My sister and I (Mid-forties) decided to take a sisters' trip to London, leaving the husbands and children at home. I did most of the planning this time because I've been to London a few times before. We are both TA lovers! My sister had never been overseas so this was her first trip to London/Europe. I was incredibly excited for her to see my favorite city in the world! I love London, can you tell? We had only 5 days/nights. I started my obsessive researching early. We decided to go right after the Olympics, figuring it wouldn't be too crowded then. I booked our flights on Delta, out of NY's JFK, arriving into LHR/London at 8 AM. I also started to look into late summer, "August" specials at many of the hotels. Rates were starting to come down, yeah for us!
I looked into the London Pass and after thorough research, decided against it. It just wasn't going to be used enough for it to have value for us. I decided that we would take advantage of the DaysOut 2 for 1 offers instead.
Before we left, I booked a fair amount of stuff. We decided to stay in Mayfair because I've stayed in this area a few times and know it fairly well. We booked The Chesterfield Mayfair on Charles Street. I did this in two bookings: one was for a "Mayfair Weekend" package that included full breakfast and a complimentary afternoon tea. Then I just added on the other two nights. This was the cheapest way to book these five nights. I booked tickets for the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace on www.royalcollection.org.uk about one month before. (not covered on the London Pass, 2 for 1 not available on this either) The State Rooms are only open for 3 months I believe - July through September. I was excited for this because I had never done this before (and a lot of the other stuff we would be doing would be repetitive for me!) Total charge for Buckingham Palace was £39.70 (£18 each, plus £2.50 booking fee and £1.20 postage and packing) We received the tickets in the mail about two weeks before. We were invited to the Queen's house! And I'm also excited typing this because I just learned how to get the British pound sign to come up on my keyboard, instead of saying GBP....!
I also sent a request a few months before for tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. This was another thing that I hadn't gone to yet. I will continue later, got to go right now......