If you are a true adventurer at heart, you will want to plan and organize yourself the family trip to London you are thinking of. If you do not have time or do not know how to use the mouse and go online, then you will have to rely on your travel agent. Unfortunately, in such case your choices will be limited to what the agent will arrange for you. He or she may give you some brochures or can give you some London travel tips, especially if they went to London themselves.
But you and your family members will have much more fun if you try to prepare DIY vacations in London. In most cases it will cost you less and you will have double the fun – both during the preparations for the trip and when you actually get there.
It is important that you involve in planning and preparations all members of the family that will go with you – especially the teenagers! They will feel important, they may provide you with interesting input and the whole planning task will be a very useful educational job for them.
Most importantly, you will know what the expectations are learning about them will help avoid future disappointments and quarrels when you come to London. Such as about where to go and how to get there – e.g., going to one more museum or to do window shopping at Stella McCartney’s store, or whether to have a family meal at a pub or an ethnic eatery. Or other strategic issues, such as when to wake up, when leave the hotel and when to go to bed. It’s good to agree on that ahead of time and even put that in writing.
You should start the trip planning process by having a family meeting. Do brain storming to find out what the expectations about the trip are. Put in writing all of the ideas for the best London trip you would like to have. Start a London trip planning binder or folder and bring it to that meeting. You may already have some pictures and articles downloaded from the Internet and brochures from local travel agents.
By the way, I guarantee you that in the future you will appreciate having your stuff neatly gathered in that binder. It will be convenient and time saving and you will have quick and easy access to everything related to your London trip. You may even take the whole folder or at least part of it with you – to London.
Now, another smart move is to split the planning and research between family members – e.g., somebody works on finding the best airfare and accommodation, the other person plans the sightseeing itinerary and another one (if applicable) works on moving around the city and finding best shopping and dining. By doing that you will get everybody involved and excited during much longer period than the week you will be spending in London.
What is the best way to conduct your online research to prepare your London trip? Most of the people would go to Google and rely on that most popular search engine. It is true that you can be just fine by using it and its other popular products – like Google Earth. Some people say they do not have to travel to the UK; they can visit every corner of London with the powerful Google Earth program! Another excellent Google product you will find useful is Google pictures – it will help you easily recognize the London landmarks when you land there.
But I would like to suggest that you also use another search engine for your London trip research and planning. It is called Clusty – [http://clusty.com] – and it uses clusters – a bit different technology and presentation of search results. I found it very useful and convenient and use it a lot.
While doing your online research, use a methodical approach – create a folder in your Favorites, you can call it “London Trip” or something like that. Divide it into a number of sub-folders (e.g., Flights, Hotels, Museums, Castles, Entertainment, Dining, etc.) and save your most interesting findings accordingly.
The other good idea is to print the most important things and keep them in the trip folder for easy access.
Those are some of the most important planning tips that will make planning of your family trip much easier. If you use them, you will be well organized and as a result, you will save time and possibly money too – it will be easier for you to find great flight and hotel deals. Moreover, by making your preparations in such a methodical way, you will have all the bases covered and instead of unpleasant surprises, you will have a lot of fun when you finally get to London.