Decide the answers to these 5 questions and you will find it much easier to plan your theater breaks:
1. Which matters most to you the show or the dates? If you are keen to see a particular show but can be flexible about your dates then the front page of an agency web site is a good starting point. Click on the show you like the look of and then search for dates. This is often the best way to get the cheapest deal. Be sure to check for any special offers for your chosen show.
If your dates are more fixed, perhaps for a special occasion, and your choice www.haytheatre.com of show is less important to you then you can usually use a calendar form on the site for to see what is available on your chosen dates.
2. How will you travel to London? If you choose to come by train you will probably want to check specialist agencies as they can save you up to 40% off normal rail fares when booked as part of your theater break.
If you decide to bring your car to London then you need to be prepared to pay congestion charges or opt for a hotel outside the C charge area. You also need to be prepared to pay an additional fee for hotel parking (15 – 20 GBP)
3. Would you rather stay in the West End or further out? This is influenced by a number of factors.
My first choice would always be to go for a central hotel. Handy for the West End, restaurants, shops and other attractions, staying in a central hotel is a great way to make the most of your stay.
If you are bringing a car you might choose a hotel further out to avoid the C charge. However, you will then miss out on some advantages by having to use either cabs or the tube to get to your theatre.
4. How long should your break be? Many people find that they can add an extra night to their stay for a modest supplement. It ends up costing not that much more to stay 2 or even 3 nights. If you can take the time it is definitely worth extending your stay. You will never be short of things to do in London and an extra couple of nights can turn it into a real holiday.
5. What is your budget? The bottom line matters. It is useful to set a maximum amount you are willing to spend before you start the process. Try to set an amount you are comfortable with but build in a little flexibility, say 20 GBP per person. This helps you feel in control when booking and stops you agonizing endlessly and, just maybe, missing out on great deals because you are not sure of your spending limit.
Having decided on your answers to these questions you will be able to make more informed choices. With this little bit of work done you can now start to explore one of the reputable agencies. You will be in a great position to act quickly to take advantage of the best theater breaks.
I am Linda Hartley. I live in London and I am one of the authors of the London Theater Breaks.