Ways to make your life easier
My best tip: Being from New York, where you can use a credit card just about anywhere, I mistakenly assumed it would be that easy in London as well. And while you can use your cards most places, it's a little more tricky to use your credit card in a cab. I learned from a slightly disgruntled cab driver that you have to tell the driver before he starts the fare if you want to pay with a card, because they have to set up the payment differently. If you wait until you've arrived at your destination, you have to pay cash. This may not apply to every taxi company that operates there, but I was told this by more than one driver and local.
- At restaurants, you have to ask for your check as it will usually not be brought to you at the end of your meal like it is in the US.
- It's worth it to get an Oyster card if you plan to take the tube during your stay. It will save you money in the long run, and then you fit in with the locals.
- There's a lot of hustle and bustle in the streets. As a New Yorker, I am used to packed sidewalks and having to dodge and weave around people to get where I want to go, all the while excusing myself fairly politely. I was told by a Londoner that the people there are not nearly as polite and will bump into you or not move out of your way. So don't fret, my fellow Americans, they aren't actually being outright rude to you.