No matter where you’re based in the UK, you’ll almost certainly have clients in London. This means that you’ll likely end up taking trips to the city sooner or later. This can be a daunting yet exciting prospect, especially if you haven’t made many trips to London before. So if you’re wondering how you can get the most from your business trip, check out these tips.
There’s nothing worse than lugging heavy bags and suitcases up and down the escalators at tube stations and down the crowded London streets. Try to pack as light as you can, and use compression packing cubes where you can to minimise the space you need in your bag.
Specially designed rucksacks for commuters will give you handy access to a USB socket to charge your phone, as well as secret compartments to keep your wallet, purse, travel cards, away from pickpockets.
A rucksack is generally more practical in London than any bag or suitcase, but if you do need a little more space, make sure you have a case with wheels.
With few exceptions, travelling to London by public transport is nearly always more efficient. The capital has great train connections to almost every city in the UK, and smaller towns can usually get thereby making one change at a hub station.
The train isn’t always cheap, but it can still be cheaper than paying for fuel, the congestion charge, ULEZ fee, and the exorbitant parking rates. If you can book an advanced ticket ahead of time, you’ll likely be able to make a big saving. This doesn’t give you the flexibility to travel on any train, but the trade-off is usually worth the money you keep in your pocket.
Staying overnight in London can be very expensive, especially if you opt for a big name hotel chain. If you’re not looking for luxury but just a room and a bed for the night, then look for budget hotels like Travelodge and Ibis.
Again, booking in advance is usually going to get you the best rates. A room in one of these business-friendly hotels can vary from as low as £19 all the way up to £150 for a night.
You won’t get many of the amenities offered by other chains, but if you’re not planning to entertain clients in your hotel, it’s unlikely you’ll need them anyway.
Whether you’re on your own and looking for something to do in the evening, or entertaining clients or investors, London has plenty of options. What you do will depend on the type of people you’re entertaining, and could range from an evening playing retro games in the Namco Funscape arcade, to a sophisticated evening in a Michelin starred restaurant like Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
You can choose to jump from venue to venue, picking somewhere to have dinner, then somewhere else for entertainment or drinks. Alternatively, the Hippodrome gives you everything you need for an evening under one roof. It houses several bars, one of London’s best steakhouses, and probably the most beautiful casino gaming floors in the capital.
If you’re familiar with casino games, you’ll enjoy the Hippodrome’s selection of classic options including several variations of roulette, that nowadays can also be easily found online. Depending on who you’re with, there’s also the Magic Mike LIVE show which has received a heap of praise from critics and attendees.
London is the centre for startup businesses in the UK, with a lot of entrepreneurs opting to base themselves in the capital and many big international companies opening offices there too.
This makes London a hive of activity and creates a unique atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in the UK.
It also means that there are lots of places for you to meet your clients. From the standard places like Starbucks and Costa to co-working spaces from companies like WeWork and Regus.
If you need something a little larger, like a conference space, there are a range of quirky venues you can book. This includes RSA House in the West End, a former river-front warehouse that has a rustic feel, and the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, where you meet surrounded by old Routemaster buses and trams.
London is a great city with plenty to see and do. While you may not have much time to go sightseeing, at least try to soak up the atmosphere of the capital and enjoy yourself while you’re there.