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  • khdeutmeyer

London Sights in three Days!

Updated: Sep 25, 2021


I LOVED the Tower Bridge - so gorgeous!

As a young child, I was fascinated with castles, crowns, kings and queens. So, as I an adult, I had to go visit the home of the Queen, where Kate and William live and where Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married! My husband was not a fan of this big city type of trip and so convincing him we could see London in three days was a challenge. I also agreed, he would not have to drive a car...public transportation all the way! We did see the highlights of London in three days and just how we managed that is below.


“London is as majestic as you can imagine and is full of history and culture. I regret not staying longer in London, not taking the time to see the countryside, and not visiting Princess Diana's gravesite and memorial. I think I see an upcoming trip to London to tour what we didn't get a chance to see!"

HIGHLIGHTS OF LONDON IN THREE DAYS!


Photos below from left to right: St. Paul's Cathedral where Prince Charles married Princess Diana; Kensington Palace where The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Princess Kate) reside with their children; Westminster Abbey where Prince William and Kate Middleton were married; St. James Palace Changing of the Guard (2) photos: center photo is of Buckingham Palace; Tower Bridge on the River Thames; Windsor Castle, the royal residence in the English county of Berkshire; St. George's Church at Windsor Castle where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were married (2) photos; Foot Guard at Windsor Castle; Entrance to the Tower of London; The Eye of London on the River Thames; the London Bridge; view of the Tower Bridge; and there is a TJ Maxx or TK Maxx in London.


HOTEL LOCATION, TRANSPORTATION AND TOURS

The first item we agreed upon, no car rental...we will used public transportation. We had a car service pick us up at the airport and drop us at our hotel. Our hotel was just a block from the Tower Hill metro station. Very convenient location and easy access to the Tower of London, restaurants, and the River Thames cruises. We had a wonderful view of the Tower Bridge from the upper floors of the hotel.


We stayed at the Double Tree by London Hotel and used a private car pickup at airport that we booked online through Viator. The hotel was in a very convenient location, close to attractions and the metro line. The hotel staff were very friendly and accommodating. We checked in and had time to head to the Tower Bridge for the Thames Hop on and Off River Cruise that we also found and booked through Viator. The second day we spent a full day on a bus trip with a tour guide touring Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle which we also booked through Viator. They picked us up at our hotel. I am not one who likes bus trips but we knew we couldn't find our way to Windsor Castle without a tour guide. The bus trip ended up being a fun day with people from all over the world and a bus driver that was very accommodating.


The following day we booked a private tour, "Must See London Tour", through Viator and had a private guide to take us throughout London using the metro system. We did a lot of walking, so if you do this type of tour, wear good walking shoes. It ended up being a beautiful day and we were able to see the highlights all in one tour. Among those sites we saw included Kensington Palace, Changing of the Guard, Kensington Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Westminster Abby. The unique aspect of having a private guide is the connection you make to a London resident and their knowledge and passion for their Country. We got to see London through our guides eyes and he was able to experience London through our eyes!


OUR INTERARY FOR THREE SHORT DAYS


Greece Itinerary
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As you will note from our itinerary, we chose to go to London as a means to get into Europe and save on the high priced airfare directly to Greece. We were able to purchase roundtrip tickets from Chicago to London for $550 per person and then purchased tickets from London to Naxos, Greece separately. Since we had never been to London, it was a trip to see both countries that were on our vacation bucket list!


TIPS TO TRAVEL ECONOMICALLY AND GET THE MOST FOR YOUR TIME AND MONEY

I also get asked many times, "How do you travel so often and keep it affordable?" A few tips are below:

  • For me, planning and researching is part of the excitement of the trip! Visioning is so much fun!!!

  • I plan all of my own trips and research, research, research on the internet. I utilize TripAdvisor, Frommer's, and blogs from other travelers to find the information I need for my trip. I do ALOT of reading and researching. It takes patience to plan a good affordable trip!

  • I have a budget in mind for each trip and challenge myself to stay in the budget. Depending on the location, I typically start planning and booking hotels, cars, etc., approximately 9 months out. Hotel prices usually get more expensive the closer to the trip unless you are willing to do a last minute internet deal. Car rental and airline prices also go up the closer it is to your trip. Occasionally you can get a last minute deal but something else may be more expensive and you are really not saving. I like to plan!

  • For hotels, I use Booking.com, or Priceline.com. I look for hotels with good reviews, pay when you stay, and free cancellation in advance.

  • We have done all-inclusive in a couple of tropical locations years and years ago but found that we do not eat and drink enough to make it worth the extra expense. We like to go off site from the hotel and experience the local cuisine and traditions. We have not done all-inclusive in the last 15 years. However, all-inclusive is wonderful if you want to stay at the resort for all meals, not rent a car, and have the hotel shuttle you to your destinations. That has worked for us in Jamaica and it was very relaxing! But I would not drive in Jamaica so all-inclusive was the smartest option! If you enjoy all-inclusive, the earlier you book the trip the lower the price. Unless you are game and are not a planner, and are willing to travel where the last minute deal is advertised. Then you could get a great all-inclusive deal!

  • If we are flying, I use the Skyscanner app to check airfare prices and I try not to buy until about 60 to 75 days out. There are times where I will by earlier if the price is super reasonable. I usually do not book on Skyscanner. It will tell me the site that is the most affordable to purchase the tickets and if it is a more well known trust site, I go directly to the site to purchase the tickets. Many times Skyscanner will take you right to the airline website. Skyscanner will search all airlines and will sort by price, times, shortest trip, etc.

  • Have a credit card that gives you miles or hotel points. We will use points for many of our trips. We are American Advantage members and have an Advantage credit card. We try to fly American as often as we can to earn points and then use those points for future airline tickets. Our credit card is tied to our Advantage numbers and awards points as well.

  • We drive if the location is in the United States and we can drive and sightsee along the way. If we need to rent a car, we reserve online using Booking.com, Orbitz.com, or Priceline.com. They are usually the most reasonable. I watch for specials and never book a luxury vehicle! We also have a credit card with a low limit that we use for vehicle rentals that provides insurance as a credit card benefit. We always decline the insurance when we are in the United States. If we are traveling out of the United States, we check with the credit card if the insurance is valid internationally. We have found it is valid in Europe, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, but in other locations, we are forced to purchase the liability insurance from the rental car company.

  • While there are free maps online for most destinations, I always go onto Amazon and buy a map of my destination, especially if it is international. I do not buy maps for tropical Caribbean islands. I just get one when we arrive. But for countries like Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, England, Canada, Germany, France, etc., I always purchase a good map. As you do you research, you can use the map to highlight the places you want to visit and the sites you want to see. I have it as a reference later for putting my memories and photos into a photobook!


















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