Last revised: August 14, 2010                                                                                      Guest Book
   
Tower of London


 This Album  presents some Tips and Secrets that we discovered
 in our Internet Research, Travel Guidebooks, Magazine articles,
 and our actual travel experiences that may be useful for anyone
 considering a similar vacation. We welcome any comments you
 might have, as well as the sharing of personal experiences and
 other suggestions and ideas. Please visit our GUESTBOOK!


  Travel Tips/Secrets 

Here are a few things we learned from personal experience and also from travel guide
books that may be helpful to anyone planning a similar trip to London and Paris.

Special Note:  "Pack HALF as many clothes, and TWICE as much money!"

 


1. We saved a lot of money by using the Internet for advance tickets and for important advice from other travelers.
2. We found the best air fare and non-stop flights at
www.orbitz.com  which directed us to www.ba.com
    (The flight we booked 5 months in advance, now costs $500.00 more, so book early!)
3. By purchasing tickets in advance for a flight on the London 'EYE', we avoided long lines.
4. A money belt is a good idea for passports and important papers and money. Here are a couple of samples:
                                       
5. If you prefer to use a Wash Cloth/Face Cloth -- bring one along - most accommodations don't have them.



6. Plastic Bags (bring several). Great for wash cloths and other things.
7. Bring 'moist wipes' (individual packages) -- great for freshening up at any time.
8. A Foreign Voltage Converter is necessary if you need to re-charge your camera battery. UK uses a 3-prong
    outlet, and France uses a 2-prong round outlet (to convert 220-240 volts to U.S. voltage 110-120 volts)
9. It's a great advantage to have some foreign currency when you arrive. Order some from your bank (it may take
    a few days so plan ahead, I think it may come from the nearest Federal Reserve Bank).
We ordered $300. in Pound
    Sterling -
- and $100. in Euros - . Again, it's better than waiting in exchange lines when arriving.
10. One of our best choices was to purchase 'Visitor Travelcards' OnLine, as you can't buy them in London. You
    can get 3, 5 or 7 day Travelcards which permits unlimited travel on the Underground/Tube AND on all busses.
    (Ours was for Zones 1 and 2, as we spent most of our time in Central London.) We never had to wait in line to
    buy tickets and with great maps, getting around London was very easy and fast.



11. Senior (60+) Discounts are often available, but sometimes you need to ask.
12. Be Safe! Try NOT to look like a tourist. Signs posted in Paris, particularly, warn of 'Pick-Pockets' in tourist
       areas, Eiffel Tower, crowded Metro stations and trains etc. Don't stand outside and look at maps if you have
       a large, obvious, camera (we loved our pocket-sized digital camera). American baseball hats and shorts
       and bright clothes and tennis shoes also attract 'Pick-Pockets', as does 'fancy-schmancy' luggage or name
       brand shopping bags from expensive stores. We never had a problem or felt threatened, but be cautious!
13. While our weather was perfect, bring an umbrella (called 'brolly') in London, as the weather changes quickly.
14. Always review your check before paying bills in restaurants. Many have already added the gratuity to the
      total bill. Sometimes shown as 'service charge'. Many menus also indicate whether tips are included.
15. Comfortable Walking Shoes with padded socks.


16. Dark clothing is also suggested - layers to deal with 'changeable' weather...
17. Know the location and phone number of the American Embassy.
18. Clean out your wallet, leaving only the essentials for your trip. Make copies of important cards or other
       information, including passports, and keep them in another place.
19. Bring only two credit/ATM cards and keep them in different places.
20. Bring a good 'Attitude'! Remember we are visitors in a foreign country. Our culture is different. Our customs
       are different. Attitude is important when your traveling companion might get a little 'grouchy' near the end of
       the day because of tired feet, achy legs, hunger pangs, or need for a bathroom break. Expect it to happen!


    CURRENCY IN LONDON   

 Pound Sterling Notes of  5, 10, 20  -- (50s weren't common because of counterfeit bills)

Coins were: 1 Penny,    2 Pence,   5 Pence,   10 Pence,   20 Pence, and 50 Pence.
Also  1 Pound Coins  and 2 Pound Coins - Queen's Picture  was on all currency.


.   CURRENCY IN PARIS   .

Euro Notes of  5, 10, 20 -- (50s weren't common because of counterfeit bills)

Coins were:   5 Euro Cents,   10 Euro Cents,   20 Euro Cents, and 50 Euro Cents.
1 Euro Coin,   2 Euro Coin.


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Last revised: August 14, 2010

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