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Preparing for trip to London next year! NEEDING ADVICE!

Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Preparing for trip to London next year! NEEDING ADVICE!

A friend and I are planning a trip to London next year and plan to stay two weeks. We're planning things early so we can better prepare and and save enough for whatever we do over there. We''re not much for living like royals. We just want to go there mainly for museums, sites and local street food. Nothing too fancy.

I'm more concerned with transportation and lodgings. My experience with out of the country travel is fairly vast. I've lived in Berlin, Asia and South America since I was a child and well enough into adulthood. Whereas my partner in crime hasn't traveled out of country or further than Florida, and has always been with a group. She has her reservations with it only being us two and not being familiar with travel outside of our comfort zone.

The advice I'm needing is best long term (2 week) stay hotels that are either in or outside of London. The more we can experience outside of the main cities is fine by us. We're in it more for adventure really.

Secondly, any tips for public transportation? Example, is there a card or ticket we can purchase for the 2 weeks we're there that can give us nearly unlimited access to the subs or buses?

Thirdly, good ol' money. She questioned if either debit or credit cards worked while we were there. Is there a best place to get cash converted without having to dish out quite a bit for conversion charges?

Last but not least, when is the best time to go where weather is good, and we can avoid large crowds, and obtain cheaper flight tickets?

Replies are much appreciated and all my thanks for the time you take to help :)

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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1. Re: Preparing for trip to London next year! NEEDING ADVICE!

'The advice I'm needing is best long term (2 week) stay hotels that are either in or outside of London.' Rather than a hotel, you may wish to book a short stay flat. Start here with TALFer TexScott's excellent list of rated short stay websites and agents: https:/… and https:/…

'Secondly, any tips for public transportation? Example, is there a card or ticket we can purchase for the 2 weeks we're there that can give us nearly unlimited access to the subs or buses?' Subs? Do you mean the pongy, suspect sandwiches produced by those green and yellow branded shops or are you considering underwater travel? The Underground (Tube) in London is not a subway, which is an underground pedestrian walkway.

Aside from that, Travelcards will give you not just nearly unlimited but thoroughly unlimited use of the Underground, DLR, Overground, National Rail and bus services in London. The cards are available in one day, seven day, one month and longer varieties, but seven day cards should be suitable for you. Buy them at a National Rail station and you may use them for the two for one offers from www.daysoutguide.co.uk To that end, refer to Top Questions about London at the London forum page, which has two traveller articles which discuss the two for one offers and paper Travelcards in great detail.

Both debit and credit cards are accepted for payment in the UK. You may withdraw pounds from your chequing account with your bank debit card; the main UK banks will not charge a fee for doing so, but your bank might. Credit cards often have a 'convenience fee' of about 2% - 2.75% built in to the charge you will see on the bill, but that is attempted to be offset by applying a more favourable exchange rate to the conversion.

'Whereas my partner in crime hasn't traveled out of country or further than Florida, and has always been with a group. She has her reservations with it only being us two and not being familiar with travel outside of our comfort zone.' Your partner may wish to be involved in the planning process, not only to help decide what she would like to see and do but also to become familiar, even in a small way, with what she will find when she arrives in London. There is a thread on the London forum right now where someone has asked if Londoners will be able to understand him, so others do seem to have doubts about taking a great leap into the unknown. There may / will be a bit of culture shock, but if the essential curiosity about a new locale is at the foundation that will help ease the way.

'Last but not least, when is the best time to go where weather is good, and we can avoid large crowds, and obtain cheaper flight tickets?' April and May or September and October are shoulder season times to visit, and London won't be as crowded in those months as it will in July and August. There is no off season in the capital, though, with visitors making their way to the city at all times of year. Air fares will ebb and flow like the tides, but again May or September and October will have lower fares than for travel in peak summer season.

Southampton
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2. Re: Preparing for trip to London next year! NEEDING ADVICE!

I am not really sure what you want because you post about London, but then say you want to spend most of your time outside of the city.

You cannot truly believe that in London, international financial centre, you cannot use credit cards. Seriously! Did you ever visit a shop on all of your previous travels?

I strongly advise that you purchase or borrow several different guidebooks and read them.

UK
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3. Re: Preparing for trip to London next year! NEEDING ADVICE!

hotels that are either in or outside of London.

-------

That doesn't really narrow it down does it ? :-)

Start with a guidebook. Try the Eyewitness London.

Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: Preparing for trip to London next year! NEEDING ADVICE!

<<< The advice I'm needing is best long term (2 week) stay hotels that are either in or outside of London. The more we can experience outside of the main cities is fine by us. We're in it more for adventure really. >>>>

All hotels in the UK have been reviewed by fellow-travellers. Their reviews are posted on this site (and many others. I suggest you SPECIFY what would attract you to a hotel - price? ambience? location? food?

Then read the reviews. You can list by price on here.......

<<<< Secondly, any tips for public transportation? Example, is there a card or ticket we can purchase for the 2 weeks we're there that can give us nearly unlimited access to the subs or buses? >>>>

You're kidding, right? There's only 10 million questions on here already about the Oyster Card. (One of many. Try reading some bits of www.seat61.com , or www.tfl.gov.uk

<<< Thirdly, good ol' money. She questioned if either debit or credit cards worked while we were there. Is there a best place to get cash converted without having to dish out quite a bit for conversion charges? >>>

Yep - just like the phones, credit cards won't work outside the US of A (I dissemble slightly). Of course cards works. Ask your bank what its charges are and see if you can do better elsewhere.

Good luck on the learning curve, but remember, it is HIGHLY unlikely you are the first to ask these questions. Have a play with the search or browse functions....please.

Wales, United...
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for Bargain Travel, Cruises
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5. Re: Preparing for trip to London next year! NEEDING ADVICE!

>>>Last but not least, when is the best time to go where weather is good, and we can avoid large crowds, and obtain cheaper flight tickets?<<<

I always enjoy June, but good weather is never guaranteed in the UK. Places do tend to be more crowded in the school holidays, which tend to start towards the end of July in England and Wales.

6. Re: Preparing for trip to London next year! NEEDING ADVICE!

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