If visiting London with the family is on your bucket list, it’s important to construct a detailed and well-thought-out itinerary before you even start packing for your getaway. All family trips offer parents, children, siblings, and anyone else attending the opportunity to really bond. A trip to London is unique in the sense that it’s a historic city where adults and children alike can choose from an endless list of things to do.

The last thing anyone wants to do while they’re off of school or work is waiting in line. If half of your vacation to England’s capital is spent waiting in a long, never-ending line, you’ll waste precious time that you could have used sightseeing, eating, or planning an activity. To maximize your experience in London, consider these four tips.

Choose a Bike Ride After Being Stuck on a Long Flight

When you’ve been on a plane for 2 or more days, the last thing you want to do is ride in a bus to tour the city. It’s a good idea to plan a tour around the city that allows you to get your heart rate up and stretch your legs. Your body and your children will appreciate it if you choose to take a bike tour over a sleepy bus ride.

If you do decide to go on a tour, the slots that are open through Fat Tire Bike Royal London Bike Tour are very popular. Make sure you book the tour in advance and let them know how many children you’ll be bringing along. This will give the company a heads up that kids bikes or tandem bikes need to be available.

Schedule the tour the day you arrive, but leave time to check into your lodging so you can unwind and refresh first.

Planning Your Palace Tours Right

Buckingham Palace is one of the most popular attractions in the heart of London. It wouldn’t feel right if you and the family didn’t take time out of your short stay in the city to tour both the inside and outside of the palace complete with a stop by the proud and silent guards. Since this is such a landmark, it’s crucial that you plan your outing to the palace at the right time of day and on the right day of the week.

Everyone who sees Buckingham Palace in person will say it is simply breathtaking. From the architecture to the decadent furnishings inside, the palace is one that would get a passing score from any Certified Master Inspector. It’s recommended to visit the Horse Guard in the morning instead of the Changing of the Guard where it’s difficult to snap pictures.

Once you get flicks of the kids with the Royal Guard, you can make your way by bus to Buckingham Palace where you can take an indoor castle tour. If you’d prefer to keep the trip budget-friendly, you can also tour just the Royal Mews where many events are held and the lines tend to be shorter. If you don’t want to drag your bags behind you when travelling, look into Paddington left luggage lockers.

Stop by Hogwarts and Visit Harry Potter Sites

As historic and royal as palaces can be, they can become a bit much for kids and teens after hours and hours of walking through gardens and estate rooms. Brighten up the vacation with a fun day set aside for all things Harry Potter.

You can visit the 9 3/4 platform and Gringotts Bank, or you can take a more exciting tour where you see actual sets from the movie. The tour is called the Magic of Harry Potter Tour.

Time for Shows and Shopping

Tours are a huge theme in London. Practically anywhere you go, there will be some sort of tour at a museum, palace, or theater. If you’d like to skip the tours and go out for some entertainment, you can visit Piccadilly Circus or West End Theater.

If you arrive at 10:00 am, you can find discounts to upcoming theater shows for later that night. While you’re waiting for showtime, stop by some world-renowned shops like the Lego Store or Hamley’s Toy Shop. While the kids are marveling at the options, parents can shop on Regents Street.

There are so many fun facts about London, so much to do, and so many fabulous places to eat that you’ll never have time to visit everything on one vacation. Fit in as much as you can by making a detailed itinerary. As you’re planning, set aside time for breathers and relaxing so that you don’t wear yourself out.