Last minute Cheap London Vacation

cheap london vacation

Planning a last minute cheap london vacation?...follow the simple steps.

Cheap London Vacation: Getting there
On my agenda was the airfare and the hotel to London.

I was certain that I could get something relatively cheap playing around the travel sites using my Hotwire Guide and Priceline Guide.

During summer time, the average flight plus hotel for seven days plus round-trip flight from the U.S. was about $3,300 for a family of 3. It's cheaper on other times.

I'll show you how I booked my cheap london vacation without getting up. I was already a seasoned traveler without moving from my computer desk!

Cheap London Vacation - visa requirement, passports, travel advice?
Next, I got the passports ready. I renewed my passport online.

The passports are expensive - $85 for me, $70 for one kid - but I'm just glad I didn't wait till the last minute ;) it would cost about twice as much. Since we weren't going over to stay for more then six months, we wouldn't require visas. Since we were just going to the United Kingdom, we wouldn't require immunization shots.

Cheap London Vacation insurance
Now for the vacation insurance. The last time I was in Europe, traveling with my sister and friends, I stayed in hostels with countless grimy peers - there was no thought of insurance or even how we would get back to the States.

But now, I have my family to think about. Learn the travel insurance basics so you could pick the most economical one.

More Cheap London Vacation Preparation
Back at the computer, I decided to get the London Pass that came with a travel card. It gives you unlimited tube access, bus access, and some light rail access. It's convenient and as cost efficient as transport around London can be.

The Tube will get you just about anywhere you need to go in London -- including back and forth from Heathrow Airport. Since I wanted to see everything in London, and the Pass could get us into a great deal of attractions for free - 50 to be exact!

Plus, I always liked a good bargain, and many of the restaurants, movie theaters and plays would be discounted. Harry Potter: the one and only reason why children are excited about going to London.

Although I checked into buying tickets for the tour, I almost fainted when I converted: 350.00 pounds was 663.40 dollars. We would just do everything ourselves. Gringott's Wizarding Bank is actually Australia House, located on the Strand in London and London Zoo's Reptile House is where Harry first notices his ability to speak to snakes (yes, I admit it - I've read the books also).

Yes! This trip would be much easier on my feet and my wallet. Of course, last time, I didn't have the luxury of the internet to get all the necessary arrangements.

Cheap London Vacation: Best Pound Currency Exchange Rate?
London is very expensive and the current exchange rate does not help. I remember when I had a cheap London Vacation the last time, I went to the local money exchange booths, various hotels and the airport for currency: in other words, everything wrong. No wonder I was so poor! I know better now.

I have my trusty online currency exchange rates converter listed under My favorites, and I went to the bank and got both travelers checks and pounds.

If I want to convert more dollars into pounds over in London, I'll go to the nearest AMT to get the best rates.

Best time for a Cheap London Vacation and the most essential items to pack?
Now we were almost ready to go. I started nagging my family about packing. In London, June is mild (50-60 degrees) but rainy. Take a last minute cheap london vacation in November, as this is the offseason.

Most months in London were rainy - London was a damp city. Rain-jackets, pants, long-sleeved shirts. Everything easy to wash. Backpacks, totes. Money carrier, first aid kit.

I made a ID card which had my picture, name, age, address and a fingerprint - copied twice. Toiletries, medication and prescription. Water bottles, mesh bag for dirty laundry. By the time we had everything packed, the house was a wreck but we were off to our cheap London vacation!

Finally, we're in London...
Landing in London, the first thing I did was grab maps - maps of the London and maps of the Underground.

While the Tube is great but you don't get a very accurate image of how far things are by looking at the tube map. For exapmple you will realised that instead spending 15 minutes underground, you can take a 5-10 minutes walk.

Do yourself a huge favour and pick up a central London bus map at one of the rail stations. It shows a physical layout of central London with the tube lines and stations. You'll also discover that the bus can be much faster and more direct than the tube in many cases.

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