As the summer comes to an end, some of us are already planning our next summer trips. If you are thinking of going to London or the surrounding area these tips will help you get there and make the most of it. This post is a guest post written by the creator of Chickie Bean (Check it out here: www.facebook.com/chickiebean/ ). Chickie Bean is place to inspire and motivate teachers by the sharing of ideas and experiences. So sit back and enjoy a trip to the UK.
By Jenna Gareis
This summer I took a two-week trip to the UK. I had been taking an armchair version of this trip since my teens and although it had a lot to live up to, the reality did not let me down. Here are a few things I learned and a few things I did that worked for me. They say that good things come in threes so…1 – 2 – 3 – go!
Top 3 Packing Tips
- Only bring a carry on! I brought two dresses, a pair of jeans and pair of capris as well as a variety of shirts. I also brought my Birks and my Toms. London was hot but Edinburgh, Haworth, Bath and Salisbury were all cold. Bring a medium weight sweater. I bought toiletries at Boots when I got to London and disposed of them before flying home. I did bring a collapsible tote in my carry on in case I went overboard on the keepsakes and gifts and needed to check a bag on the way back but in the end I did not need it and that was lifesaving. Heathrow lines were intense and I seriously could have missed my flight even though I arrived three hours before my flight. If you can do the carry on only you’ll be hugging yourself the whole flight home.
- I brought a travel umbrella but I strongly suggest you purchase a cheap umbrella in London – they sell them everywhere and then just leave it behind.
- I brought my Mophie battery pack (Mophie isn’t paying me to say this) and it was the second best decision I made! (Going carry on only was the first). I could charge the Mophie in the hotel USB charger overnight without thinking about adaptors or electric currents and then throw it in my purse when I left in the morning. My phone was always chargeable and it took no thought or effort. I love my Mophie!
Top 3 Spending Tips
- Remember that anything you can see in those tourist gift shops at The Tower of London or the Victoria and Albert can be purchased online and shipped to your home. So if you see a large, heavy, or bulky item that you just must have – take note and then buy it online once you’ve flown home.
- Do buy those five pound souvenir brochures to places like Stonehenge or the Bronte Parsonage Museum. They are filled with photos and information, written in an engaging manner and very light weight.
- Do check out London Walks (They aren’t paying me to say this). I took one of their evening ghost walks and it was fabulous. I also went on one of their Thames Beachcombing trips and brought home bits of trash from the Roman, Regency, and Victorian eras! Each walk is 10 pounds and they are each amazing.
Top 3 Free Experiences
- Walking around London. Some days I walked up to 12 miles. Bring a good pair of broken in shoes and your camera. I feel like I really got to know the city in a special way by choosing the slower pace and the longer commute from place to place. I spoke to people, I saw interesting buildings and monuments that I wouldn’t even know existed if I were simply focused on getting from point a to point b.
- The Italian Garden in Kensington Park. OH. MY. BEAUTY. Bring a lunch and settle down for a nice long afternoon of basking in the beauty of this spot.
- Participating in the live studio audience of a BBC programme taping. I went to http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/takepart/ and filled out the simple application. I was asked to take part in one and had a blast! I strongly suggest you give this a try.
Top 3 Tips If You Are Like Me
- If you are like me and get a people-overload make your way to Green Park and take a walk under the trees.
- If you are like me and don’t usually get the audio guide at tourist places, do yourself a huge favor and get it at Apsley House. While we are at it, GO to Apsley House. This is where the Duke of Wellington lived and it is remarkable but you must listen to the audio guide.
- If you are like me and you love bookstores, hit Hatchard’s and allow yourself a lot of time. It’s been there since the late 1700s and you can feel that. Soak it in.
Thank you for reading. Hope you gained a few pointers for not just a trip to the UK but for other trips as well.