Sick of bickering in the backseat? Keep kids engaged and parents sane with Heather Greenwood Davis’s tips. (Photograph by Mieke Dalle, Corbis)

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Sick of bickering in the backseat? Keep kids engaged and parents sane with Heather Greenwood Davis’s tips. (Photograph by Mieke Dalle, Corbis)

Travel With Kids: Low-Cost London

National Geographic Traveler columnist Heather Greenwood Davis is the magazine’s family travel advocate, guru, and soothsayer.

Here’s her latest advice:

Reader Question: We need an affordable place to stay with our daughters in London. Where should we look?

My Answer: Deals are found away from the royals.

Choose chain hotels (like Ibis, Novotel, and Park Plaza) in “family-friendly” neighborhoods (restaurants that won’t flinch at a stroller, parks with more than grass to play on) accessible by the London Underground (aka “the Tube”).

Anna Tobin of CiaoBambino.com notes that Hampstead and its neighboring Hampstead Heath park are good locations for families. “Kids will enjoy a snack at the local crêpe stand and climbing imaginative playground equipment at Parliament Hill,” she says.

For more room to stretch out and to save on meal costs, book an apartment or studio stay. Studio2Let, GoNative, or Housetrip offer low-cost options.

Bonus tip: Purchase an Oyster card—the local Tube pass—to save you from having to fumble for change on every ride.

Heather Greenwood Davis pens the “Traveling With Kids” column for National Geographic Traveler magazine (this exchange appeared in the December 2014 issue)Follow Heather on Twitter @GreenwoodDavis

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