Thursday, 18 July 2013

London: 5 Alternative Ways to Travel in the City

*This is a sponsored post written for me on behalf of PassSmart.com

We all know that long journeys can be a pain, and that, most of the time, you just want to reach your destination, but you can make travelling part of the fun. If you're planning a trip to London, you might feel a little daunted by the crowds and the thought of tackling the underground, so we thought we'd share a few travel ideas to help you make the most of your time in London.

The black cab

OK, it's not exactly an 'alternative' travel method. In fact, it's one of the most popular ways to see the sights for tourists and locals alike. Black cabs, and, more importantly, their drivers, have become an iconic part of London's culture.

If you're not so keen on using the old-fashioned 'stick your arm out and hope for the best' hailing technique, why not try the modern way? The Hailo app allows you to hail a cab from the comfort of your smartphone, so all you have to do is wait for them to arrive. You can pay with card through the app or with cash and there's no hidden fees. Easy-peasy!

London Taxis in Black and White

Black Cabs uploaded by Sammy Albon on Flickr

A cycle rickshaw

You'll find them hanging around Covent Garden tube station as the theatre-goers pour out, ready to take you to your desired destination. A cycle rickshaw has a small two (or sometimes three) seater cabin attached to the back of a bicycle, and can take you on a short ride for a smaller fee than a taxi.

They're not for the faint-hearted and weaving in and out of London traffic can be a little hair-raising, but if you're looking for a unique way to travel, why not give it a go?

Boris bikes

If you're not one to sit still and don't mind getting a bit hot and sweaty, a Barclays bike (AKA a Boris bike) could be the perfect option for you. Available from 570 docking stations across the city, you're able to hire one from £1 for an hour to £50 for 24 hours.

What's great about a Barclays bike is that you don't have the commitment of having to lug a bike around with you all day and can simply drop it off to a free docking station near your destination when you're finished with it.

Zip Car

Here at PassSmart, we're big fans of the Zip Car concept. If you fancy taking to the road yourself, Zip Car provide a hassle-free solution to hiring a car in the city. Simply Join up, wait to be approved and get driving. You can pay as you go or sign up for a monthly plan.

Search for a Zip Car near you on their interactive map, reserve it, and drive off. This one is ideal for people staying in London for a fixed period, but not so practical for tourists as you'll have to wait to be approved before using Zip Car.

You can pay £5 an hour or £49 per day and fuel and insurance are included.

Three London tour buses in a row

Three in a Row uploaded by Amanda Slater on Flickr

 

The tourist trail

There's nothing wrong with being a full-blown tourist for the day. If the weather's up to it, get yourself a ticket on an open top tourist bus and see the sights that way. You'll get some great views of the city and won't have to worry about finding your way around on the tube or pushing through the crowds at Buckingham palace.

Open top tourist buses run all year round in London, so you'll always have the opportunity to hop on one.

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© 2008 - Mandy Southgate | Emm in London

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