London Visit – Summer 2017 Part 1: Preparation, Planning, Cost

Left to right: Tower Bridge, London Eye, Elizabeth Tower (and Big Ben – under construction)

London, England …

It’s a place steeped in rich history and buried in tourist attractions and gift shops. Home of Tower Bridge, The London Eye (sponsored by Coca-cola), and The Elizabeth Tower (which holds Big Ben). Seen above courtesy of my spiffy iPhone 7.

Why go to London?

Well, I was gonna go to Honolulu, Hawaii last year, but that didn’t work out. Long story, lots of tears, but as proof that all things work out eventually, the London trip was amazing. One huge bonus to going to London is that I know people there. Staying with friends has the benefit of getting to see them more and saving on lodging. I also got to meet an online friend who I’d “known” for 15+ years. Bonus – he was more than happy to play tour guide through most of the trip.

What had to happen to get there?

  1. Bought a plane ticket.
  2. Bought the 10-day version of The London Pass.
  3. Went to a foreign exchange place close to my apartment and changed about $400 over to pounds.
  4. Packed a small suitcase with 10-ish days worth of stuff.

How much did it cost?

  1. plane ticket: $1115.06. I actually paid much less because I had a credit of about $700 from the ticket I’d bought to Hawaii. Surcharges for transferring plane tickets stink by the way.
  2. 10-day version of The London Pass: $310.09. It was in pounds, so I got hit with a fee for paying with USD. Incidentally, I probably could have gotten away with the 6-day pass, but as long as you intend to do about two things each day that are applicable, I’d say it’s worth it.
  3. Three hundred pounds: ~$400. There are fees to switch currencies and the British pound is stronger  (worth more) than the US dollar. I got a fairly decent rate compared to other exchange places.
  4. Snacks – $20. I packed some snacks for the plane and waiting around in airports, but I didn’t really use much of that. Granola bars make for walking around and standing in queues (lines) much more bearable.

*At the end of this series, I’ll show you my complete list of comparisons and observations between the US and the UK.

What did the journey look like?

On the way there I had a window seat …

Left to right: taxing in Newark airport; Newark seen from above; clouds somewhere over the US.

Left to right: More clouds somewhere over the Atlantic; the sun somewhere over the UK, first glimpse of London, England.

What did you see there?

Tons of stuff really. I’ll write a few more posts with what happened each day as well as my casual review of each thing.

Just in case you need snack ideas…


4 thoughts on “London Visit – Summer 2017 Part 1: Preparation, Planning, Cost

  1. I love that you are sharing your trip with us!! The pics are fabulous!! I love to travel, but I have never been to London, so at least I now have you to teach me all about it through your posts! Thank you! Looking forward to more soon! 🙂

Comments are closed.