We are excited to share with you our experience in Europe. First stop London. We flew Delta from Sacramento (SMF) to Salt Lake City (SLC) and though we were scared not to have enough time with only one hour layover in SLC, the airport was pretty small and easy to navigate, so one hour was enough time to catch our next flight to London. If you can, take a late afternoon plane so you can sleep during the 9 hours flight without "fighting" with time too much.
1. If your passport is expiring in less than 3 months, countries like Italy or France won't let you in their country, so make sure your passport isn't expiring anytime soon.
2. Download the London map in Google Map and make sure to save it for offline use so you can find your way around town. Or you can do it the old fashion way and get a map.
3. Stay near a metro / tube station especially if you carry large luggage. Better yet, stay near St Pancras International station which is the hub for all ground transportation. You can easily access any part of London from there as the city is very well connected.
4. Get the Oyster Card for daily unlimited rides for only ~ $7. A one way ticket cost $2.40 so if you're going to visit more than 3 places taking the tube the oyster card will save you money. If you have insufficient fund just reload $5 - $20 at the pay machines which you can find at nearly every metro station.
5. Taking the train to the airport on your way in or out of London?! No need to buy your train ticket in advance. The price is the same if not less and you can get it at the station or the airport. We use the Thameslink train.
6. Last minute flight?! Try Monarch and fly out of London Luton instead of Gatwick or London airport. We had a change of plan while in London and Monarch offered the best rate at that time. While on the plane they will try to up sale you with orange juice, scratch tickets, fundraising donations ... uncommon but interesting. Maybe someday they will have a commercial airline with slot machines and poker tables. It'd really help with long haul.
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Love, Angela Thao209.751.9052