London is a top destination for business travellers and there are certain things that those who have visited the capital for work on multiple occasions have learnt.
London is an important hub for many industries – from banking in The City to the tech companies of Silicon Roundabout – making a business trip to England’s capital an inevitability for many. Travelling for work gives you a different perspective on a place and, therefore, allows you to see things that others don’t notice. If you’ve been to London for your company a lot in the past, then you may well recognise the following truths. If you’re a newbie, then they’re worth considering.
- London is like several cities in one
It’s very easy to misjudge the size of London on a first visit and think it’s easy to get from one part of the city to another in no time. In fact, London has a total area of 611 square miles, meaning some of its 33 districts are very far apart indeed. Add to this the population, which is bigger than that of some countries – Switzerland, Norway and New Zealand – and it can be made even harder. Be aware of the distances between locations before travel and make sure you book a serviced apartment close to your meetings or expect a long trek each day.
- London is a great place to be sent on business
While business travel may seem glamorous from afar, those who do it regularly know it has its downsides. One of which is sometimes being sent to unattractive or boring destinations. This is not the case with London. You’ll find stunning architecture all over the city, interesting pop-ups to seek out on your lunch break and free museums and galleries to enjoy if you find you have some time to yourself. Nobody is ever disappointed when they find their next business trip is to London..
- Cars are obsolete in London
Having a driver is one of the perks of travelling at the company’s expense, but it really isn’t worth it in London. Between traffic congestion and the problems finding adequate parking, it’s much better to use the infrastructure in place to get around. That’s what Londoners do! The integrated transport system means you can hop on the Tube, jump aboard a ferry or even start peddling a public bike to get where you need to go quickly and efficiently.
- Tipping is often replaced with a 12.5 per cent service charge
When you travel a lot for work, tipping etiquette can be hard to get your head around. In London, the thing to look out for is the 12.5 per cent service charge already added to your bill. If you spot it on there, then you don’t need to leave anything extra for the waiting staff. While this gratuity is technically optional, it’s only really on occasions that the service was terrible that diners tend not to pay it.
- You can get a whole apartment for the price of a hotel room
Staying in a comfortable and convenient location is paramount while on a work trip, but savvy businessmen and businesswomen know you can feel much more at home than in a hotel room. A serviced apartment, complete with living area and your own kitchen, helps to emulate ordinary life and won’t break the company’s bank account. With locations all over London, it’s a great option if you’re becoming something of a weary road warrior.