Does everyone remember the movie “What a Girl Wants?” The movie with Amanda Bynes where she’s 18 and travels seamlessly and on a whim, mind you, to London?
My trip was not like that.
The first 6 hours getting into London was a straight disaster. Nobody’s fault but our own, but Austin and I literally got on and off three different trains to get to London’s city center. Did anyone else know how far out Heathrow is from London? Me either.
Lesson 1: Do not under any circumstances get into a cab and try to get to London’s city center…ever.
80£ later we only got ourselves halfway there and stuck trying to find our way to the nearest metro station. Make sure you know how to get from Heathrow to downtown London on the Tube. It will cost you 4 pounds and forgo the headache. Additionally buy day passes for your time there!
Lesson 2: It is hot in London during the summer, don’t let people fool you.
We were actually dripping in sweat getting from place to place. Trench coats are unnecessary, but still a cute staple to bring for over the shoulders.
Lesson 3: Don’t over pack
This is a lesson that I obviously still have not learned and clearly won’t learn, but if you choose to take my advice, by all means take it because walking with a 50 pound suitcase AND A CARRY ON felt like I was walking to my death; plus the streets are a little more narrow than I would have liked them to be over where we stayed.
Lesson 4: Do not eat fish and chips during the middle of the day
This is a very serious lesson. You will need to take a 3-hour nap afterwards, or just fall asleep like we did.
Lesson 5: The tube is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
We loved to walk everywhere, but definitely found ourselves needing to hop on and off the tube every so often to make the four day trip worth while.
Lesson 6: Don’t take out a lot of pounds, euros, dollars…etc. Wherever you go.
I made this mistake (again) there is no use for it. (Yes, really). The foreign exchange rates and all the extra money you pay to get physical cash out is useless. Unless you are going to a lot of flea markets and eating street food everyday, I suggest taking out 150 and calling it a day.
The second part of the day in London was fabulous! We walked around all over. We saw the Castle Bridge, London Bridge, went around all the city center and river walk and then made our way up and around Buckingham palace gardens, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square (which is absolutely stunning when there is a sunset by the way)
At the end of the day we most certainly had fish and chips for dinner and most certainly fell asleep as soon as we hit our pillows.