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Honeymoon Plans London+Paris+??April-May

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Hello all,

I made a post back in October and got a lot of positive and helpful feedback. I've booked my flights and am in the process of finalizing my hotels and itenerary. Looking for a bit more advice though as I'm honestly not sure what to do. I'll be traveling on April 24th to London from Raleigh(RDU>LHR) and will be arriving in the very early morning of April 25th. We(Wife and I--Getting married April 23rd) will be returning home on May 7th from Paris(CDG>RDU). I really wanted to fit in a trip to Rome, but it's so far away, so I figured maybe we could just do Venice, but this is quite the distance as well. I've done lots of research on trains and it seems like a great idea, but it would take around 10-12 hours , which is basically one full day there and back. I really hate to fly, I know that I'll be doing lots of this, but to have it in the middle of my honeymoon, it's just not something I'd like to do. Should I just drop Venice and try for somewhere else? Maybe Switzerland?

A few questions if I may as well. I still have to better research where exactly to stay in London, but for Paris, I was told 4-6 Arrondissement are best for new comers. Our budget is probably going to be around 200$ a night USD, give or take a little.

1. Is 4-6 correct? Or what would you all recommend?

2. This is the dumbest question I'm sure I'll ask but I really don't know what to expect as I've seen so much fluctuation whilst reading. What should we expect to spend on food? No alcohol at all, maybe one drink for me the entire trip. She doesn't drink though. I've seen 70-100$ Per Person per day. Not sure what type of food this includes? Like fast food? Nice sit down? Bagels? :)

3. If you all have purchased guidebooks on the various cities, what are some of your favorite things that they cover, or what particular information has helped you best?

4. Train tickets are a lot more pricey than I thought, London to Paris is pretty crazy expensive, I thought for some resaon it was going to be cheaper. I guess we waited a bit too late to get it for cheaper? Hopefully further transport wont be a big deal.

5. What should I buy for London transportation, I've seen there are passes that basically say "pay this price and you can ride anything by using it" As well as for Paris?

6. Are those passes pretty good for both London or Paris that you can use to get into museums for one flat rate of the pass?

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    I will try to answer a few of your questions:

    4. Train tickets are a lot more pricey than I thought, London to Paris is pretty crazy expensive, I thought for some resaon it was going to be cheaper. I guess we waited a bit too late to get it for cheaper? Hopefully further transport wont be a big deal.

    Book your tickets 120 days out from www.eurostar.com (the official site) and you can get one-way tickets for £29 each. The longer you leave it the higher the price, generally.

    5. What should I buy for London transportation, I've seen there are passes that basically say "pay this price and you can ride anything by using it" As well as for Paris?

    For London - how long are you staying? The London Pass is usually a terrible idea, especially for transit - it is much cheaper to get the Oyster card or a paper travel card (you can get 2for1 deals with the paper travel card - do a search here for Oyster and you should find tonnes of information). Most museums in London are free anyways.

    www.tfl.gov.uk is the London transit website with prices, passes and journey planners.

    6. Are those passes pretty good for both London or Paris that you can use to get into museums for one flat rate of the pass?

    Most museums in London are free for general entry, unless there is a specific exhibit they are charging for. What museums did you want to visit?

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    If it were my honeymoon, I'd go to somewhere just outside London or Paris, and not try to travel as far as Italy or Switzerland, particularly as it appears your budget is fairly low. One place we visited and loved is Chantilly. It's very close to Paris and has a lot to see and do, both in the city and in surrounding areas. If interested, I'll give you a lodging recommendation that is a good value.


    1. Don't know what lodging you'll find for US$200 in Paris in that area--or really anywhere. Among the most expensive areas--particularly 6th. If you're really wedded to that budget, look at apartments--go to Tripadvisor.com and click on "Vacation Rentals." But I'd scrub the trip to Italy or Switzerland and put the money into better lodging--it's your honeymoon, after all.

    2. In my view that's wildly high, and depends on how many meals a day you eat. If you eat three meals a day, one of which is at a high-end restaurant, then that'll be the number. If you can get by with a coffee and sweet for breakfast and then get a late fixed price "Menu" lunch at a bistro, then you'll pay a lot less. I like to eat a big breakfast, so for me that means getting a hotel room with a breakfast buffet. Not inexpensive, but for me a good value. It cuts out one meal a day.

    3. You should invest in at least one good guidebook for each city. We have no way of knowing what your interests are. Fodor's, Lonely Planet, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are all good.

    4. Well, London-Paris is an international trip. Most in-country transportation is a lot less expensive and can be booked on the spot, which is a big advantage.

    5. We use Oystercards in London--not "all you can eat" transportation, but it is a reduced rate. In Paris, we buy ten Metro/bus tickets at a time. They're cheaper that way, but not "all inclusive travel" either.

    6. Museum passes are NOT a good idea in either city, IMO. In London, particularly, where most of the museums are free, it does not make sense to pay for a book of passes. The other problem with the passes is that if you buy them, you will scurry around trying to use as many as possible, while much of the joy in both cities is just walking around and enjoying the ambience. Instead, using the guidebooks, pick out the things you BOTH want to do--chose not more than two a day, and then arrange them by area so that you don't have to travel back and forth all over town.

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    Yes, a lot of us have purchased guidebooks for just about anywhere we travel that is unknown to us, and so should you. Visit your local library or bookstore and browse and see what books appeal to you. Also visit the official tourist office websites of the cities (or towns) you want to visit - there is a wealth of information on them.

    For Paris transportation, it depends somewhat on the actual days of the week you will be there. You may just need a carnet of 10 t+ tickets, good on métro and buses. Just do not buy a Paris Pass, which is a tourist rip-off. If you want to visit a bunch of museums, the Paris Museum Pass can be a good value.

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    I don't understand why you would think Venice okay but Rome too far away as they both are very far away from London. If you don't want to fly, don't go to Italy as it does take up too much time by train for a short trip. There are many other places you can go to, Switzerland or Netherlands would be very possible easily (or Belgium). But if you have no interest in them, I'd personally fly but you don't want to, your call. You could also visit some other parts of France, you can get to Marseille in only 3 hrs or less by train, for example. How about Nice, France? It has some Italian influence (no, of course, it's not Italy, but it does have a different vibe), and April should be nice weather there. The train from Nice to Paris is about 6-7 hours.

    Arr. 4-6 would be fine in Paris, others would be okay, also, but those would be fine, don't worry about that so much. In most any city I travel to, I just look at a map and tend to stay in the center when I'm a newcomer as that is usually the old part and has a lot of character and things many tourists want to see. So 4-6 will do that for you.

    The Paris Museum Pass is a good idea if you really intend to go to a lot of museums, otherwise it's pricey if you only go to one a day IMO. It depends where you want to go, Paris museums can be expensive, at least a couple of the big ones (like Louvre and Orsay mostly). The rest not so bad. A lot of people buy it just to skip the lines, but they aren't that bad except at Orsay, in my experience.

    Food of $70-100 USD per day is not just fast food or bagels, it is moderate restaurants or bistros, some might say cheap, and not eating tons of stuff all day long, or having expensive drinks in cafes all day long. That's what I spend but I don't eat in nearly as expensive places as some people on Fodors and I don't eat 3 meals a day, either (I don't eat breakfast). I may pick up a croissant at a bakery and have a cup of coffee at a cafe, in the morning, though. I spend about $25-45 for dinner. I don't snack or eat between meals.

    GUidebooks==I like the mainstream ones, Fodors, Frommers and Lonely Planet, all of them. I think they vary as to where they shine best. I can get them at my library and view them all before traveling, I don't carry them with me -- for a few pages of interest, I Xerox them and take them (say the pages on restaurants or sightseeing) only.

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    @Jamikins
    Thank you for the great information. Rats, we were waiting for the points to arrive to book the flights we wanted so no time to book that far out. Oh well, I guess we will have to bite the bullet :/

    I believe I've read a bit about the oyster card, so we will look into this option, thank you for that. I've a huge list of all the things we want to see and do in London, unfortunately it's on the other computer so I may need to update later.

    @dwdvagamundo
    I had no idea 200$ a night was peanuts. Considering that's around 2400$ for rooms throughout the trip and maybe around 1500-2000$ for food, I figured it was a healthy budget.

    As far as hotels in Paris go, there are TONS absolutely tons under 200$ all over. A few in the districts I mentioned as well. The Apostrophe hotel is one we were looking at. I mean, these are like 4-5 stars I'm looking at two, which I know aren't the same as 4-5 stars in USA.

    Hmmm, so what would you say you spend per day then? Just a ballpark figure on average, doesn't have to be exact just a general idea. I have no idea of what to expect, here I can go to Panera bread and spend 20$ for a good lunch, or Red lobster and spend maybe 40-50$ for a good dinner.

    I'll pick a book up then, thank you!

    Duly noted, I'll look into the oyster card as I see it's mentioned quite often

    Oh wow, I had no idea. Thanks for the warning on the museums. I'll steer clear then, Good to know there are a lot of free ones :) That helps!


    @Stcirq
    I might go buy the new 2016 for each city, Thanks for the advice on the tickets. That sounds like a good idea. I could see us riding a lot of the metro though, hopefully 10 will be enough haha. I don't know what to expect though to be honest.


    @Christina
    Well the difference between Paris to Rome is Crazy, as is Paris to Venice, but one is a bit less crazy :)! That's why I was thinking that, plus I just really wanted to go to Italy darnit. I'll probably have to nix it I'm guessing which is a bummer.

    Good to know, hopefully I pick a great place in either of those districts then:) I'm sure I won't be able to go wrong if it's one of those 3.

    I'll check to see which Museums we want to go see and make my decision then. Thank you for the heads up.

    Duly noted on food. Thank you for sharing your experience. Hopefully we can stay in that budget then. It seems kind of pricey when saying it will be like 12 days, but we don't do it every day :P

    Gotcha', I'll definitely pick one up. I will probably just buy so that I can read it and not feel rushed or something, although the library is 2 week rental.

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    <<. I don't know what to expect though to be honest.>>

    Then study www.ratp.fr and www.parisbytrain.com. If you run out of t+ tickets, just buy more. And walk, walk, walk.

    It's been awhile since I've been in London, and I rarely book hotel rooms in Paris any longer, but I've never paid as much as US$200 for a hotel room there, and I don't sleep in dumps, either, so it sounds as though you've got that under control. You do need to start thinking in euros, not US dollars, though.

    When my husband and I are in Paris, we have a croissant and coffee for breakfast at a café. For the two of us that's normally about 7 euros (we don't stay in pricey parts of the city, though). For lunch we often go to some neighborhood kebab or Thai or Vietnamese or sandwich/soup place and share a lunch for about 10 euros. Dinner is sometimes a spurge at around 100 euros for the two of us. We are very fond of good food, but we're not big eaters, and we live in France and just don't need to make every restaurant experience particularly special or pricey. I'm well aware that that's not the norm, but you can eat some very delicious things in Paris on a budget.

    I do agree that Italy shoud be off the table for this trip.

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    $200 OK in Paris and okay-ish London (but the museums in London are free while there are entrance fees in Paris so it evens out a bit)

    $200 = approx. £135 and €175. You will find lots of places within that budget -- but don't expect posh in London.

    Look at booking.com to see what's available during your dates.

    >>Rome is Crazy, as is Paris to Venice, but one is a bit less crazy<<

    If you do decide on adding Italy - trains make little sense and Venice is not 'less crazy' in any way. There is essentially no difference between flying to Venice or flying to Rome.

    (I wouldn't add Italy or Switzerland myself -- I'd do several days in London, a couple of days in the countryside, and several days in Paris)

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    In Paris, you'll find lots of clean, basic hotels that meet or fall under your budget. Do not opt for the "free" breakfast - it's not really free, and you'd have more fun walking a few feet to the nearest cafe and spending less than the hotel charges.

    Look in the 5th and 6th arrondissements, around Metro station Odeon, for better hotel prices. On your first trip, I would definitely not recommend apartments. You'll need a lot of support, which will be provided by hotel staff. Apartments sound great, but not when you're left on your own to figure out everything about a foreign city - especially if you don't speak French.

    Almost all "sit down" restaurants in Paris feature a "menu" or "formule" - for a much lower price than if you order off the regular menu. All prices are listed outside, so you can choose to go in, or not. It's common to find an "entree, plat, dessert" (starter, main, dessert) for around 25 - 35 EU for lunch. Dinner prices are a tad higher. Note that drinks are almost never included, and tap water is free - ask for "un carafe d'eau".

    London is much more expensive than Paris, and a whole lot larger.
    The exception is the museums, as someone mentioned. The Paris Museum Pass is a good deal if you will spend most of your time in museums - have a look on the official website to see if what you are interested in is included in the price, then add that up against the price of the 2 or 4 day Museum Pass. Any other passes are tourist rip-offs.

    You can buy "carnets" of 10 loose tickets that anyone can use for the Metro. If you run out and only need one or two, you can buy them, too. You'll be doing a lot of walking, so for the short period of time you'll be in Paris, that should be all you need.

    Flying to Venice takes more time than you think, because the airport is some distance away by water taxi from "downtown Venice". I wouldn't consider it for a short trip.

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    Expect to be jet-lagged and sleepy when you arrive in London -- from the flight and from wedding nerves/stress -- so you'll probably want to take it slow the first day or two. Keep your schedule flexible. For example, no tickets to plays for the night you arrive. I don't make daily itineraries for cities; just list the options (with open days/hours) and see what we feel like and what the weather allows.

    Another vote for the 2-for-1 tickets in London: www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186338-c195600/London:United-Kingdom:2.4.1.Travelcards.Step.By.Step.html. And think about getting out of London for one day; the English countryside is beautiful, especially in the spring.

    Still in London, check out walks.com. In addition to many walking tours in London, they do days out to non-London destinations. We particularly enjoyed a trip to Richmond combined with a boat to Hampton Court Palace.

    For hotels, go to booking.com and put in your nightly budget. The reviews there are reliable because the reviewers had to have stayed at the hotel. But still double check your choices at tripadvisor.com.

    I hate to see Venice, the perfect honeymoon city, off your itinerary. But if you don't want to fly, it takes too much time. Better to keep it simple since you're somewhat flummoxed by the planning. Once you get your feet wet in Europe you can start planning a trip to Italy.

    Good luck!

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    @Stcirq
    I hope my feet can hold up to all of this walking! I hate when my feet start hurting after walking so much.
    That's great to hear. I know we can get something very nice for the budget I've set. I think London we will have to spend a bit more, as I forgot they're like 1.50 to 1.
    Wow that sounds pretty cheap actually. I didn't expect those prices. Hmm. Now I'm not as worried, I'm sure we can find some good deals and splurge on others.
    Thank you very much!

    @Janisj
    Hello, I remember you from my Oct post :).
    I'll probably increase the london budget a bit, we shall see what we can figure out. It's hard to just say, we will spend XYZ on this trip and not anymore. I've never really done that before :/ I've no control. The wife does though !:P
    I'm not too familiar with any countryside to be honest, someone mentioned that Bruges is a little like Venice, maybe I should consider that?

    @Fuzzbucket
    I do see lots of included breakfasts with these hotels and complimentary this and that? So they really aren't free?
    I actually have 0 interest in doing an apartment. I quite like hotels :)
    My fiance went to Paris around 15 years ago and her dad talks about no AC and having to pay for water all the time, glad this has changed or maybe it was never true lol....
    Duly noted on the Museums, thank you for the tips/advice.
    I'll have to check on this pack of 10 tickets, I'm very curious as to their cost now.

    @Mimar
    I'm very very curious to see if I'll be jet lagged or not. I hope I can sleep on the plane, I'll be terrifed though so it's unlikely. Someone told me to go to the Doctor but I don't know what they could give me that is stronger than my sheer terror of flying.
    Thank you for the link, very helpful. Much appreciated
    That sounds fun. Thank you for the walks information and link too. There is a ton to do in London, I hope we can do all we want !
    I didn't know that about booking, so they are definitely legit. Gread to hear.
    I knowwwww :( I'll miss Venice a lot I'm sure. Hopefully we will make it one day.

    I asked the question to Janis, but curious. Should I consider Bruges or no?

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    There is a huge difference between being tired and being jetlagged, even if the symptoms overlap a bit. You may or may not sleep on the plane - I think I've caught 2-4 hours of sleep on hundreds of international flights, but even when I do there is the whole bodyclock business. Evenif you get some good sleep (and it's very hard to IMO), you're whole time framework is off-kilter. You're starving for lunch, but it's only 5 am where you are. You are desperate for a nap but it's only 2 pm.

    Your doctor can certainly prescribe something like Ambien. Many people take it. I do not. I always carry an OTC French sleeping aid called Donormyl that I believe is a light antihistamine or some-such, and if I am really struggling to sleep I sometimes take a half a one. Up to you.

    The best thing you can do, IME, is NOT take a nap upon arrival. Take it easy, move slowly, hydrate and re-hydrate often, stop for rests at cafés, and Stay Outside! It's Vitamin D (sunlight) that will be the best remedy. Have an early (for Europe) dinner, around 7 pm, keep it light, and get to bed by 10 pm or earlier. Next day you should be good to go. If you jump into bed upon arrival and sleep for a few hours, the rest of your trip will be off-kilter - you'll never catch up with the local time. ANd set your watch/cellphone/whatever to the local European time when you get on the plane. You have to learn to trick your body.

    The carnet of 10 métro/bus tickets costs about 14 euros.

    I would not go to Bruges. You have plenty on your plate as it is.

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    >>Hello, I remember you from my Oct post<<

    Ah- NOW I remember you ;) Maybe so we don't totally reinvent the wheel -- here is the earlier thread

    http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/honeymoon-in-europe-.cfm

    More re StCirq's post: Jetlag affects everyone differently. Never used to bother me much, then for a few years I was juts REALLY tired for a couple of days. But now -- it totally screws up my sleep patterns/body clock. I will lay awake for hours maybe finally getting to sleep at 4 or 5 AM and waking up at 08:00, then getting sleepy in the middle of the day -- and wide awake again at night. And this can last for several days. It is really frustrating to know you have to sleep and not be able to. But everyone is different. I would not make any big/non-changeable plans for the first few day because one or both of you could be affected. If you are both fine -- then great.

    But for that reason you will need a few extra days at the front end (in London) just to acclimate. Just Paris/London is plenty but you could do a tw night stay say in Bath or Oxford or York.

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    London, Paris, only 2 bases, hotels. Day trips, such as Bath, Greenwich, Chantilly, Versailles, by train/public transport. It's a honeymoon, not a marathon, so enjoy yourselves.

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    Ah, I see the OP is here as well as elsewhere. I am glad someone mentioned guidebooks, as I think I forgot this on the OP's other thread, elsewhere.

    Your local public library can supply a stack of guidebooks, free of charge, and travel videos and language CDs and a whole lot of other items.

    Jet lag is inevitable for most of us, and everyone has their preferred method. Some like overnight flights, others daytime flights. We usually arrive in the morning, after an overnight flight on which my husband has slept (as he can sleep anywhere) but I haven't. I mentally switch to the arrival time zone, when I get on the plane, or try not to think about it. We stay awake and do not nap on arrival day. We spend as much time outdoors, and moving, as possible. I crave the fresh air and walking, after being stuck on the plane, and daylight can help re-set your body clock. On our last two trips to London, we did a London Walks tour in the early afternoon. I enjoy this as it keeps me moving and I learn something/explore a new neighbourhood, but don't have to navigate. I always think in the local time zone, never "back home it would be whatever o'clock." We have an earlyish dinner and go to bed a little early on arrival day. The next day we set an alarm and get up and going. But other people have other routines, that involve naps or medications or whatever works for them. You just have to try it and see.

    Yes, lots of walking. I try to think of this as the tradeoff for the calories I consume on a trip. You could start walking more now, at home, before your trip, to get used to it. And make sure you take comfortable, supportive, broken-in shoes. There's usually a bus or the Tube/Metro handy, if your feet get tired, or you can splurge on a taxi!

    I doubt it will be so hot in Paris in April that would need air conditioning, but you never know. And tap water is free, but bottled water is not. Maybe your FIL didn't learn how to ask for tap water!

    The Eurostar prices will only go up, not down, so once you make a decision about your itinerary, go ahead and book them. The website for the Man in Seat 61 will tell you everything you need about trains in Europe, but the Eurostar between London and Paris is straightforward.

    As I said on your thread over on TA, I would not add a third destination to this trip, but it's your choice.

    Enjoy your planning and your holiday!

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    Your budget is certainly doable but it is definitely modest. At that price hotels will be cheap and cheerful and you will need to watch locations to make sure you are near a tube/Metro and not 30 minutes or more from the center.

    You can eat at almost any price level (but do expect food to cost more than in the US). We allow abut $100 per person per day to include a continental breakfast in the hotel, a modest lunch in a cafe or brasserie (but not picnics or eating a crepe while walking) and dinner in a pleasant (but not upscale) restaurant. We don't drink hard liquor (very expensive) but do drink wine and bottled water with lunch and dinner. (Can't compare with Red L or whatever - we don;t eat at fast food chains except Mickey D's for the fries once or twice a year). Also in each city we usually do one special dinner for which we allow $300-$400 for 2 people.

    Also we often do a drink in the late afternoon to sit and people watch (not necessarily alcoholic). Just be aware that soft drinks come in minute cans and are very expensive versus the US.

    As for your itinerary I would stick with London and Paris. It's your honeymoon and you won't want to be racing around all over the place. There are plenty of wonderful day trips from each city and I would consider a couple of those. (Love Hampton Court Palace from London but you could easily do Windsor Castle, Bath, Oxford, etc) and from Paris you could do Versailles, Giverney, Chartres or a host of others.

    Strongly suggest to get to work with some good guide books - perhaps each of you should start with one city and be the primary for that.

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    You've gotten a lot of great advice so far.

    Another colloquial story re jetlag. We were worried re our daughter's first trip to Europe, at the age of 10, because every time we visited my folks, 2 time zones east, her body clock never adjusted - she would go to sleep real late, and wake up real late.

    So for the first trip, I had all sorts of plans for what to do, and how we would get through dinner, etc. We took an evening flight; she slept fitfully. As we waited for our connection in Frankfurt, on to Italy, DH and I lightly dozed in the airport, as we often do. Not DD; she was bouncing around. She didn't sleep on the connection to Italy, and she was totally fine for the rest of that day and went to sleep at the normal time. So you never know.

    My husband and I find we have a sleepy spell in the afternoon of the 2nd day in Europe (first full day) - we have found that a quiet church is an excellent location for one of us at a time to take a 5-minute cat nap, then we're good to go! (DH sometimes takes a short nap on arrival, I never do, and don't need to.)

    On French hotel breakfast not being free. Hotels are required by law to offer rooms with and without breakfast. You'll find, in general, that the breakfast price can be pricey (depending on what you usually eat for breakfast). Like StCirq, we are not big breakfast eaters, and choose to spend about 7 Euros for two people on cafe and croissants at an outdoor cafe, people-watching. It's a lovely part of our trips that I always look forward to.

    London I found to be more variable on what's included and what's not in terms of breakfast. I always price out a hotel charge with and without breakfast, then do whatever is cheaper.

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    You need to set your expectations for the lodging. If you want luxury, full amenities, top-end bedding, and prime location at $200 in either city, you're chasing unicorns.

    <<1. Is 4-6 correct? Or what would you all recommend?>>

    7.

    There are places in each that work. If you stay outside 5-7e, you can probably get better hotels for that same 200 per or so.

    <<2. This is the dumbest question I'm sure I'll ask but I really don't know what to expect as I've seen so much fluctuation whilst reading. What should we expect to spend on food? No alcohol at all, maybe one drink for me the entire trip. She doesn't drink though. I've seen 70-100$ Per Person per day. Not sure what type of food this includes? Like fast food? Nice sit down? Bagels? :)>>

    In London, expect price NUMBERS for food to be about 80-115% of what you would expect in a mid-priced city in the US (Atlanta, Charlotte, DFW, Houston). But the conversion into pounds then has its effects . . .

    The question isn't what you should expect to spend but how you eat. London has about 15,000 outlets of quick prep'd food like EAT, Pret, and M&S Simply Food, plus the prepared food sections of the top supermarkets (Waitrose) that will resemble what you can get at Whole Foods (London has that too). There are also plenty of chains suitable for lunch (Pizza Express is one of the better ones). You can set your own expectations.

    Note that nytraveler hits the high end a lot. You should be able to eat in brasseries in Paris and reasonable (8-15 GBP/entree) places in London without much trouble.

    <<3. If you all have purchased guidebooks on the various cities, what are some of your favorite things that they cover, or what particular information has helped you best?>>

    Only Fodors guidebooks are good. All others suck.

    Now tell the moderators to send me some gratis.

    <<5. What should I buy for London transportation, I've seen there are passes that basically say "pay this price and you can ride anything by using it" As well as for Paris?>>

    This makes no sense.

    Look: if you're going to be in London for 5 nights, get a 7-day paper travelcard at a national rail station (London Bridge, Victoria, Paddington, etc) and bring passport size photos for those. Before you go, print out every voucher that interests you from www.daysoutguide.co.uk. This is key - 2 admissions for the price of one at Churchill War Rooms, the Tower, poss. St. Paul's, more.

    DO NOT GET AN OYSTER CARD.

    DO NOT GET THE LONDON PASS.

    <<6. Are those passes pretty good for both London or Paris that you can use to get into museums for one flat rate of the pass?>>

    For London, they suck. This is because 80% of the top London museums have NO ADMISSION FEE.

    For Paris, they are useful.

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    Some London hotels have pretty good selections for breakfast, some don't - I really hate those reconstituted scrambled eggs and watery oatmeal, but the ham and sausages are usually fine. Instead, I normally go to a nearby chain restaurant for "the Full English Breakfast", which costs between 7 - 9 GBP (Brasserie Cote is good, many locations). If you're big breakfast eaters, check to see what your hotel offers, how much it costs and if it's included or not. You might not need to eat much for lunch, after this. If you're light eaters, just take a Continental breakfast, which sometimes includes cheese and cold cuts as well as bread-y things, and costs a little less. If breakfast is really important to you, have a look at photos on review sites like TA before you choose.

    Nothing is ever given away for free - your room cost absorbs the price of your breakfast. Some hotels make this clear, some do not.

    I agree with everyone who said that you will be both exhausted and overly-stimulated when you arrive, and this will likely continue throughout the trip. In an effort to prolong not just your honeymoon, but your marriage, you really need to settle on a maximum of 2 main cities, maybe take a day trip out of London if the weather's nice, relax and enjoy getting to know the cities and each other. Otherwise, you'll be spending too much time getting from one place to the other, won't have much time to spend anywhere, and there will be meltdowns galore and nobody will have much fun.

    It will likely be quite cool with some rain in April in Paris. London is normally a couple of degrees warmer, IME, and will probably be rainy. You really can't rely on past history anymore where weather is concerned, so make sure to check the live weather websites a few days before you pack.

    May 1st is the French version of Labor Day, and most of the city shuts down. May 5th is also observed, but not to this degree. Make sure to check the official websites of anyplace you want to visit, to see if they'll be open.

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    As far as how much money to budget for food in Paris, this is difficult to answer. Depends on how much you like to eat, and if you're comfortable sitting on a park bench having a sandwich, or would rather go to a cafe or restaurant. Weather in April will be a big factor, so I wouldn't count on too many picnics - however, you can discreetly bring food like cheese, cold cuts, snacks and drinks back to your hotel room as long as you pack up your trash neatly. I would say that 100 EU per person per day would be more than sufficient.

    If you want to stretch your food budget in London, eat at Indian and Asian restaurants, where you'll get a lot more quality food for your money.

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    Thank you everyone for all the awesome answers and advice. I'm sorry I can't respond to everyone. Feeling sick still and not much energy. We did book our eurostar train to Paris. We are just going to stick with England>France for this trip (London/Paris) and maybe fit some day trips in there.

    Thanks to everyone here for helping me come to this decision.

    So we will have around 6 days in Paris, and 6 days in London. I see some say that we should get the oyster card, and then some say don't get it, needless to say I'm confused. --Some people recommend that 2 for 1 deal as well. What should we go with?? ---Also I can't remember where the best zones to stay in are, I'm pretty sure it's 1 or 2 for London. Most sites are in 1-2 if I remember correctly. Waiting on this last credit card which shall be here early next week to book the hotels but trying to get good ideas for now. Budget for London will be pushed higher than 200$ because it's basically nothing for GBP, and Paris I can probably still work 200$>Euro out to be just fine.

    Not sure if we should stay anywhere other than the major cities or not, I'm guessing no? (As far as day trips/overnight trips?? go)

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    Search here for oyster and you will get tonnes of threads on London transit.

    For 6 days follow BigRuss's advice and get a 7 day paper travel card from a national rail (not tube) station to take advantage of 2for1 deals.

    Www.daysoutguide.co.uk

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    Hmm, I just learned that there is two types of oyster cards? One you can get mailed to you? The other you pick up at the airport? Apparently I should wait and get that one(airport) if I go that route. ---I'll check the website out though for the 2 4 1

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    To clarify a little bit re transport. An Oyster card (or a touchless alternative) is what most Londoners and a lot of visitors use. They are very straightforward. But for many visitors, a paper travelcard like jamikins and BigRuss mention is the way to go.

    It is a little complicated -- you have to go to a regular train station in central London (not at Heathrow) to buy them but they will cost the same as an Oyster and will get you the 2for1 discounts.

    Since you will be in London for 6 days you will want 7 day, zone 1&2 paper travelcards. BUT you also might need Oysters with a little PayAsYouGo ££ loaded on. This is for things like taking the tube in to London from LHR or for any trips outside zone 2 -- like say Hampton Court Palace. But you can get by without buying Oysters too if you are just taking one trip in from LHR - you can just buy a single ticket at the airport and forget about Oysters altogether.

    The majority of major sites are in zone 1 and in your short visit you might not venture outside zone 1.

    Zone 1 is essentially the center of London and that is where you want to stay.

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    i wouldn't worry so much about all the passes...you will do just fine without them. In Paris, just buy a carnet or two of tickets. You will be able to use them for the Metro and buses.

    Choose hotels that are close to subway stations (easy walk) or on a good bus line and you will be fine. The subway system in both London and Paris are excellent.

    In Paris, the Paris museum pass is good. You may want only a two day pass if you aren't going to spend tons of time in museums. You do have to use on consecutive days once you initiate the card. They will usually save time in ticket lines. You could also look for combo tickets, as an alternative. The Musee d'Orsay offers a combo ticket with Musee Rodin or l'Orangerie that might be good for you, if those are of interest.

    Paris has many great neighborhoods to stay in. There are positives for all of them and it's a matter of preference. If cost is a big concern stay on one of the outer arrondissements, but close to a good Metro line to see the attractions. You will pay less for lodging and dining. We prefer the 6th but have also enjoyed the 9th and the 5th. We have stayed in the 7th and it was not our favorite (a bit dull at night for us and we found ourselves going the the 6th). Many love the 7th and the proximity to the Eiffel Tower.

    You will get to Italy another time. I think it is smart to stick with London and Paris this time. You will be able to dine in any price range you need to. Take away from bakeries is a good option in Paris and check out local markets also. Ask for a carafe d'eau for water in restaurants--rather than bottled to save there.

    Enjoy your trip.

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    alpha0meqa: I didn't see your last question - we were posting at the same time.

    If you want to save ££ with the 2for1's you can't use an Oyster for that. you (both) must have paper travelcards like I explain in my post.

    If you use a car service (like justairports.com ) in from Heathrow you won't have any need for an Oyster at all because the paper travelcards will cover all your transport in central London.

    You can wait til you are in London and go to the nearest trains station to your hotel and buy the travelcards there.

    A car service in from LHR is more expensive than the tube of course, but a LOT less expensive than a taxi. And it is door-to-door with no schelpping of luggage (while jetlagged) through the airport, on the tube, up stairs at the destination tube station, and walking to your hotel -- possibly in the rain.

    It is your honeymoon, - I'd shell out the £30-ish a car service will cost and get your trip off on the right foot :) (That is £30 total - maybe £35 tops depending on where you are staying - not per person)

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    Hello all, I've been very sick lately so I apologize for the delay.

    We did book our hotels for 6 nights in Paris and 6 nights in London. The price for both was around 950$usd. We got le petite Paris for Paris and Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and spa.

    I'm a bit concerned about the location for London though as I don't see it on any map of the tube or railway. I see the closest tube is around 23 minute walk and the closest train is Queenstown Road station which is a 6 minute walk.

    Will this train be okay to take? I'm really hoping we didn't screw up. What advice is there for transportation given this location? I think it's near battersea Park, is it South Chelsea?

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    >>Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and spa. <<

    Is it refundable? It is not in a terribly convenient area - next to Battersea Park on the south side of the river. But if you've paid - it will be perfectly OK. You will be taking the train the short-ish distance from Battersea Park station to Victoria then you can take the tube anywhere.

    It is in zone 2

    The train to Victoria takes about 7 or 8 mins and then you just plan the rest of your trip by tube. Battersea to say Tower Hill will take about 35 minutes. So basically staying there will add about 10 minutes to each of your journeys to various parts of central London.

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    Hey Janis,

    Was hoping you'd respond. No luck on a refund as it was a hotwire deal. Ten minutes shouldn't be too bad. Can you use those oyster cards for that train or one of the other things mentioned for traveling around London?

    Thank you!

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    You can -- but if you use actual (paper) train tickets you can get the 2for1 discounts. Jamikins provided the link to the Days Out 2for1 guide a few posts up thread.

    What you want is a 7 day, zone 1-2 paper travelcard (or -- if you decide you don't want to use the 2for1's - a 7 day zone 1-2 travelcard loaded on an Oyster)

    There is a huge park just around the corner and it is close to the river -- you can walk across Chelsea Bridge and be in Chelsea and at the Royal Hospital (not a 'hospital' but a Christopher Wren designed historic site and home to the Chelsea Pensioners)

    https://www.google.com/search?q=royal+hospital+chelsea&biw=1214&bih=617&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiV8JX8h_TKAhVHymMKHXZLB00Q_AUIBygC

    https://www.google.com/search?q=chelsea+pensioners&biw=1214&bih=617&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwiA5oaIiPTKAhUFzWMKHSPYBEEQ_AUIBigB

    The hotel gets excellent reviews and you likely got a good deal so while the location isn't very convenient it does seem to be a good property.

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    For your fear of flying there are courses that treat this: www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2014/03/10/fear-of-flying-airports-airlines/6084677. If you can fit it in, in these days before your wedding.

    I gather you've decided against Bruges. It's nice enough but with less to do in rainy weather. And it's NOT equivalent to Venice.

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