family itinerary for London trip

Old Feb 5th, 2003, 05:09 PM
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TT: The Keys Ceremony is definitely "worth" it. You can only get the free tickets by writing 6 to 8 weeks in advance. jefnstef were able to switch the tickets for a different date - but they had already received their tickets. You cannot get the tickets after you arrive in London.
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 08:33 PM
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WOW! I continue to appreciate the wonderful responses posted in this thread! Thanks so much for all of the help! ??? for you, my 10 year old has saved her money from Christmas and allowance for the trip and has over $200. Would you change this into Pounds for her here or in London? and if in London, where? Something close to our hotel? (*Royal Horseguards)
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 09:32 PM
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jefnstef: You can use the $200 for a good lesson for your little girl. Take her to AAA or your credit union and buy $200 worth of travelers cheques (get US$ checks, not GB &pound; - they will be free of any fees so will only cost $200). Then in London take her into any bank and let her exchange her TC's herself. <BR><BR>Or if you didn't want to bother with the TC's just let her take her $200 (all bills - coins won't work) and exchange them in a London Bank. She will feel very grown up. <BR><BR>She will get a worse exchange rate than you will with your ATM card - but that would seem like &quot;your&quot; money instead of hers.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 05:49 AM
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TT - I really thought the Ceremony of the Keys was fun - real pomp and circumstance and all, and I don't have kids (3 adults went). Tickets are free, but I would say write for them ASAP. I wrote 3 months in advance and got my 3rd choice of dates for mid-January! So 6-8 weeks may not be early enough - it probably varies.<BR><BR>jefnstef - I agree the money could be a learning experience for your child, but Janis is write about the exchange rate. My sister had traveler's checks and I just used my ATM, and I quite a bit better exchange rate (don't remember exactly the difference). So, that depends if you want her to learn a lesson or have more money to spend. The exchange rate is so unfavorable for Americans right now as it is...<BR><BR>Karen
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 06:45 AM
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I agree with the above poster. Your daughter should not have to lose so much off her hard -eared savings, and she may, in fact not want to spend it all, so she would either have to pay double commissions on the money (to exchange and then to exchange back any unused... And you can get much better rates at an ATM or, better, credit card rates. When we were in a similar situation I made a imple &quot;balance sheet&quot; for my daughter, and she &quot;withdrew &quot;money from me as we kept track. I simply payed for the item in whatever was the cheapest/easiest manner, and she was responsible for entering the amounts and doing the math. Then we settled up when we got home. <BR>It seemed easiest-- I did npot have to worry about keeping track of &quot;her&quot; cash, or worry about her losing it (mine can't even remember where her lunch money is each day...) She had a great time and was very thoughtful about her purchases. Good lucy and have fun--the planning is great, but London is a city just to be experienced, so leave plenty of time for things to sneak up on you. Some of the most extrordinary things we did were complete serendipity!<BR>
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 06:55 AM
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We use the balance sheet idea for our children on an ongoing basis. We call it the First National Bank of Mama. When the kids get cash, they give it me and I &quot;deposit&quot; in my bank. Each kid has a checkbook ledger where I track their deposits and withdrawls. That way I don't have to worry about money getting lost around the house. The kids like seeing their balance grow and also know that withdrawls mean their balance is decreasing. This was a good idea I got from my pediatrician (he has 5 kids so money was always getting misplaced and arguments would break out).
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 10:18 AM
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Sounds like the ceremony of the keys at the Tower of London is a &quot;don't miss&quot;. What is the address to write to or Process one needs to follow to get these tickets? I need them for June 24th.<BR><BR>
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 10:40 AM
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Hi luv2explore:<BR><BR>You have to send a SASE with 2 international reply coupons (buy at post office) to:<BR><BR>The Ceremony of the Keys <BR>HM Tower of London <BR>London <BR>EC3N 4AB <BR>England <BR><BR>I got my tickets about 2 weeks later. You can get further details at:<BR>http://www.hrp.org.uk/webcode/tower_home.asp, and click on &quot;Planning your visit&quot;.<BR><BR>It really was quite fun!<BR><BR>Karen
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 01:14 PM
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We have been to London a few times with our children and will be there the same time as you. Personally, I would devote all my time to London and wouldn't go anywhere else. It is a great city and there are tons of things to see. I like having tea at the Orangery behind Kensington. And I agree with St. Pauls and Westminister, and Covent Gardens. A very fun thing we did was the &quot;winnie the pooh&quot; tour - which is a train ride from London. It's offered through &quot;London Walking Tours&quot; but not sure of February. It is potentially the nicest day I've ever spent with my children.
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 03:46 PM
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Thanks Karen<BR><BR>Great information on the Tower of London Ceremony of the Keys. I,m Canadian and not sure what our equivalent of an SASE is but I'm sure I'll figure it out. <BR><BR>Thanks, Pam
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Old Feb 6th, 2003, 03:52 PM
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Actually luv - you don't need an SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope). You need to send an SAE (Self Addressed Envelope)<BR><BR>Putting a North American stamp on a response letter to be mailed from London won't be of much use. So include an SAE and an international postal coupon which you get from your post office (in either Canada or the USA). (The Tower will use the postal coupon to pay for the return postage)
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