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Questions Reply

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chicago, il.
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Questions Reply

Wow!! I'm sorry I did not explain myself. No, we will not be staying at Buckingham Palace!!

We would like to stay around the area there if possible??

I'm from Chicago and the "downtown" area is the inter city where the highlights of

the city are.

Question on money?? You can travel outside the U.S. and still use U.S. currency.

Mexico, Costa Rica, Aruba etc. so sorry if I affended anyone.

I'm a newbie to the advisor for London would like all the info, I can get!!!!

Thanks,

Chicago

Ossett, United...
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11. Re: Questions Reply

The best advice - the advice I was given too when I was looking at my first trip to London - is to read a good guidebook (I like the DK Eyewitness one) to get an idea of areas to stay in, places to visit. Then, when you've more of an idea of what you want to see, you can ask more specific questions and you will get lots of help.

Enjoy your research!

London
Destination Expert
for London
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12. Re: Questions Reply

I'll confess I thought the previous thread was Rick Steves having a laugh:)

Anyway in the OP's case a bit of basic reading up first is highly advisable. A few online sources for basics:

fodors.com/world/…travel-tips.html

http://www.visitlondon.com/

roughguides.com/destinations/…

and tons more.

London, United...
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13. Re: Questions Reply

This trip report was resurrected lately and though it is from a year ago I think it probably still stands good today, plenty to look at and read through but I would imagine it is very useful to first time travellers to London

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k596…

naperville, illinois
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104 reviews
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14. Re: Questions Reply

chicago12370......on this post you have received some good replies. As a fellow 'Chicagoan' I understand what you mean about 'Downtown' - and in the case of Chicago, most of the hotels are either on or a few blocks off Michigan Avenue. That is not the case for London nor Paris, nor for that matter, I believe from experience, the majority of European city destinations. Think neighborhood (i.e. Lincoln Park, Bucktown, etc.) and with hotels in those areas ...but bigger neighborhoods. Make sense? So, I also suggest getting a good guide book or two, (even if you check it out of the library for a quick look through), get a good map - google one or buy one, read through some of the trip reports others have posted, and read through the links on the right side of the forum page. Let the regulars know what your nightly hotel budget is - BEST to post it in British pounds (use a conversion link ) that way you will get much better replies. Also, let them know if you have any mobility problems - meaning, is it difficult for you to walk, go down steps? You will be using the TUBE - that is like our "L" and the bus system - like our CTA buses for transportation. You can also find the tube map on line as well. Figure out what you want to see - obviously there are the main tourist sights...but look into the museums, street markets, etc..... (read others trip reports). What interests you?

As for the money issue - yes, we can use USD in tourist Mexico, Caribbean, but as others have said.... imagine if someone from the UK came into Macy's and plunked down pound notes, or someone from France went into Portillo's for a beef sandwich and wanted to pay with euros? Not gonna' work!

Since you also wish to visit Paris - all the same applies to there - where to stay, what to see - so go to their Paris Forum, and read the trip reports, links, etc. Get a guide book for Paris, etc. Remember - France uses Euros....so when you post requests for hotels with a budge use the cost in Euros.

Do a bit of reading and research..... get some ideas of what all you want to do, then come back and ask questions. I do agree with others about having a proper title for your question - so many times on the forums the title is so vague that the locals and regular posters will just not bother with it.

You will find that the regular posters on this forum have a weatlh of knowledge and are more than willing to share it with you and help you plan a great vacation.

Good luck!

naperville, illinois
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104 reviews
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15. Re: Questions Reply

After I submitted my post #14, a few more thoughts popped into my head.....

To clarify the credit card terms of 'chip & pin' and 'chip & signature'...... here in the US our credit cards require the wait staff or store clerk to 'swipe' it through the reader, and then we sign. In Europe the credit cards have a feature so that when you are at the restaurant, the wait person comes to your table with a portable reader and that is it.... very easy and simple. ( I am sure this is not the true techie explanation, but ...)By and large, our US cards won't work in those. BUT - you can still use your 'chip and signature' card. The personnel just have to use the old fashioned way! Also, there may be some difficulties with ours in stand alone ticket machines, but then you would just have to go a window with a human in it! There are some credit card companies here that are offering them..... and there are posts on this forum regarding them.... just do a search in the search function.

You can use VISA and MASTERCARD over there. Some no longer charge foreign conversion fees. Ask your bank what their policy is regarding the use of your ATM card - fees, will they waive those fees? How much money you can withdraw daily? And, yes, you will need a 4 digit number.(I think most banks do anyway.) A few weeks before you depart the US, notify your credit card companies and your bank of your travels - if you don't you take the chance of your cards being frozen for possible fraud use!

When you arrive into London Heathrow (assuming you are flying into Heathrow)....there are various ways to get from the airport to your hotel. (Remember, too, you will probably be arriving early in the morning - and usually the hotel room will not be ready until their posted checkin time (I always reserve for the night before, alert the hotel what I am doing, so that when we arrive to the hotel at 8am - we have an immediate checkin). Once you decide on your hotel, post on the board so the regulars can give you really good information on how to get to the hotel - by tube , if that is your choice (think BLue Line from OHare). BUT - since this is your first trip to Europe you might find it more comfortable and less stressful to use a car transfer - prearranged like the ones we have here in Chicago.You do not want to go to the taxi stands and grab a cab..... way too expensive. There are several threads on the board regarding those services as well. Your driver will meet you right outside of immigration and customs - in the arrivals hall (just like if you were coming into OHare International Terminal 5 and exiting. Here we need to go outside to the curb..... not there! (Just a heads up!)

If you are going to be in London for several days - you will need to get a transportation pass. Most recommend the paper rail card issued by National Rail..... if you get that you will be able to use 2 for 1 offers (241) for all sorts of places. The link for that is on the right of the page as well. That paper card will allow you to use the tube and the bus in the two main zones /areas for transportation, sightseeing, etc.

I would also suggest that since it is your first trip to Europe, before you leave the US you get some immediate walk around cash in pounds and in euros (for Paris). Yes, you will pay a few extra dollars for the convenience of doing that in the conversion fee, but, it makes your life so much easier and you don't have to worry about finding an ATM right away once you land and clear formalties. Go to your bank and see if they can get the foreign currency or you could wait until you get to OHare and use the kiosks there.

So..... grab a cup of coffee...read the links, get some guide books..... and make lists of what you want to do, see, and enjoy the planning!

London, England...
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16. Re: Questions Reply

Tbh, if you check the OP's posting history all he ever seems to do is post a question then leave and never come back and/or respond.

So this is all probably a wasted effort anyway....

17. Re: Questions Reply

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TX
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19. Re: Questions Reply

As an American, I will admit that the "downtown England" comment really ruffled MY feathers too! I stand by my previous suggestion to the OP to read, read, read, read, read. When such a basic ignorance (and I mean that word in the kindest possible sense) is displayed, it makes so much more sense to visit the library and/or a good book store before jumping into a forum such as this. Chicago12370 - With all due respect, you desperately need to learn the rudimentary essentials about visiting England. You're not likely to find folks with enough patience or time to provide that for you here.

20. Re: Questions Reply

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