Sunday, May 25, 2014

cheap transfer from airport to major stations

So it turns out National Express is not the only cheap way to transfer from the airport.

I found this website:
and they gave me a number of options. One of them is
They are cheaper than national express and they stop only at your destination.
 They take you from Gatwick to two major stations in downtown London, and it is easy to find hotels nearby.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bluegreen getaways - stay away

I removed the posting I had previously written here because I was eventually called by the company and offered a deal to satisfy my complaints. Such a deal makes my previous affirmations untrue, therefore not suitable for this blog.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

One day in Paris

So as it turns out we will spend one day in Paris. SInce I don't particularly die of love for France, that is a good way to get Paris crossed out of the bucket list without spending a lot of time or money.

I visited the following two websites:
According to them, this seems to be the best walking route for Paris in a day:

1-arc de triomphe
2-walk along Champs Élysées toward
3-Eiffel tower
4-Place de la Concorde
5-Louvre Museum (no time to go in) :(
6-cross the Pont Neuf (New Bridge built in 1607) over the Sienne toward the Ile de la Cité 
7-Le Sainte Chapelle and 
8-Notre Dame Cathedral
Here is the picture with the complete itinerary:
 Now, how do you get from the train station to the the Arc de Trioumphe? Well, I have to check on that. it might be my next post.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Changing the Guard and Buckingham tickets

We are planning to visit Buckingham Palace, as well as watching the change of the guard. Reason why I am not booking the visit to Buckingham until right before the month when we are supposed to go there. Why? Because some months have the change of guard every day, while other months have it only every other day.
I don't want to book my ticket for the day they are not doing the change of the guard, and then have to go back to the same place twice.
When I plan my trips - live and learn - I plan them in clusters - as much as possible of course - in order to avoid wasteful zigging and zagging around town.
Here is a website that can give you info on the change of the guard.
Changing the Guard - Ceremonial Events - The Household Division - Official site

Sunday, May 11, 2014

things to buy when you get there - things to buy in advance.

So, I was going to by the London travel card - the seven day one. i went through the ordering process until I learned that they would charge me 5 POUNDS to ship it here.

Well, no thank you. Really we can buy these tickets at the station for no shipping charge.

ANOTHER card - the London pass also has a shipping charge, unless you choose to pick it up there. That's what I chose.

There are a number of other cards that you will find out that you have to either pay for shipping, or pay a booking fee, or choose to buy it/ pick it up locally.

But, really, we can't use this philosophy for everything. Things like the Buckingham Palace can be a problem. We didn't buy that in advance last time, to save on shipping, and found ourselves in a never-ending line to get tickets for the next day. Just that we were leaving in the afternoon, so, there was no visit to Buckingham Palace when we first went to London

Weigh your options.

A travel card, yes, I know I can buy that at the station. But a ticket for such a huge attraction might be worth the extra shipping charge.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Well, so, you are looking at flights to London - like my family and I - and deciding which of the London airports - Heathrow, Gatwick or Luton - you should land on?

Okay, if you are renting a car, pick which ever airport is cheaper for you.

However if you are taking public transportation into London, and your party has more than one person, weigh the price of the train ride against the money you are saving by picking one airport over another.

From Heathrow a ticket on the Tube can cost anywhere from 3 to 5 pounds.

From Gatwick there is no Tube. It is either the train or the coach.

With the cheapest fare from Gatwick to London (downtown) is 22.5 pounds a person - the cheapest fare possible. They can get more expensive, so don't just buy the next train , check if there is a cheaper one coming right after that.

But with the coach bus, I just checked, it costs only 8 pounds a person to take the bust to dowtown London.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

London - Paris - train or plane?

Well, it turns out that it is cheaper to fly to Paris from London (tickets going from $61 to $88 - yes, dollars - on Kayak searches), than to take the famous train ride with Eurostar (cheapest ticket was 77 EUROS!!!! )  If you get a sale, you can get to Paris for 48 EUROS, but it has to be on the days they have a sale. We don't happen to be traveling on those days.

Of course the flight is shorter than the train ride as well. On the other hand, it might take less time to get to the train station than to the airport.