Are you visiting London on a business trip or have you just relocated because of a job? Whatever your situation, in this article we will take a look at some of the best ways a person can travel around London when on business.
Firstly, there are different ways of travelling in London just like there are in any other city in the world. Some of these ways will be affordable but will have downsides while others will be more practical but expensive. For this article, we will try and cover some of the best ways in which you can travel around London whatever your budget.
The tube is by far the cheapest and easiest way of getting around London and has ties to all of the business districts so getting to where you want to be should be easy enough. You can pay for your tube tickets on your contactless bank cards or if you intend to use the Tube regularly you can save money by buying an Oyster card and topping it up when needed.
You can get an Oyster card in the main train stations and top them up too. Travelling via the tube is simple when you get the hang of it and anyone can do it. The only downside to the tube is that it’s rather depressing, dirty, and can get very crowded at peak times. If you are in London for a few days on business, then the tube can be a great option.
London buses operate around the city 24 hours of the day and if you prefer to stay above ground, they are a good choice of travelling around the city. London buses operate on a cashless system so you will need to use your contactless card to get a ticket. Tickets are cheap and a standard fare costs £1.50.
Travelling around the city via a bus does have its downsides, though, such as being caught in the busy traffic and the majority of the times the buses are overcrowded.
If you would prefer being above ground and don’t mind traffic, then using a London bus could be an option for you. London buses connect to all the business districts so you should be able to reach your location with ease.
The official name is the Santander Bikes but everyone in London calls them the Boris bikes. Boris bikes, named after the now PM Boris Johnson are bikes you can hire to drive around the city for a small fee. When you are done you then put them back into a storage rack and continue with your day.
Boris bikes are charged at £2 per 30 minutes of usage.
Boris bikes have disadvantages in that not everyone wants to ride around the city with busy traffic on a bicycle. However, if you like being outdoors, exercising while going to work, and saving money while travelling, the Boris bike could be a great mode of transport for you.
If you are visiting London on business and you fly in from any of the main airports you may want to hire a private taxi. Gatwick airport taxis and Heathrow airport taxis, when booked privately, can save you money over the taxis that wait outside these airports.
Private taxis are usually pre-booked and paid for beforehand so there are no nasty surprises when it comes to the bill either. They also give you more flexibility as you can often tell them about any special requirements you may have. For example, you may have accessibility issues or you could be travelling with a child that needs a booster seat.
Whatever your circumstance, hiring a private taxi and explaining your requirements will make your journey less stressful than if you were to jump into a cab parked up outside one of the airports.
A downside to a private taxi is, once again, they can still be caught up in the London traffic.
If you are travelling around London for business I would not recommend using black cabs as there are many disadvantages of doing so. Firstly, getting one to stop for you is usually very difficult and even if you succeed in stopping one, they often won’t take you to a location because they aren’t heading that way.
Now, this may seem strange to someone that hasn’t visited London before, but cabs often have set routes and if your location isn’t within that route then they won’t take you as a passenger.
When I first visited London, this blew my mind, but this still happens today. Black cabs, or their official names of Hackney carriages, do have their advantages though when it comes to safety concerns as all of their drivers will have had to have gone under CRB checks to make sure they are safe to drive a cab.
Uber can sometimes get a bad reputation, but thankfully my experience in London with Uber has been good. Uber is cheap, accessible, and often is a good choice if you want to move around London on a budget.
The disadvantages of using Uber in London is that sometimes you have to share a ride with someone. The first time this happened to me I was very confused. Riding Uber you can also get stuck in the London traffic.