Booked tickets and a hotel room for the royal wedding in London April 29 yet? It’s not too late.
No surprise: it's going to be a huge affair. The nation is taking the Friday off as a national holiday, and at least a half million extra visitors, and possibly a cool million, are supposed to pack into London. And though you won't be able to actually see Wills and Kate actually tie the knot at Westminster Abbey, you can be in London (perhaps following our 'perfect day in Royal London' video, and watch them pass on their procession to Buckingham Palace .
You'll have to move quickly though. Here are a few pre-trip considerations:
Package trips or DIY?
From the USA, British Airways offers one of the easier package deals – a return flight and three nights at a two-star hotel run about US$922 per person.
That’s fine to arrange in one click, but you can save money – and probably get more comfort – if you book a la carte. Presently you can still find direct flights from the East Coast to London for under US$800, while sites like AirBnB.com have private rooms from US$50 around London. A couple going that route stands to save about US$300.
If you want to go with hotels, note that Visit London lists hotels offering good-value three-night packages, beginning at £249 per person.
The full week of the wedding is being seen as something of a holiday. Monday, April 25 is Easter Monday, while Friday is a national holiday for the wedding. Many locals are planning on taking off the whole week – and getting out of the UK.
Planning the day
Schedule of events (approximate):
1:30pm: The couple’s royal wave from Buckingham Palace’s balcony
The wedding procession is open for those willing to fight the crowds. It’s expected Wills and Kate will go by horse carriage from Parliament Square up Whitehall St to Horse Guards Parade, west to the Mall and on to Buckingham Palace.
Alternate viewing points: If you're OK just watching on big-screen, consider joining the masses at big TVs in public places like Hyde Park, just northwest of the palace, or at one of dozens of 'street parties' planned for London neighborhoods too.
Get updates on the event from these sites:
1. Official Royal Wedding 2011 site (www.officialroyalwedding2011.org)
2. Visit London (www.visitlondon.com)
3. DirectGov (www.direct.gov.uk)
Also check out:
- Download Lonely Planet's Royal London audio walking tour app - free from the iTunes store for a limited time
- A perfect day in Royal London - Lonely Planet Travel Editors Robert Reid and Tom Hall explore the best royal sites across London
For more on London, download Lonely Planet's iPhone walking tours around London, get the full London guidebook and read our list of 20 free attractions around town.