Helpful tips to pass as a local

Travel Tips — By Erin Gallagher Maury on March 23, 2010 at 11:41 am

Want to look and act the part when visiting London, then follow this list of pointers and expectations:

-When crossing the street, look right first. This tip may save your life too.

-Pass on the sneakers unless they’re All Stars. Londoners don’t wear sensible shoes for the amount of walking they do.

-Keep the tipping to minimum.. 10-12% in restaurants, nothing at the pub unless you have table service, taxis round up your fare or £1.

-Carry an umbrella but not on your wrist, pack it nicely away in your bag.

-Leave the khakis, baseball hats & fanny packs at home. And while we’re on the subject, don’t even say the word fanny, it does not mean your backside in the UK!

-When asking where the bathroom is, ask for the toilet or the loo. Yes, it’ll be hard to say & you may even nervously giggle, but it’s the way.

-Purchase an Oyster card for public transport travel instead of buying individual tickets, it’s much faster.

-Want a beer? Ask for a pint or half pint, not a bottle, followed by the type: lager, stout, ale, etc…

-Shhhh, keep your voice soft. Londoners are quiet and don’t want to hear your conversation.

-Don’t get irritated if someone bumps into you without acknowlegement … speaking to you would be a second interruption.

-Meal bills are not placed on your table unless you request it. Lingering over drinks and after dinner coffee is expected.

– And that backpack, it’s called a backpack for a reason, keep it off your frontside.

– Say cheers for thank you. It’ll bring a smile to your face just saying it.

(Photo courtesy of malias)

Tags: London travel tips


  • Krista Watt says:

    Great tips! I feel like a Londoner already.

  • Deborah Burke says:

    Fantastics tips looking forward to using them next time I visit

  • Bill Speri says:

    Time to get a trip across the pond planned

  • J Suden says:

    gr8 tips. Look RIGHT especially.

  • jasper says:

    -actually if someone bumps into you say sorry – even if you didn’t do it, it’s like the Monty Python sketch Sorry, sorry, SORRY, sorry, sorry …. etc you don’t have to say it too them, bit like tweeting just say it into the air.

    – oh and if you’re invited out for a drink by a native be prepared to get a bit tipsy and make a fool of yourself, (but not too much) then they’ll think you’re ‘brilliant’. But only do that every now and then or they’ll think your ‘messy’

  • erinmaury says:

    Good ones Jasper! Couldn’t agree more!


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