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Stu1

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#311282 2-Jan-2024 11:46
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Happy new year,

 

 

 

im wanting to plan a family trip to London. There will be 2 adults one 13 and and 11 year old. Looking at around 5 days n London and Mabey 2 days at Paris or 4 depending on if we do a stop over at LA via NZ and visit Disney land in the states .I have a few planning questions I was hoping someone could help with 

 

How much should I allow for accommodation and sightseeing? , the kids really want to go to the Harry Potter studio it’s around 800 NZ and I want to go to at last one EPL game 

 

is it best to get a London pass or London explorer for travelling around the sites?, usual places e.g Windsor castle , definitely have to go to Kew gardens as well.

 

What is the best area to stay for hotels ? In walking distance or better to stay near a station like Paddington?

 

Are Viator tours legit ? , they seem to have some good tours .

 

Whens the cheapest time of the year to travel , I was looking at January next year as works in with school holidays and work breaks . 

Is it better to stop over in LA via Air Newzealand and go to US Disney ? Or better to go to the one in Paris?

 

is it better to fly direct to Paris then England or land in England then fly Paris back to NZ?

 

 


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mentalinc
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  #3177070 2-Jan-2024 11:56
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That's a really long way to go for 8-9 days





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Stu1

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  #3177085 2-Jan-2024 12:22
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mentalinc:

That's a really long way to go for 8-9 days



I know we will go on a longer trip next time without them lol. I was thinking of adding on a Britain tour as well

https://www.trafalgar.com/en-nz?gad_source=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4NKrqaq9gwMVdhaDAx1IrwyCEAAYAyAAEgKl1vD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

  #3177086 2-Jan-2024 12:30
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For flights, it is basically the same price to fly to most of the major airports, at least it was when I booked a few months back for a trip in October 2024. I am flying into Paris and out of London, Air NZ to Singapore then Singapore Airlines onwards. But you can also fly via the GCC or the US, although I would avoid transiting the US if possible. 

 

 

 

Disneyland is the same wherever, in many cases you can use the same map, however there is Disneyworld in Florida which is much bigger, you would need 2-4 days to do it though. You would struggle to see Disneyland in just 1 day also. 




nztim
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  #3177093 2-Jan-2024 12:40
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Don't fly via the US unless you are actually visiting the US

 

Transiting involves collecting your checked luggage, clearing passport control, and then checking back in for your next flight.

 

Airlines can book transits as short as 2 hours and while that is acceptable amount of time to complete all that B/S if the inbound is delayed or the passport control queues are long it could end in tears.

 

Even when NZ1/NZ2 from Auckland to London Via LAX was a thing many people missed the second leg due to holdups at passport control.

 

 

 

 





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elpenguino
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  #3177094 2-Jan-2024 12:45
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The closer you stay to the centre, the more expensive it will be.

 

Somewhere like Earls Court is 25 min tube ride away from Tower of London but will still cost a fortune for a room so small you can only just fully open the door.

 

If you want to watch EPL you would be well advised to double check there's no pause in the game schedule for some reason (international window etc?). I don't know how far out in advance that's planned.

 

If you are there for such a short time I would skip Kew gardens unless you're a big plant fan, of course. It's a bit out of the way.

 

I'm sure you can get all the entry prices for places like Tower of London online these days.

 

Hope you've been saving up !

 

 





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dazzanz
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  #3177109 2-Jan-2024 13:48
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I lived in London for a few years and thought it was an amazing place, however with such a short trip I’d suggest going to Japan. Besides being half the distance, the accommodation is cheaper than London (from what I’ve seen anyway). Food is much cheaper as even budget options taste amazing and there is still Disney and Harry Potter for the kids.

Probably not very helpful for what you actually want sorry!

Scotdownunder
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  #3177123 2-Jan-2024 15:01
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I wouldn't recommend Disneyworld in Paris in January.  Remember its mid-winter.  Same goes for Kew Garden except for the hot houses.  Download the Transport for London tube and rail map and look at which lines go to the venues you are interested in.  Avoid leaving from London long-haul as the UK charges a big departure tax.  Use Eurostar to get to Paris if that makes the cut.




eracode
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  #3177142 2-Jan-2024 16:35
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Scotdownunder:

 

Remember it’s mid-winter. 

 

 

January in London - sunrise 8am, sunset 4pm. Not much daylight and heaps of cold, wet, not-so-great weather. Sorry to be a wet blanket. 🤔





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Handle9
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  #3177145 2-Jan-2024 16:57
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We just got back to Dubai on Sunday from 2 weeks in Paris and London with Miss 11 and Miss 9 so I can give you some up to date information. I think you're a bit mad to go for such a short trip from NZ but it's your jetlag ;)

 

We stayed in a 2 bedroom airbnb in Barons Court and it was around NZ$500 a night. It was an old walkup that had been done up pretty cheaply but it did the job. It was less than 5 minutes to the tube and easy to get to where we wanted to go. It was about 35 minutes in the morning to get over to the Tower of London.

 

There's lots of free Museums in London but you need to book timed tickets. They mean you can just walz past the 1km line outside the British Museum and walk straight in. We had the same at the Natural History Museum. Everything is online and book early.

 

If you are there at Christmas or just after do a panto. It's great fun, we went to Hammersmith on boxing day and the kids (and us) had a ball. The smaller theatres like Hammersmith are around £40 for top seats.

 

If you are there before the 7th of January do Kew gardens but do it at night. They light the gardens (Christmas at Kew) and it's exceptional and was a highlight of the trip. It takes about 2 hours to walk around and is totally worth it. You must book this early, we booked in October and it was almost booked out already. It cost £89 for a family.

 

The Tower of London is fairly expensive but great, make sure you do the tour, it runs every 30 minutes. It's super cheesey and great fun.

 

We love doing walking tours, we've done them in many cities and London was great. We used https://freetoursbyfoot.com/london-tours/ and we did the Westminster, City of London and Christmas Lights tours. All were great and excellent value - you pay what you think is fair, we normally plan on £50-60. The Chritsmas lights in Mayfair are awesome,even if you don't do a tour go and have a look.

 

Pub meals are mostly around £15-20 each, a pint is £7, a cheap sushi/katsu lunch at Wasabi (kind of like St Pierres, around many tube stations) was around £40 for the family and good quality.

 

Paris was cheaper for accomodation, we stayed 100 metres from the Champs Elysee and paid around the same as we did in London for a much nicer airbnb. It was smaller but much nicer. Food etc was similarly priced for eating out, supermarkets in the UK are cheaper.

 

The same applies in Paris for booking timed tickets, you just can't get into a lot of places unless you book well in advance. Musee d'Orsay in particular fills up very quickly.

 

Going from Paris to London on the Eurostar was good, book this early as well as it's much cheaper if you book early. It cost us £328 for 4 in standard seats, booked in October for travel on Christmas eve.

 

We did Paris first the London, if we did the trip again I would have reversed it and been in Paris on Christmas day. Christmas day in London was a wasted day and Christmas lunch was exorbitant (£100 for adults, £55 for kids) at pubs and you had to book. The tube doesn't run either so it's a pain to get around.

 

It was a wonderful trip and we had a ball. It was reasonably busy but not as bad as summer so not as unpleasant as summer in Europe can be with crowds. You'll have a good time, just take warm clothes. It was between 1 and 12 degrees so you need a bit of a mixture.


lxsw20
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  #3177166 2-Jan-2024 18:26
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eracode:

 

Scotdownunder:

 

Remember it’s mid-winter. 

 

 

January in London - sunrise 8am, sunset 4pm. Not much daylight and heaps of cold, wet, not-so-great weather. Sorry to be a wet blanket. 🤔

 

 

 

 

Yeap - one of the reasons I moved back to NZ - UK winters are depressing.

 

 

 

Personally I'd go sometime in BST, we went for a month in September and it was great weather, too hot in fact.


shk292
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  #3177193 2-Jan-2024 20:25
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Last time we did a family visit to UK we stayed at Windsor for the London part, it's an easy train ride into the city and you have Legoland to visit locally (and Windsor town is quite cool).  We went in June, after normally doing UK visits in Sep-Oct and it was much nicer, UK looks great in early summer but by September everything (foliage) is looking a bit worn out.  I'd absolutely avoid going any time between October and February, it's dark, cold and dreary with endless leafless deciduous trees.  Harry Potter experience was very enjoyable for adults and kids.

 

We flew out of a regional airport to Paris, did a few days in Paris and then flew back here via Singapore.  This was a great way to do it, you miss the crush and hassle of LHR/LGW, and don't pay the UK long haul departure tax - and get to visit Paris.

 

Can't comment on Mickey Mouse World; if I made a list of 200 places to visit in France or USA it wouldn't be on it.


johno1234
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  #3177211 2-Jan-2024 22:19
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mentalinc:

That's a really long way to go for 8-9 days


I agree. Not just a lot of flying time. The airfare cost is is a huge chunk of the whole trip. Once there you can spend a lot or be economical but you can't avoid that $10k of airfares. Stay 3 weeks of you can.

johno1234
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  #3177212 2-Jan-2024 22:25
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London winters are yuck but you'll be to busy to care. The off peak trains are great. Take one up to Leeds oe even Edinburgh and spend a few days up there.

Handle9
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  #3177213 2-Jan-2024 22:37
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johno1234: London winters are yuck but you'll be to busy to care.

 

I couldn't agree more. The weather wasn't great for us last week but we knew that was going to be the case and it's what you make of it. For us living in endless sun it was kind of a novelty.

 

There's stacks of stuff to do inside as well as winter specific activities like Christmas at Kew and pantos. With the right clothes and an umbrella it shouldn't stop you from having a great time. You don't go to London for resort weather, you go for all the cool activities.

 

 


EMB

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  #3177219 3-Jan-2024 00:12
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I'd avoid the USA.  Fly in and out of London, and do the Paris trip on Eurostar (it's quicker overall than flying in my experience).  I can't help in terms of suggesting London accommodation as I stay with family when I am there but the trains and tube are good enough that absolute location is not too critical.


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