Planning a working holiday to London? Here are our top 10 tips for the tube...

Published July 5th, 2011

Student Flight’s Liz Tipper spent a year in London for a working holiday and has a wealth of knowledge to share. London’s Underground Railway or ‘the tube’ as the locals call it is vast and can be confusing to any traveller. Liz, please tell us about your experiences on the tube.



I spent a year living in London for a working holiday. While I was there I devised a set of rules to live by when riding the tube.  They aid in making it a pleasant journey for everyone.


  1. Keep to the RIGHT on escalators if you do not want to be ostracised by the rest of society. I cannot stress this enough!
  2. ‘Stand clear of the closing doors!’ is an announcement reminding you that the doors are closing. The prize for making it inside before they do close is that you don’t have to look stupid making the dash.
  3. You may place your feet on the seat in front of you, as long as the person in the carriage with the dirtiest shoes can wipe them on your pants.
  4. You may take food on the tube if there is enough to go around. Handy sharing sized food includes; donuts, sweets and family sized buckets of chicken (don’t forget napkins). Stinky foods like seafood and strong cheeses are banned.
  5. Noise such as iPods, talking on the phone and general conversation are frowned upon unless you are playing a song everyone can enjoy, on an interesting call that is easy to hear or general conversation that is open to discussion amongst other commuters.
  6. Eye contact is to be avoided unless it is being used to shamelessly flirt with another commuter, used during food sharing or to death stare someone who is breaking a rule.
  7. Bags may use a whole seat, if said bag holds a valid ticket. Backpacks must be stuck between legs so that other passengers don’t get knocked and people still have free access to ‘accidently’ touch your bum. Alternatively, you can wedge yourself in the corner.
  8. People with bad ‘BO’ must be offered a seat to avoid them exposing their armpits when holding the grab rail.
  9. Elderly, pregnant and those less able to stand are to be offered a seat. Although, offer wisely as to not offend those who don’t age well, bloated women and drunks.
  10. People getting on will form a ‘Guard of Honour’ until everyone getting off has passed through, they will then board. In other words, ‘Don’t push!’


For more hot tips on how to make it in London including; making the best of your ‘Oyster’ card ( the UK version of the GO card), help with deliberating over a one way ticket versus a return, for insurance your mum would be proud of or for how to get hooked up with the UK Working Holiday Club, contact me!


Liz Tipper
Student Flights Consultant   |   Fortitude Valley
liz.tipper@studentflights.com.au   |   1300 838 649


Looking for more information about travelling to London? Visit www.studentflights.com.au or call 1300 316 137 and our expert consultants will help you find the best deals.



Student Flights' Consultants

At Student Flights, our consultants have travelled along those well-worn routes before diverting from the beaten path to explore the real side of foreign countries. These blog posts shine a light on just some of the experiences our consultants have had on recent adventures. We hope you enjoy reading the blog articles written by the Student Flights' Consultants.