You don’t need us to tell you that our capital city is about the best place for staycations. It has enough to keep anyone occupied. If you can’t afford to go overseas, then, a trip here may well be the ideal compromise. The trouble being, of course, that any trip to London involves the underground. While London locals are like ducks to water when it comes to getting around, outsiders often end up more like drowned fish. Though the systems are easy enough once you know how, a country girl in a big city can soon feel overwhelmed about which train to get.

Whether you’re hitting London solo or travelling with friends, the tube itself has the ability to ruin your trip. At least, it does if you don’t have a few navigation tricks up your sleeve. Lucky for you, we have some pointers which could see you gliding smoothly through the underground sea.

Get your bearings before you go

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No matter the reason for your London visit, the chances are that you know roughly where you need to go. It may be that you’re planning excursions to specific landmarks. You may even have bought London theatre tickets in advance which mean you need to be in a set place by a certain time. Either way, these are the clues which can help you solve the underground maze. All you need to do is get your bearings before you go. When you know where you need to be, then, you should head online to look at the many underground maps available. While this is no replica for the real thing, it ensures you at least get a feel for which line you need. All without the pressure you’d feel if you were working it out in the moment. That alone could save you.

Buy a day ticket

One of the best things you can do is buy an all-day ticket. If you plan to hit different destinations, this could save you a fortune anyway at just over £12. It can also ease a great deal of pressure. With a day ticket to hand, you can rest easy that hopping on the wrong underground isn’t the end of the world. No guard can fine you for your mistakes if you’ve paid for the privilege of riding any underground train that day. As such, you’ll be able to stay calm, get off at the next stop, and try again.

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Give yourself plenty of time

If you need to be somewhere fast, you’re more liable to hop on the first train which comes along. And, most often, that’ll get you lost. Even your day ticket won’t be able to save you from missing your prior engagement if this happens. Don’t let it. Instead, buy yourself plenty of time. Get the tube at least an hour before you think you need to. That way, you won’t rush onto the wrong train and end up getting totally off track for the duration of your trip.