Knackered by London (Part 1)

Blimey! After a long delay in Chicago, we finally made it to London about 12 hours after scheduled arrival. For the record, be cautious of sleeping pills for long overnight flights. About 30 minutes into the flight I took my Ambien ready to wake up refreshed in London, only to be startled awake two hours later back in Chicago with plane issues. I’m sure I looked like a crazy/drunk cat lady wandering around the airport and sleeping on a bench, but I digress.

I can’t really say much about Heathrow since we got there close to midnight and were exhausted. After some slight confusion, we found the right tube and headed towards our apartment. I know a lot of people prefer hotels, but after comparing prices, we decided to use Airbnb for both our stay in London and Paris. We spent about 5 nights in each location and this just ended up being much more economical for us. We also traveled very light with just a carry on and personal item each, so we enjoyed having a washer and dryer available.

I spent a lot of time researching for this trip. There are many amazing spots to stay in London. We aren’t big night life people, so we decided to stay on the South Bank. Our apartment was just around the corner from the Lambeth Station tube which worked great for my itinerary.  We were also within about a 10-15 minute walk of the London Eye and Big Ben. The apartment itself was very roomy, especially for Europe. As always, the kitchen and bathroom were on the small side. I didn’t have much trouble being petite, but my husband felt a little like Elf trying to use the shower.  We were on the top floor, and let me tell you, it was bollocks when you forgot your sunglasses and had to run back up. It was around 60 steps to the top!

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If it’s your first trip to London, I would recommend a strong itinerary to get everything in during your visit. I ended up getting us the London Pass, just because so many places I wanted to see were included. The London Pass is pretty expensive, so I recommend breaking down the fees and tickets for everything you want to do and compare that to the cost of the London Pass. It was only slightly cheaper for us, but offered us a lot of convenience. It includes a tricky pound amount for the tube and bus systems, but with all of our riding around we only had to add a few pounds to make our last tube trip to the train station (for the next leg in Paris!).

There is so much to see, do and eat in London that I’m going to break this trip up into several posts. I’ll give you guys my exact itinerary, restaurants, and lots of pictures! Planning a trip should be fun, not a nightmare. Hopefully my experience can pave the way for a trip without potholes. I’ll start rolling things out, so check back frequently for the 411 on my London experience.

-Teri