After travelling for a long time, and boy was it long, we finally arrived at home sweet home late last night.
I actually woke up at about half past one in the afternoon, which hasn’t happened to this early bird in many many years. It’s actually quite reasonable , since it was already two in the morning after we finished unpacking and stuff.
You may be wondering why I described the travelling as really long, I usually love vacationing and am not one to complain about a vacation being to long. However, now I’m referring to the time it took us to get from England to Taipei, which practically took forever. First of all, our plane from Gatwick to Hanoi was delayed for more than 24 hours!!! Then, when we got to Hanoi, we had to wait for about half a day for our flight back to Taipei. I could ramble on and on about the serious delay but I think I’ll save that for another time.
Moving on, I don’t claim to be an expert on travelling in London after just one trip, but here are some tips that I hope you’ll find useful.
- Bathrooms I don’t know how it is where you come from, but here in Taiwan, most public toilets are free to use. So not the case in England, therefore, try to take a bathroom break every time you spot a free one. Many museums have free toilets as well as many place you have to pay to get in. It wouldn’t make sense to have to pay for using the toilet if you’re already paying an admission fee to visit the venue, would it?
- London Pass With the London Pass, you can enter many of the popular attractions without an additional cost. There are one, two, three and six day passes to choose from. Once you consider that many attractions cost around £10~£20 per person, it’s a pretty good deal. More Info: http://www.londonpass.com/
- Oyster Pass According to their website, “ Oyster is a plastic smartcard you can use instead of paper tickets. You can put Travelcards, Bus & Tram season tickets and pay as you go credit on it. Oyster is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.” Also,” Multiple journeys within the same zone(s) are capped at the equivalent Day Travelcard rate.”
- Umbrella Always have an umbrella with you since it rains quite a bit. Most of the rain I encountered in London didn’t last for long and wasn’t that heavy. But in Alnwick, there were multiple full out showers. An interesting observation I made in Alnwick is that many people didn’t use umbrellas. Quite a few just wore their coats with the hood on, not sure if they were raincoats, and others didn’t even bother with hoods.
- Warm Clothing Definitely bring a coat and I strongly advise anyone from doing what I did, unless you are from the North Pole that is. Don’t let shorts and tank tops make up most of your travel wardrobe, especially if you come from a warmer climate like I do. Now I finally understand why all the chic Londoners you find in the street style section of magazines can wear all those blazers and jeans while leaving their hair down. It’s simply cooler there, and sometimes a bit cold in the evening.
- Put Your Liquids in The Clear Baggy They Provide at the Airport You may or may not do this already, but when they said to put all the liquids in your carry on baggage in a clear plastic bag, they meant it. Normally, I’m to lazy to bother, but at the Gatwick airport, my bag was searched and all the liquids had to be put in a clear baggy and run through the machine again.
- Tax Free Shopping The Gatwick Airport has many many stores, I would know as I waited there for more than 10 hours, combined but still. As a lot of the items there are tax free, you can get some serious savings. Beforehand, research what shops are there so you don’t end up paying way more at a department store elsewhere. Just saying.
Just one more thing, a shout out to Lucy at Lucy On The Lookout. I e-mailed her and she replied with a very descriptive e-mail filled with tons of travel recommendations. I didn’t get to visit a lot of the places on her list, but there is always next time. 😀