the kid-friendly fun, but you need to prepare for some elements of a trip to London with family.
Prepare for the Weather on Your Trip to London with Family
London receives approximately 23 inches of precipitation annually, on average. That may not sound like much, considering that New York and other cities in the United States can easily receive more than 50 inches per year. The problem is that there is no true rainy season. The moisture is spread throughout the year, so you’re likely to experience a downpour or two regardless of the season.
When visiting London with kids, preparing for the wet days is critical. Start by reserving a few rainy-day activities so that the little ones are entertained indoors when the raindrops start falling on your trip to London with family. Selecting a hotel close to museums and other sheltered attractions is a good way to prepare.
Follow that up with careful packing. Make sure you bring lightweight jackets or windbreakers, comfortable waterproof shoes, and hooded sweatshirts or hats. If you’re traveling in the fall or spring, you may also need gloves and heavier jackets. In the winter, definitely pack the coats.
Visit the London Eye First
What better way to start a trip than to see a sweeping view of the destination from above? You can do just that by taking your kids to the London Eye on your first or second day. You will have the opportunity to point out some of the attractions you plan to visit, explaining why they’re important and where they are so that your kids have a point of reference when you visit on ground.
Include Rest Stops in Your Itinerary
If you prefer to plan out your vacation days, make sure to include periods of rest. There’s a lot to see in London, and it’s easy to get caught up walking from one destination to another with lots of discoveries in between.
The problem is that children can quickly become tired and overwhelmed when they’re on their feet for long periods of time. That’s especially true if you visit during the warmer summer months.
One way to work in rest breaks is to ride the “tube.” It’s a subway that you can take to destinations around central London and even to some more distant attractions. Many kids enjoy going underground for transportation, and rides are always free for kids under 11. Kids between 11 and 15 receive discounted rates, making London Underground the cheapest way to travel with kids.
You can also break your day up with long meals, visits to the cinema, or even a relaxing picnic in one of London’s many family-friendly parks. Even people-watching on the street can give the little ones time to unwind.
Take Some Time for Romance on Your Trip to London with Family
Who says your family vacation must center entirely on the kids? London is an incredibly romantic city, and couples should spend at least one long evening out on the town. If you don’t like the idea of leaving your kids at night in a strange place, there are many opportunities for romance in the afternoon or early morning as well.
The simplest way to get away for a little couple time is to select a London hotel with childcare. Some of the best hotels will provide a safe, background-checked babysitter while you slip out for a little alone time. You can also use websites like Care.com to find trustworthy sitters wherever you happen to land in London.
If you aren’t traveling with a significant other, you can switch romance for a little alone time. Walking through museums or grabbing a bite to eat without the distraction of the little ones will allow you to recharge your batteries and prepare for the rest of your London vacation.
Travel in August for Kid’s Week
London is a hot spot for live shows, and you can score free tickets for your trip to London with family if you visit London in August. Every year, theatres throughout the city allow parents to buy one free ticket for a kid under the age of 16. For every adult ticket you purchase, you can order one free kid’s ticket and up to two additional kid’s tickets at half price.
You should plan ahead for your trip to London with family if you want to take advantage of this deal. Shows participating in the deal are often revealed in the summer, and tickets go on sale soon after. They go fast, so grab yours online if you plan on traveling in August.
Don’t Book Accommodations Last Minute
When you first start looking for hotel rooms large enough to accommodate a family of four or five, you’re likely to panic from sticker shock with your trip to London with family. Prices can go above $500 a night, and some of those rooms aren’t large enough to sleep more than three people.
There are hotels that offer adequate space for a family of four or five. If you shop around and give yourself enough time, you’re likely to find one offering a special that saves you a bit of cash. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to score a deal.
As with most family trips abroad, it pays to plan ahead when taking your kids to London.
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