Next weekend we are visiting London for three days as a family of five…am I mad?! Yes I am but I’ve wanted to take the children to our capital for a long time now, and I now feel the time is right. Going away with children can be a daunting and a stressful process – from getting the packing done, making sure everyone is happy and entertained, and not forgetting the lack of relaxation (sorry kids!) But with some helpful preparation, I am hoping our family trip to London will be a smooth one, and there will be no tears!! Wish me luck!
London isn’t just about restaurants and shopping (although that sounds lovely!) It’s a melting pot of activities. There is so much to see and do that is suitable for all ages – theatre productions, museums, tours – it can be pretty overwhelming and difficult to know where to start.
Below are some tips I’ve drawn up for our own trip which I hope find use to someone else.
How to get there
- We’ve decided to drive as we have a 13 month old (as well as B who’s 7 and W who is 4) so travelling via train would not have been fun! This way we can pack what we want without worrying about carrying it to and from stations too.
- As we are driving, we need to consider congestion charges – this is free Saturday and Sunday but we will need to pay for the Monday. The daily charge is £11.50 if driving between the hours of 7am – 6pm.
- If travelling by train, the central stations are Marylebone and Euston. If travelling off-peak, you can get train tickets super cheap!
Where to Stay for your family trip to London
- Research central hotels to help ease the stress of getting from one destination to the next. Although it can be a little pricer, it will mean you are more central to where you want to go. Having somewhere more central will mean you can pop back to your hotel in-between visiting attractions if needs be.
- Think about what hotels are offering discounts. Some London Hotels have huge savings when booking with the likes of Groupon.
- Consider premier/travel inns. We’ve decided on a central Premier Inn located near Tower Bridge.
- When thinking about your family trip to London, think about what areas of London you know already and where you feel comfortable staying area wise. London is huge and can be overwhelming so when travelling with children, try to make it a little less so by visiting an area you know.
- Book in advance! We booked several months in advance and sometimes, hotels offer a cheaper deal if you book and pay immediately rather than wait until your arrival.
Think about how you are going to get around London Town
- Consider getting an oyster card if you wish to travel by tube. Or whats even easier is you can pay by contactless.
- With three children, I know it’s not going to be the simplest. However, with two children in a push chair, we’ve decided to only take one pushchair (we don’t have a double) and hire a baby carrier for Baby K. This will mean we are not lugging around two pushchairs and have a set of free hands.
Consider what attractions you’d like to visit
- London attractions can get extremely busy. So plan ahead for your family trip to London and think about where you’d like to visit, especially if this is over a weekend or a bank holiday.
- Check out the local discount apps such as Groupon and Wowcher to see what attractions are on offer
- You can save if you pre-book. London Zoo offer a discounted rate if you pre-book. This goes for many attractions such as the London Eye, Shrek Adventure and Madame Tussaud’s.
Where to eat
- Theres such fun places eat in London that is totally kid friendly. We’ve decided to pre-book The Rain Forest Cafe and Bubba Gump Shrimp. There is also places like Spaghetti House, Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood.
- We will be taking lots of SNACKS for the kids very similar to what we did for Disney Land Paris. This will keep the kids entertained whilst walking around and will save us buying expensive snacks!
I hope these tips on our forthcoming family trip to London have been of some use – watch this space for our upcoming trip!