London is a beautiful capital city in England’s south-east with culture, history, architecture, nightlife and industry all within one bustling area. For long-term travellers, there’s more than enough to keep you interested.
Prepare and Plan
Long-term travel can be entirely romanticised when it appears spontaneous – but one of the best things you can do before travelling to London is to prepare. Travel site Indie Traveller stresses that long term travel can be difficult and exhausting – made even more so when you’re not prepared for the issues that can come with international travel. Before you leave, plan where you’ll stay when you arrive and how you’ll get around the city. If possible, set up a part-time job to earn some money when you’re worried about your finances. Being prepared might seem fussy and restrictive, but it could help your travels run a lot smoother once you’ve touched down in London.
Research What You Want to See
London is a big, sprawling city, with plenty of boroughs that move into the surrounding counties. There’s so much to see, so much to experience and plenty of places to visit and get to know that you want to do your research and plan how to see it all during your long-term visit. For the first-timers, working from the city centre – Westminster, Kensington and the City – outwards ensure you see the most popular sights. For the more experienced traveller, start from the outer boroughs that are less well known to international travellers.
Invest in Storage Space
If you’re planning a long-term stay in the capital, it’s likely you might be hopping from place to place across the city. Whether you’ve got a few weeks in an Airbnb, a hostel or hotel or are even renting an apartment for a little while, it’s likely you’re going to have to keep your suitcases light. So, if there are things you want to keep for when you leave or if you want a safe, secure space to store your things, exploring self-storage options could be your saving grace.
Get Familiar With the Tube
London is not built like an ordinary city. In fact, the city became a city when lots of smaller villages joined together under one name, forming London as we know it today. Because of that, the Tube – the public underground train system – can be incredibly overwhelming and complex to a first-timer. Make sure you invest in an Oyster Card (or have a contactless debit card to use instead) and a Tube map. Before you make your first couple of journeys, plan out how you’ll get to your destination – which lines you have to take and where you might have to change. Once you’ve done it a few times, the tube will be as easy to operate as if you were a native Londoner.