No doubt in my mind, getting to and from the airports in London is the hardest part of traveling. Being abroad in Europe you always hear about how easy it is to get from London to Europe, and that’s true, it is very easy once you get on the plane. But I have found that getting to the airport and getting nice and comfy in the airplane seat is extremely difficult from London. So, here is my attempt at a guide for you, and myself, to make it easier to get to and from the airports in London.
- Know which airport you are going to, and how you are getting there
London is notorious for having many airports, there are in fact 5! And each of these airports is unfortunately about an hours journey from central London. If you fly budget airlines like I have been doing, your flights will probably leave and come back from two different airports. So look up where you are going and coming back from and how to get there. The easiest way is to get a train to the airport in my opinion. But be warned!! To get on a train you need a train ticket!! This is something I learned the hard way because I thought I could use my subway card on the train. And the stations are not very helpful because it is VERY EASY to walk off of a subway and right onto a train platform without seeing a ticket station. So, don’t do what I did and try to tap off of a train with a subway card, or you will get a $40 fine you really didn’t want to pay.
2. Read the luggage info
The easiest and cheapest way to get from London to Europe is through budget airlines like Easy Jet or Rhyne Air. These planes have very specific luggage allowances, so one carry on and that’s it. Make sure you read what you are allowed to have because if you have too much luggage you may have to pay for a checked bag. I recently found out that even an extra little handbag counts as extra luggage, so you can imagine how annoying it was to hold up the boarding line for ten minutes trying to fit my handbag in my carry on bag. I did it! But if I hadn’t I may have had to pay for it.
3. Check the tube schedules
London is a very advanced city when it comes to public transport. So much so that you may assume the subway, or the tube, is open 24/7. That is unfortunately not true!! When you are not used to 24 time it is also hard to read schedules. So do your best to make sure that you get back in time to catch the last tube from your train from the airport, or you will end up like me a couple nights ago, walking around London at 1:30 in the morning trying to figure out a bus route back to my University. Eventually you will give up getting a taxi and sadly sit in it watching the meter run, but also relieved that you were finally on your way back home.
All in all, traveling is really fun and I highly recommend it. But just be smart about getting to and from the airport, it’s been the hardest part for my journeys around Europe. But now I have learned from my mistakes and am hoping the next journey I go on runs smoothly! I leave you with these tips to make sure if you’re ever traveling from London, you have an easy time and don’t make the expensive mistakes that I have made.