There's an art to traveling on the subway if you're an out-of-towner. Maybe it's more of a style. Whether you're in Tokyo, Paris, or New York City, tourists always seem to stand out from the crowd of locals hurriedly going from home to work and back again. It's probably the maps and tour books they clutch during their journeys, but sometimes it's their dress or language. Regardless, it always helps to know a few of the tricks of the trade before braving the subway system ? and London vacationers are no exception to this rule.
Here are five things you're going to want to know before traveling on the London Underground (or "Tube") system to make your trip a pleasant one:.1. People who use the Underground daily know to check the status of their trains to avoid delays, closures and other problems. Check the white notice boards in the area around the automated ticket takers. They list any issues that may be occurring on the system and what to do about them.
2. Londoners rarely block the often speedy movement of fellow travelers on the Tube. They know where they're going and they're zooming to get there. Plan your trip in advance, don't gawk at the signs in the middle of a busy walkway, and always stand on the right on the escalators to allow people to move by quickly on the left. If you need to consult a map or figure out where you're going, stand back and let people negotiate their way around you.
Finally, keep your ticket with you. The quickest way to annoy people behind you is to fumble around to get your ticket ? which you absolutely will need to provide -- as you're leaving the station.3. Locals don't usually travel with multiple suitcases or enormous backpacks.
If you have these items, get them out of people's way ? both on and off the trains. Don't be a rolling roadblock to those who have somewhere to be.4. Assume there are going to be delays and prepare yourself for different scenarios. There are few, if any, restroom facilities at the Tube stations. It will be hot in the summer, so bring water? and it may even be hot in the winter! Wear layered clothing if possible so you can keep yourself from overheating on your train trip.
5. Be safe. Stand well behind the yellow lines on the platforms so you're never in danger of falling on to the track. "Mind the gap" means watch the enormous space between the platform and train that sometimes occurs ? you don't want to trip or fall in that hole. Keep an eye out for those around you and any suspicious behavior (obviously, most people assume this is in reference to the terrorist bombings of 7/7/05 ? it's actually a warning about thieves and pickpockets who could easily take advantage of a distracted tourist with his head buried in a map)..
London Vacation Experts look forward to providing you with accurate, up-to-the-minute information about planning your London travel! Our website contains the most helpful tips, reviews, and resources for air, accommodations, ground transportation, sightseeing, restaurants, and entertainment. Visit us at online: http://www.londonvacationexperts.com.
By: Constance Parker-Street