If you haven’t noticed London is absolutely massive and with 8.4 million people living in London (2013), it is about time somebody made a list of helpful pointers for those of us who are commuting and moving around London each and every day.
(Ok, ok I will do it!).
For the student who have opted to live elsewhere than in London, you may think these tips are not for you. Well, do not be deceived by the given title as some of the rules apply!
So here it is: Tips for students travelling around London.
Tip One: When using an Oyster card remember to tap in and out.
Please, please, please listen to this tip; it is written for a reason.
No one wants to sit on the phone for 20 minutes waiting to ‘Press 10 for …’ or ‘Please redial and try again’ just to sort out an Oyster refund. Trust me, it really is not worth forgetting or avoiding to tap in and out at a small yellow card reader.
Suggestion: If you arrive at a station and cannot find a yellow card reader to tap in and out, just ask someone. People are there to help!
Tip Two: Ensure you are on the right train!
Northern line? Central? DLR? Circle? District line?
When travelling ensure you are on the right train by firstly checking where you want to go. Ensure you are heading in the right direction and if all else fails, ask someone! There is nothing worse than being on the wrong train for the majority of your time without realising.
Coming back on yourself on busy public transport should be no ones idea of fun!
Suggestion: Pick yourself up a small train map. They are perfectly pocket sized and are a lifesaving aid when in distress. Find on the map where you want to go and simply look at the train colours and direction of the train for guidance.
Tip Three: Don’t walk with headphones and earphones in!
This is a big ‘no-no’ when travelling in and around London.
Not only are people with headphones and earphones quite annoying due to the fact they cannot hear you say ‘excuse me’ while they block 250 people trying to get past but, headphones and earphones are a safety hazard.
If you choose to ignore this tip, be safe and don’t wear them when crossing the road.
Warning: You have been warned so watch out!
Tip Four: Always ask if you don’t know
This tip links nicely to Tips One and Two.
Simply ask a member of staff if you do not know a piece of information. If you are in distress, get lost or just need some assistance most people in London (in my experience) are more than happy to help.
Suggestion: Just ask – people will not bite!
Tip Five: Do not draw attention to yourself
Being in a drunken state, shouting loudly for no apparent reason or acting unusual would often scare most people, not just in London, so just don’t do it! Sure, people (especially in London) are a bit on the creative and experimental side (if you haven’t noticed) but just be respectful in public. No one likes feeling scared when being approached by a screaming adult.
Tip Six: Sit in a train carriage with people in it
There is nothing more safe than knowing other people are around you.
When getting on a train always think – ‘Safety in numbers’. It is true! Always ensure at least 2-6 people are sitting in your train carriage, it simply ensures people are around in case an issue were to arise.
Tip Seven: Overcrowding is a way of life
Oh overcrowding…This is how you know you have arrived in London.
Overcrowding is truly a way of life. Whether someone steps on your foot, pulls your hair or quite literally falls into your lap. With 8.4 million people living in London alone, there are bound to be those times when a train or bus is a little overcrowded.
Suggestion: Overwhelmed by the amount of people on transport? Just take a nice deep breath and carry a bottle of water with you at all times. This will relax you, keep you hydrated and prevent you from feeling ill should the train be extremely overcrowded.