Travel

RFD a UK trip for next summer

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  • Sep 15th, 2017 11:27 pm
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georvu wrote:
Aug 31st, 2017 9:36 pm
Any suggestions where to best exchange locally, if you are in GTA area? Thanks.
I use Calforex at Vaughan Mills.
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I did the trip to the UK recently

Took WJ YYZ to LGW - fligh tout was overnight so didn't need food , flight back was mid afternoon so got some Marks and Spencers sandwiches etc which were great
Used RBC Westjet card and my daughter used the $399 companion pass so overall much cheaper than AC which I flew with last year and 1 free luggage for both of us
Plane was fine no delays , Gatwick was much faster than LHR in terms of passport control and security screening on way out. If I do it next year I'll do WJ again
http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=14378

WENGER IN!!!!


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apnayloags wrote:
Aug 28th, 2017 10:04 am
Check the forex rates before deciding countries. Some of them are expensive (e.g. Switzerland)
Lol. How would that help if you don't know what local prices are? Sales taxes, property taxes, salaries, local competition, local expectations, they all influence prices. I've met Europeans in all corners of the world who think of Canada as expensive because they took one look at Toronto or Lake Louise hotel prices and stopped planning. When I tell them the cost of a coffee, they reconsider.
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
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OP, don't look at saving money and look at getting value. Euro Disney, for example, strikes me as idiotic unless you think Irma is going to destroy Orlando or you have a criminal record.

Pubs. Every night go to a pub. Also go during the day for contrast. It is a dying tradition, but it is the most unique aspect of England. In smaller towns there will be families there. Nobody eats there (they sell food for legal reasons, not because they want to). In London the pubs close at 11PM. DO NOT TIP!!!

Food. There are no English restaurants in Canada for a good reason. Self cater, sandwiches, fast food. You can save a fortune as long as you don't pursue the illusive good meal.

History. Not all European cities are worth visiting, no matter how nice the people are. Check out the cities in Google Streetview.
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
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MonctonMan wrote:
Sep 9th, 2017 4:10 am
OP, don't look at saving money and look at getting value. Euro Disney, for example, strikes me as idiotic unless you think Irma is going to destroy Orlando or you have a criminal record.

Pubs. Every night go to a pub. Also go during the day for contrast. It is a dying tradition, but it is the most unique aspect of England. In smaller towns there will be families there. Nobody eats there (they sell food for legal reasons, not because they want to). In London the pubs close at 11PM. DO NOT TIP!!!

Food. There are no English restaurants in Canada for a good reason. Self cater, sandwiches, fast food. You can save a fortune as long as you don't pursue the illusive good meal.

History. Not all European cities are worth visiting, no matter how nice the people are. Check out the cities in Google Streetview.
Keeping in mind that reason being there is for a relative's wedding and flying there is biggest expense... Euro Disney is much cheaper then Florida Disney which have already done. It's something BIL and family want to do and since staying with them for a bit we are considering but not for sure yet.

Will definitely research the local establishments with BIL... research purposes only :) Thanks for suggestion.

He can probably plan a good itinerary for all of us however wanted some RFD viewpoints as well.

Agreed that not worthwhile to visit too many European cities. Gonna be in/near London so that is a start plus Scotland... got Paris not too far away and considering Switzerland.
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georvu wrote:
Sep 10th, 2017 12:54 am
Keeping in mind that reason being there is for a relative's wedding and flying there is biggest expense... Euro Disney is much cheaper then Florida Disney which have already done. It's something BIL and family want to do and since staying with them for a bit we are considering but not for sure yet.

Will definitely research the local establishments with BIL... research purposes only :) Thanks for suggestion.

He can probably plan a good itinerary for all of us however wanted some RFD viewpoints as well.

Agreed that not worthwhile to visit too many European cities. Gonna be in/near London so that is a start plus Scotland... got Paris not too far away and considering Switzerland.
Why not consider Ireland? It's pretty close as well.
Then again, being in France does also give you lots of options if you're being based out of Paris.
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georvu wrote:
Sep 10th, 2017 12:54 am
Agreed that not worthwhile to visit too many European cities. Gonna be in/near London so that is a start plus Scotland... got Paris not too far away and considering Switzerland.
Haha... You've just contradicted yourself. :)
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^^ No, no just considering... will choose a couple of places only :)

Right now thinking to pick either London and Euro Disney depending how much family in UK wants that else London and Scotland.

As do more research and price the events plus get more info on what days need to be in London for wedding festivities then can plan accordingly.
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so how much would one budget for a week in London?
sans hotel/flights of course.
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georvu wrote:
Sep 10th, 2017 12:54 am
Agreed that not worthwhile to visit too many European cities. Gonna be in/near London so that is a start plus Scotland... got Paris not too far away and considering Switzerland.
Scotland is a 7 hour drive away from Edinburgh. Switzerland is 10. I'd either stay in the UK for the 2/3 weeks, or head to Paris to do your Disney thing and then stay on the continent. If you're going to go to Scotland - then I'd recommend actually seeing more of it than just Edinburgh or Glasgow. Head to Skye or the Hebrides for example but that will take time. Its also festival time in Edinburgh in August so be prepared to pay through the nose for accommodation and don't even consider driving downtown.

Another option is to do a stopover in Iceland on your way over or back.
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GurungBoi wrote:
Sep 12th, 2017 2:04 pm
so how much would one budget for a week in London?
sans hotel/flights of course.
It depends on what you want to do and how much you are willing to spend.

For food, the cheapest would be the meal deals in Tesco, Sainsbury's, etc for £3, which includes a sandwich, drink, and a snack (chips, choco bar, etc). Then you have decent fast-food options like Pret a Manger (for sandwiches), Wasabi or Itsu (for sushi or Japanese hot food stuff), Leon (healthy fast food). Then, you have Franco Manca which does good pizza for £7 or less. You also have the various food markets around (less than £10). Some good but cheap restaurants abound for less than £15. The most expensive meal I've had was about £45, but that includes a shared bottle of wine with friends. You can go much higher if you choose to. Also, it's a tradition to eat a Sunday Roast at a decent pub (avoid pubs managed by Wetherspoon's -- they are shit).

For art and culture, most museums and galleries are free. Most of these museums though have temporary exhibitions where you have to pay. Most of the big museums have "Museum Lates" where they are open late at night (free admission) with a DJ playing some tunes and alcohol being served in the premises (adults only though). Musicals and plays can cost from £15 to £250+ depending on the seats and popularity. Shakespeare's Globe have standing tickets for £5 and the National Theatre have limited tickets for some of their plays for £10. The Royal Festival Hall, Barbican centre, and Royal Albert Hall (for BBC Proms) usually have tickets for symphony and orchestra from £20. I'm not sure about prices for the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, but during the summer, they will air some popular works live from the Opera House in Trafalgar Square for free. There are also open-air film screenings in Somerset House (from £15) and the Scoop by City Hall (for free) among others.

For pubs and bars, a pint will usually cost you at least £4.50 (but no tipping required). It's a tradition that everyone in your group buys everyone else a round. So if you are with a group of 5, budget at least £25 for your round. Pubs are usually closed by midnight, but some bars remain open until 2am. The UK in general has a vibrant clubbing nightlife, which usually stay open until 7am particularly in London. After-party clubs usually are open from 4am to noon or later. Cover charges range from none to £15. Clubs in London range from small, sweaty basement nightclubs (which can be a lot of fun) to huge multi-storey spaces underneath railway viaducts or former industrial buildings (like The Printworks in Canada Water). Chemsex parties seem to be the rage now from what I've heard and read, but I've never been and have no interest in such parties.

Transport in London can cost from £1.50 for bus, £2.40 for one-way in the tube in zone 1-2, to £6.60 (maximum for zone 1-2 for the day). If you want to go outside zone 2 within London (to visit Hampton Court Palace or Richmond), you'll pay more. Some tube lines run for 24 hours from Friday to Sunday. On other days, night buses are available and are frequent and extensive. Walking in London is the best of course, and there is no such thing as jaywalking here. You can cross the street wherever you want as long as it's safe. The only people who wait for the green man to show up despite no cars going through are tourists from North America where they have been conditioned that car drivers have supremacy over the streets. And please remember to stand on the right when on an escalator in a tube station. This is really important for London to function smoothly. As for day trips outside London, the cheapest tickets aside from Advance tickets are the Super Off-Peak saver tickets. Prices depend on where you want to go. Bath, Brighton, Windsor, Oxford, Cambridge are all worthy of a day trip.

Paid sight attractions like the London Eye, the Shard observatory, Tower of London, etc all cost at least £20. You can save some money by doing the 2-For-1 tickets if you have a National Rail ticket. Just google it as I don't have time to explain. The Sky Garden is free but you will need to book weeks in advance as they are quite popular.

London overall is a very safe city and is comparable in safety to Canadian cities. The only thing you need to worry about are gangs in mopeds who will snatch your mobile phones from your hands while they drive away. And there have been several incidents of acid being thrown at their victim's faces scarring them for life. There was even one incident about someone throwing acid at a busy nightclub in Hackney. And of course, there is that rare instance of having a lunatic mow you down with a van. But aside from these, London is very safe.
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seagull1987 wrote:
Sep 12th, 2017 3:01 pm
...what?
whoops - Edinburgh is a 7 hour drive away from London

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