A RETROSPECT FROM A RETURNING LONDON TRAVELER

September 29, 2017

LONDON is one of the most exciting cities on the planet and the number one destination for the English-speaking world. We at the LONDON CONNECTION VACATION RENTALS believe that a successful stay in this magnificent city is enhanced by preparation and awareness before living in London as Londoners live.

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Mrs. Moore and I have just returned from an extended visit to London, and I have made observations which I would like to share with you.

Be Prepared

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London visitors should be well prepared and informed before they leave on their trip. Bookstores are full of guidebooks which offer suggested itineraries for experienced London travelers as well as for those coming to London for the first time. I am heartened to find our London Connection flats filled with travel books left by previous visitors. The Internet is amazing in our modern world. Your visits to The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery, the Queen’s Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, the Museum of Natural History, Kensington Palace, on and on will be greatly enhanced by searching the Internet: address, nearest tube station, opening and closing hours, floor plans for exhibitions, opening/closing days, costs if any, and gift shops. Explore the world of visiting London before a visit, and your expectations will be met. If you attempt to prepare you and your family during a visit, you will miss half of the experience. Example: Westminster Abbey can be a tourist visit worth wonderful photographs; but with careful preparation, you will not miss the many rooms of the Abbey which are so often missed by those who never know these ancient sites are there. Certainly we don’t want to be visitors to London who feel the “ T” shirt is an adequate souvenir when we can return to our homes with amazing photographs and an eagerness to “ do that again.” The larger the group in the traveling party, the greater the preparation is needed.

Bring the Correct Shoes

Stephanie and I were riding the bus from the Green Park Tube Station to the Trafalgar Square bus stop. Sitting next to me was a wonderful Canadian teenager who was certainly full of excitement and eagerness. I looked down and noticed he was wearing flip-flops. This was a cool and damp day.  I asked him why he was not wearing shoes. He looked agonized as he told me he had blisters from his new shoes. My point: be sure you have given your shoes a lot of trials before you ever come to London. London is a walking city, and only “ experienced” shoes will serve you well.

Have Copies of Passports

A few years ago, I was contacted by a visitor in London staying in one of our flats that she had left her passport in her purse in a taxi. The purse contained her passport, her driver’s license, her flight details, and her credit cards. This is not the first time I have been aware of this situation from an agonized guest in one of our flats. Over the years, I have often suggested that travelers should leave their passports in a secure place in the flat where they are staying. I have suggested that copies of passports, birth certificates, credit and debit cards, and flight details be left in the flat in care of emergencies like these. If you go to the embassy for a duplicate passport and have a copy of your lost passport, I assure you, the replacement process is much easier.

Be sure you have access to the emergency numbers for your credit cards to cancel them when lost. The credit card people will tell you what to do to get access to your funds. Once you acquire your duplicate passport, simply go to the airport with your flight number, and there will be no difficulty boarding your flight home. A LACK OF CAREFUL PREPARATION BEFORE TRAVELING TO LONDON WILL RUIN YOUR TRIP IF YOU LOSE YOUR WALLET OR PURSE.

Enjoy Dining

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LONDON CONNECTION has written a great deal about successful restaurants reported by our visitors who have returned home and write to us. Of course all of that is fun. I admit I go to DA CORRADI in Shepherd Market for Italian cuisine, to Carnaby Street for NOODLES, and to the RITZ for a special night out. Having said that, some of my very favorite meals have been experienced in restaurants I found interesting in my wanderings. There are many new restaurants in Soho on Wardour Street. I always go to a restaurant where this is a lot of activity. It is like driving across the States and learning that truckers know where the best places are to eat. My advice is to explore and enjoy and then go back where you have found your own special restaurants. Of course let us know if you find some place very special.

Bring Your Camera

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A last comment is dear to my heart! Take a good camera and a CHARGER. Take lots of pictures of people, places, and things. AND by all means send them to us at the London Connection. Share your experiences by LIKING our London Connection Facebook Page or FOLLOWING US on Instagram LDNCXN. Add images and use #LDNCXN. If you are clever with a camera, we will consider some of your photographs for our yearly calendar. If we feature your image in a future blog or post, you will receive 10% off your next stay with us.

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Stay tuned…I will write soon about clothing, flat life, shopping hints, and markets, antiques, and vintage shops.