4 days in London worth the jetlag?

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Jan 25th, 2001, 10:38 AM
  #1
erica
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4 days in London worth the jetlag?

Would 17 hours in the air, and the resulting jetlag, be worth spending four days in London? I was there in November and have been desperate to go back. I can get a really good deal, but would have to leave on a Friday night and return on Wednesday.

Logically speaking, it seems foolish to expend so much effort for so little time. On the other hand, carpe diem, right? What if I never get another chance to go? Anyone have experience with such a short trip? Was it worth it?
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 10:45 AM
  #2
Howard
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I have gone to Europe twice from the US east coast for really short trips - in fact, a day shorter than your planning. One was to Luxembourg and the other to York, England, which entailed flying to London, then hopping on a train. I thought both were great trips and worth the transportation time.

Since the cost does not seem to be a problenm for you, and it seems you really want to go - I would say go for it!

Howard
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 10:55 AM
  #3
Go!
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London is always worth it! I've done almost the same itinerary last time I went. Is there any way you can get the Thursday you come back, off from work. If yes, then you'll really be fine. If not, go anyway. You'll make up your sleep soon enough!
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 10:57 AM
  #4
s.fowler
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Oh GO! [and take me with you??]
You'll be fine by the second day.
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 11:10 AM
  #5
stacey
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Erica - go, go, go. You can always fake your way through work on Thursday (unless you're a surgeon or something) You said carpe diem - I'll add that there's plenty of time to sleep when we're dead!
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 11:20 AM
  #6
Ess
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Did you really mean 17 hours in the air? From where? That does seem like a lot for only four days. But if you're on the U.S. east coast and mean 7 hours - it's definitely doable. Going across the Atlantic for just a few days' getaway is wonderful, a REAL change of scenery. It's like being I Dream of Jeannie - BOINK! You're there. That's the advantage of being on the east coast. But how quickly you recover from jetlag is an individual thing. You'd know that better than anyone else.
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 11:30 AM
  #7
pam
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I think she meant 17 hours going AND coming. At least I hope she meant that.... Erica, Go! (Take me with you, too....)
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 11:30 AM
  #8
Bill I
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Erica: Our last trip to London was leave Chicago on a Thursday(but only an 8 hour flight)get to London 6am on a Friday. Leave London on Tuesday, back to Chicago. Just had the undeniable urge to go(just from purusing this Fodors site) & no plans to go to Europe that year, so we squeezed in a quick trip. This trip also included our 12 yr old(his 2nd time there) & our 8 yr old(first time to Europe) sons. We all had a great time & didn't have a big problem with jetlag at all. Everybody was so hyped up, for that short period jetlag wasn't a problem. We were at our hotel at Russell Square by 8am(left our luggage but not checked in.) Went to the train station to validate our visitor travel cards & buy tickets for our day trip to Bath on Sunday. Then took the tube to downtown London & started touring. Back early to the hotel for a very good night's sleep, & up bright & early Saturday morning to The Tower of London at openning time - got right in & went straight to the Crown Jewels display & went through it twice(to see the jewels from both sides) before a line formed. Obviously, you can't do alot in a short amount of time,(we spent about 2 1/2 days touring around London itself, 1/2 day in Greenwich - including boat trip, & 1 daytrip to Bath) but for all of us, it was thoroughly enjoyable & well worth it. The jetlag didn't really hit us until we were back home.
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 11:34 AM
  #9
erica
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8 hours to LGW, 9 hours back to StL. Now that I read your advice I wonder why I even considered not going.

Now, if I could find a way to get to Wells for a day...
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 11:47 AM
  #10
John
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It's not mandatory for a long weekend that you even try to reset your clock. London is an okay 24 hour sort of place, so, depending on your home time zone, you might consider taking a page from the diplomats' and aircrews' book and just stay on home time. You may miss the English Breakfast offered by your hotel (big loss), but many things will be easier, e.g. the plays will start in "your" afternoon, and after-theater meals and drinks will be like an early dinner. Not so bad.
You should also figure out what time in London is the equal of 3 AM at home, then make a point not to be crossing the Edgeware Road at that time, or use anything pointed or sharp. Bad hour, circadian speaking.
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 12:14 PM
  #11
erica
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So, the fact the TWA's nonstop to LGW arrives at 3am my time is a bad thing? That may expain a few things about last November!

Only problem for me and the time change is that I'm much more interested in crypts, tombs, churches and things-medieval than the theatre or foodie scene in London. Last trip I ate vending machine lunches so I could keep moving. And I'd rather drink my dinner in a pub, which provides the best theatre of all.

Anyone else have any experience with short jaunts abroad?
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 12:23 PM
  #12
SharonM
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Erica,
I have been to Europe (including London) several times leaving the US on a Friday and returning on Monday. Naturally, If I'd been able at those times, I would've stayed longer but I figured I'd rather spend the weekend abroad than miss the whole experience. Jet lag passes, chances don't! Sleep when you get back.
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 12:30 PM
  #13
jhm
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Jetlag is like a cold. Some people get all upset about it. Some take medications for it. Some believe that special foods or treatments are the trick. Others just ignore it.

The jetlag is not a big deal. I've done these kinds of hops tons of times (and have done them the other way -- London to New York then bouncing right back). My trick: like an animal on the Discovery Channel in search of prey, I pounce on the long row at the back of the plane that is frequently empty as soon as everyone's boarded. No one wants that row because it's near the bathroom/the seats don't go back. I lie down (okay, I'm short), pop a melatonin, cover my eyes with a mask and wake up in London. I am told this is extremely unhealthy. But it has worked. On the way back, I try to do nothing more than a brief nap, and then just go to bed when I get in (most flights from UK-US get in late afternoon/evening).

My advice for the time there is contrary to John's. You're going to visit a country for pleasure, not for work -- therefore, you should be on that country's time as well as its soil, as much as possible. When you land at LGW, it's not 3 am your time, it's 8 am GMT/"your time for the weekend." Go to the hotel, take a shower, clean up, go out and be in the daylight as much as you can. Try to stay up till 8/9, then you can call it quits and try to wake up at a normal time for you on vacation the next day.

Have a wonderful time. Pret a Manger is better than vending machines!
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 12:36 PM
  #14
wanderer
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Most people can take the jet lag. The question for most on this side of the pond is can you afford to blow a couple grand + in 4 days! I don't mean to get antagonistic, but for the Fodor club apparently it is no big deal.
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 01:01 PM
  #15
gothere
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Wanderer- not necessary to spend "a couple of grand" for a trip like this. Virgin Atlantic is currently offering $238 r/t airfare; there are other four- or five-day packages out there for much less than $1000 -- you just have to know where to look and take advantage of the opportunity.
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 01:08 PM
  #16
Diablo
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Wanderer, you mistake the priorities of the people on this board. These people are the Robert Downey Jrs. of travel addicts and even West Coast junkies will spend a couple grand for two of 'em to get a fix.
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 01:12 PM
  #17
Carol M.
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Erica: I just booked a flight to London for my 18 yr. old daughter and myself. Leaving Fri. PM and returning Wed. evening. RT from Detroit to Gatwick, $400. I got a reasonable hotel from this site and off we go.
I have spent 1/2 of my life listening to people always saying that "1 day" they will do the things they always wanted to do and then never do it. Life is TOO short and I say go for it.
See you in London!!
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 01:16 PM
  #18
erica
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Wanderer: I am solidly ensconced in the lower middle class. I have been working for years to get out of debt and have some money to travel. It's all about choices. I have been driving a 1984 beat-to-hell rusted-out Camry since 1990. Most people would be appalled at my lack of clothes (blue jeans and black boots are all you really need). I won't get to go anywhere else this year until a trip I've planned for New Year's. It doesn't have to be that expensive.

$350RT airfare, $400 hotel (at cheap, but centrally located Travel Inn). I won't eat at nice restaurants or attend the theatre. I'll walk most places and save my pence for entrance fees and cheap food. You need to get a few Rick Steves books, they have great money saving ideas. Rick Steves would call my hotel expenses outrageous, and perhaps I will look into a cheaper B&B. But, it can be done without a big income.

I have lost two relatives and one co-worker in the last 18 months. They were all young. Carpe Diem.
 
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Jan 25th, 2001, 01:39 PM
  #19
Beth Anderson
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Hi,

"Last trip I ate vending machine lunches so I could keep moving. And I'd rather drink my dinner in a pub, which provides the best theatre of all."

Erica, you already have the sense of adventure, you are just teasing us to get a reply! good plan, btw.

I live in metro DC, have done the leave Thurs - fly back Tues thing a few times now - London and Paris too. It's better if you don't have to change planes, obviously, but heck, you're still in London!

what else would you rather do with your 4-5 days? you'd just spend that money at home on something else.

if you are looking for an even cheaper place to stay, but not CENTRAL - near Hampstead Heath - Golders Green (check out a tube map to see if that is too far out - only 20-25 mins by tube, maybe, to Natl Gallery etc...) Great B&B called Iolanthe. 25 pounds a night for a small single, a little more for a double. (this was Sept 99's prices - I usually stay with friends but the times I don't - I stay there. NICE posh neighborhood). It's basically a HUGE family home, Rosy and Simon Gill own it, they have one 8 year old daughter. The 1st floor is their rooms to let - they have 4, and the place is gorgeous. Walk out the front door, fall into Hampstead Heath.

try 011-44-0208-455-1417

carpe diem to you too! (my screensaver - so's I don't forget!)

Beth


 
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Jan 26th, 2001, 08:18 AM
  #20
RJ
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Erica -

I gather that when you say "If only I could get to Wells for a day" you're referring to the town of Wells, home of the cathedral with (if I'm keeping my cathedrals straight - hard to do) the scissor vaulting? Considering your pedigree as a junkie of things medieval, and that you've been to London before, I would HIGHLY recommend a day trip to Wells or anywhere, by Rail if it's not too much $$ (seems most semi-nearby locations were about 18-35 pounds, return tix).

My wife and I did the 4-day London jaunt weekend-before-last, on two days' notice (via American Airlines website, $250 R/T from JFK) and it was wonderful but we didn't get to get out of town since my wife had never been to London and there was too much to see. But it would've been wonderful, in the "I Dream of Jeanie" type of sudden relocation that Ess mentioned, to find ourselves somewhere completely away from the big city.

I'm still all excited about our trip, so I'm rambling, but I guess what I'm saying is there are too many places within an hour or two by rail (Bath, Canterbury, Cambridge, etc. etc. etc.) to pass up a quick daytrip! Enjoy!
 
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