It’s almost been two years since I launched my digital marketing agency, Float Digital, and business couldn’t be better right now. On Friday we’re heading to London to meet with one of our loyal clients, discuss the successes of the campaign so far and work out a plan for the future.
We live in Cornwall, meaning a trip to London is a whopping 546 mile round-trip. This gets pretty expensive when there’s two of you and you need to pay for accommodation near your clients offices near Mayfair. We need to strike a balance so that we’re comfortable, efficient with our time but also sticking to a budget (sticking it on the company credit card isn’t quite a fun when you own the company!)
Here’s our tips for surviving a 24 hour business trip to London without going mad or breaking the bank:
Travel in Style
London has plenty of fairly reasonably-priced public transport options. From the tube to buses and overground trains, you have your pick of how to get around. Using private cars can be reasonable, especially if you use them sparingly. Consider the fact that you can often get away with walking from one place to another, and you only need to use transport for longer distances.
Use a private hire company, and you’ll likely get a lovely black Mercedes that’s much more comfortable than a carriage on the tube. This type of transport is PERFECT for turning up to client meetings in (nothing worse than getting off a sweaty tube to meet somebody for the first time, yikes!).
Get a Posh Flat
If I’m traveling over 500 miles in less than 24 hours, I need to be comfortable otherwise I’m going to be a grouchy b*tch. London has some of the most expensive hotels in Europe, so it’s easy to get caught up in spending loads of money on a room you don’t need. Fear not! You don’t need to stay in the Ritz for comfort.
Choosing to rent an apartment could help you save money, compared to staying in a hotel. There is a huge range of luxury apartments available online https://www.londonservicedapartments.co.uk/luxury-apartments/. You’ll feel much more at home when you stay in an apartment instead of in a hotel room. It’s way more cost effective because you can cook your own dinner, instead of going out to a restaurant after a long-day of back to back client meetings. You also get all the perks you’d get in a hotel, like a concierge and housekeeping.
Take your client for Afternoon Tea
London is also home to many Michelin-starred restaurants and world-class dining establishments. If you’re trying to choose the best place to spend your money and you don’t want to make every meal an extravagant affair, try choosing afternoon tea for your client meeting.
You can find lots of different themes and creative menus across the city, and you can have everything from cake and sandwiches to champagne and cocktails. Try looking out for deals online so you can save a little on a luxury location. You’ll make an impression but won’t be left with a hefty bill.
… Or “Woo” Them at an Exclusive Bar
If afternoon tea is a little too formal then consider going to an bar. Yep, a bar! That where we’re meeting when we go to meet our client – you need a membership just to get in. London is full of exclusive bars, where the well-heeled spend their evenings (and sometimes their days). The most exclusive places are private clubs, but there are plenty of places that you can gain access to if you want to.
The best thing to do is to be aware of the rules and how to get in. Check if there’s a dress code and follow it to the letter. See if there are any rules about reservations, minimum spends or group numbers to make sure you won’t get turned away or turfed out. I recommend you check these bars before you turn up to ensure it’ll be suitable for your meeting – you don’t want to turn up to a club!