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First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

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Liberia, Costa Rica
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First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

Hello,

I'm from Costa Rica in Central America.

Since my family has british roots (Scottish) we'll always wanted to visit the UK.

Now we have the opportunity to turn this long awaited trip into reality. We already have the plane tickets, and the accomodations booked for next april.

First we're traveling to Edinburgh to visit the city and the town of my ancestors, Inverkeithing, and then we´re traveling south to London to spend there the last five days of the trip.

I'm traveling with my wife and two kids, a sixteen year old girl and an eleven years old boy and I would really appreciate if could advise me in couple (well, I better won't lie ... it's more than a couple!!!) of issues I'm not clear about.

First of all, I booked a very good offer for family apartment in Croydon, wich I think it's okay since we don't want to be in the city center. Do you think it's a safe place? Are there good restaurants and shopping there?

Another thing that I'm not really sure about is the London Pass (with Travel Card). I think it's a good deal, it includes a lot of attractions and also the public transportation for six days (at least, that's what I think). Like most of the tourists we want to go to the most famous London attractions and we don't want to rent a car (I don'd want to drive on the "right side" of the road). so I think the London Pass it's a good idea. Please tell me your opinion about this.

The third issue that is that i'm a little confused about travelling with minors. I've found that transportation and attraction prices vary according to the kids age. In the London Pass website it says that they dont need any ID card but in other pages they talk about a "photocard" or an "oyster card". Of course we want to avoid any possible problem, so I want to be sure about this.

I will really appreciate all your comments an advising.

thank you

Marco

PD: Sorry for my bad English, in Costa Rica we speak Spanish!!

London, United...
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for London
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1. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

Your English is excellent, no se preoccupe.

Staying in Croydon will add travel time and cost to your London visit. The appeal of the journey may fade after the first day, and staying in Croydon is almost guaranteed to mean that you won't be able to go 'home' during the day if you feel weary. Have you got the street or road name where the flat is located?

The trains to London will be very crowded until about 1000 on weekdays and those from London busy between 1700 - 1900 as well, so you'll need to plan your journeys well.

The Londonpass may not be good value for you. Since you'll need Travelcards (seven day versions will be best) at £47 for the adults and £23.50 for your 11 year old, and since (if you stay in Croydon) those Travelcards will be paper tickets, you may use them with the offers shown at www.daysoutguide.co.uk

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k421688… The spreadsheet mentioned in the original post here will give you an idea of the savings available to you with the two for one offers. Bear in mind that the Londonpass does not address any of the city's many sights and attractions with free admission, including many of the museums.

Your son will need a National Rail photocard to buy a seven day Travelcard at the reduced rate. Those NR photocards are issued free of charge, but you must provide a passport size photograph. Your daughter will travel as an adult.

UK
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2. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

I agree with TP, don't stay in Croydon for all the reasons she mentions.

Windsor, United...
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3. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

Croydon maybe OK for shopping but I agree entirely with what Travellerplus says. Your English, by the way, is excellent.

Charlotte, North...
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4. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

TP gave you excellent advice. Most people find the London Pass not to be the vaule it first appears. Check out the 2-for-1 offers associated with the travel card for the London transportation system (buses and tube) sold by the National Rail. Unlike the Oyster card, it is a paper card. But by using it, you can get into many costly attractions for 1/2 price. There have been several threads on this board about this topic. Just do a search.

I also agree that you really should stay more in the city center. Much of London is very walkable, the rest is easily reached by bus or tube. Check out Citadines ApartHotels. They have several locations around central London, most VERY near tube stations and/or bus stops. Also check out the London School Of Economics. They rent spare dormatory rooms and apartments to tourists. They too have multiple locations in central London.

Liberia, Costa Rica
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5. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

Thank you all for your kind answers.

I considered the travel time and cost of staying in Croydon. That’s what we thought about buying some kind of ticket that allows you to travel all day long without having to pay extra money for it.

I’ve found that most of the attractions and shops in both, Edinburgh and London, open to late and close to early for the costarrican standards, so I’m trying to plan different routes to take the trip as some kind of “city tour”…. And it’s cheaper than a real one … haha!!

By the way, the apartments are located on Sydenham Road, near East Croydon Train Station.

I really appreciate your kind advise and you can be sure I’m going to start checking on the links right now.

I had serious doubts about the London Pass so I better star doing some extra research before spending my money on it.

Thank you all,

Marco

Liberia, Costa Rica
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6. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

Thank you again!!!

The spreadsheet you posted is simply wonderful, it took me only a couple of minutes to make a decision on what to do about the attractions and the traveling,

Now i'm convinced both options, London Pass and Daysout are great, but I think it all depends on what you're planning to do. Last January and also the past year we went to Orlando and we want this trip to be different, calmer and more centered on getting to know the city, going to museums and historical places, wich is no big deal to my kids becuase both of them love that kind of things.

I noticed that the 2X1 plan has a lot more entertainment attractions than the London Pass, so it would be a better idea for travellers loking for fun and adventure. but for us it's better the London Pass,

The savings for the whole party with London Pass will be £581.00 against £471.40 with the 2for1 option. So I think the London Pass is on.

Without your wonderful advises I'm sure I would have ended up spending a lot of extra money.

you can be sure I really appreciate any further advise from all of you

Thank you again.

Marco

UK
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7. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

The problem you likely haven't considered with the London Pass is that its time limited, so the savings only work out if you rush from one place to another to cram them all in. In most cases I've seen, its actually not physically possible to do that, or you'd have ludicrously short times at them. Don't forget to factor in time to travel between places, lunch, etc.

If you post your itinerary , people can report whether its realistic. My guess is, it won't be :-)

U.S. expats
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8. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

You say that you want to focus your trip on "getting to know the city, going to museums and historical places."

Most museums are free. Historical places like the Tower of London, can take 1/2 a day to explore properly. If you felt you had to rush off to see 4-5 more places, it simply wouldn't be possible in a day. In that case, 2-4-1 is the better deal.

Joe is right; post your itinerary.

Liberia, Costa Rica
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9. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

thank you all, again

I´m not really worried about our itinerary, we made it considering the visiting times stated in the attraction websites and always trying to visit the nearest ones. The traveling times were taken from the London Jouney Planner, always considering peak conditions to have the worst possible scenary.

As an example, for our first day, the kids want to go to The London Bridge Experience, from there we'll be going to the HMS Belfast, pasiing the Tower Bridge for the obligatory photo and then we'll walk to the Tower of London. As you see, everything is close, so we won't lose anytime traveling between the different places.

For the second day we have the worst travel because we want to go to the RAF Museum in the morning, I don't think we'll spend more than a couple of ours there, then we'll be leaving for Greenwich, wich is, accordingly to the planner, a hour journey, when Greenwich closes, we would take the river cruise, another attraction, to the London Eye pier, after the London Eye, my kids want to go on the Ghost bus tour.

For us, the main attraction is the British Museum, and we have an entire day programed for it.

Anyway, I think the decision is probably taken, my wife doesn't want to fly from Edinburgh to London, so we're going by train. That means the 2for1 is on by default.

When my "little darling" speaks the only thing I can do is to agree.... Haha.. That's real power!!

I don't want to take more of your time, but I would like to know what you think about the way our ittinerary is planed.

Thank you

Marco

10. Re: First visit, transportation and accomodation!!

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