Few Days in England

Feb 9th, 2014, 12:08 PM
  #21  
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nytraveler - I am basing that off my own experiences. During my first visit I only spent two days, two nights there and managed to see all the places I listed and more. Basically all the major attractions covering most of Manhattan from bright and early morning to late at night. It really depends on the person, their pace, their interests and their planning. Since then I have been back several times for far longer and I haven't done anything touristy, instead most of my time was devoted to events, parties, shopping and revisiting some of the places that are just nice to go to again like museums and central park. I don't think traveling and seeing a place truly entails seeing every single touristy thing a city has to offer unless you really want to. Lonely Planet suggests 2518 things to do in NYC and 417 sights, I'm pretty sure even New Yorkers haven't seen and done all of that, and they definitely have a true feel of the city. So I do think it's entirely possible to see a place in a shorter timeframe than weeks.
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Feb 9th, 2014, 12:56 PM
  #22  
 
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So I do think it's entirely possible to see a place in a shorter timeframe than weeks.>>

of course, but I think that as you have acknowledged, your original plan had just too much travelling around in it for it to be worthwhile doing.

Dublin and London, whilst not ideal, should make for a great trip.

and what trip IS ideal? they all involve compromises of one sort of another.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 10:21 AM
  #23  
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I will only be going to Dublin and London.

I might have a couple of questions along the way, but one that I have right now is if I should bring my DSLR with me? I know that the likelihood it getting stolen is just as much as it getting stolen in my own city, but I'm just worried about being an obvious tourist with this in hand and already having to careful about my passport, cards and phone. I've taken my camera with me on other trips, but then I was with other people.

My ex-bf took it with him on all his backpacking trips, but the difference is he's a 6 ft guy in his mid-20s, while I'm a petit girl in my early 20s.
rodarte is offline  
Feb 14th, 2014, 10:38 AM
  #24  
 
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For the passport and cards you should wear a money belt under your clothes, e.g. http://www.backpacktravelstore.com/L...p/grlkwmbb.htm (And, no, you DO NOT access it during the day - keep one day's cash handy.)

You are going to look a tourist anyway, so take the camera if you like. I've switched to smaller camera just because of the weight, and still get 18x zoom.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 10:46 AM
  #25  
 
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I take my DSLR on all our trips, so does my hubby
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Feb 14th, 2014, 11:26 AM
  #26  
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Thanks! Were you also comfortable leaving it in the hostel (say for nights out?). Where would you leave your bags in the hostel (locked, etc but did you take any other safety precautions or just leave them near your bed?). If I wasn't taking my camera all my valuables would be on me the whole time in the money belt like suggested, but I wouldn't want to carry the camera when going out to drink.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 11:28 AM
  #27  
 
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I usually take it with me because I love taking night photos.

I have nip ever stayed in a hostel. I just leave it in our hotel room if I don't bring it out with me.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 11:38 AM
  #28  
 
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I don't often stay in hostels. I'd leave it locked in my bag. I suppose you could use a cable lock to lock your bag to your bed. Some hostels have lockers - take a padlock. Would think the hostel would be safer than a night club.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 01:13 PM
  #29  
 
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Don't be afraid of looking like a tourist. There is nothing you can do really to avoid that. You are a tourist -- and there will be many folks taking photos anywhere you are . . w/ iPhones, iPads, point and shoots, mid-priced SLRs and full on professional gear.

Phones are much more likely to be stolen than a bulky camera BTW.

Take it.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 07:36 AM
  #30  
 
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Most hostels have lockers but you must provide your own lock. Check before you book.

Leaving things on your bed or even a bag padlocked to a bed in a hostel is NOT a good idea. Unfortunately, most thefts from 'backpackers' using hostels are perpetrated by other backpackers in hostels. Sad but true.

The only way to avoid theft 100% is to not take anything you really need to worry about being stolen. Otherwise, INSURANCE is what you need to get. In regards to cameras, that is not that easy to get covered to full value for expensive equipment. So check your coverage.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 09:14 AM
  #31  
 
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I'm glad you decided on more time in London and left out Scotland for now, I don't think you will regret it.

Not far from Dublin is Newgrange if you can get there. And if you have a car available or can rent one for the day, add in Monasterboice. Only about an hours drive from Dublin but centuries away in atmosphere and the "feel" you might be looking for.

When in London, easy to take the train to Hampton Court Palace for the day. Bath would also be a good day trip from London.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 09:43 AM
  #32  
 
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I agree with Thursdays about both the money belt and the camera. I leave my DSLR at home, not because I am afraid of theft but because of weight. I tend to walk around all day (12 hours or more) on vacation and the weight gets to you (I'm also petite). Also, you are limited as to the weight in your carry on for flights so that's a big consideration. I have a very good non SLR camera and most people think I get decent results with it (www.pbase.com/annforcier)

I think you made a good decision to skip Scotland this trip. If you feel you have enough time in London there are so many great day trips from London you can take. And by basing there you don't have to make that decision till the time comes. Do a little research as to where else you might like to go on a day trip just in case (Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, Canterbury, etc.).
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Feb 15th, 2014, 01:54 PM
  #33  
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Thanks for the advice! Normally, when I take a DSLR with me, I've stayed in a hotel room or at a family member's place and thus when I don't take it out with me, I just leave it in the bag. I was more afraid of other backpackers possibly stealing it but I didn't want to come off as paranoid. I'm probably going to have to think very hard about this one, but I will consider a point and shoot that is easier to carry (lightweight, etc) to keep my mind at peace if I'm still not comfortable with the idea of leaving it behind, etc. Thanks for the suggestion isabel, those are beautiful pictures, what camera do you use?

Thanks for the suggestions regarding day trips! I am really interested in Bath or Oxford but I will decide once I arrange my travels on a spreadsheet to see if I have enough time. Thanks for the tips!

I have another question - for those that are backpackers, have you taken a carry on with you onto the plane? In the past whenever I have traveled it has either been for a few days in North America for which I just take a small rolling bag and a handbag or a longer 2 week or so trip, for which I take a bigger bag. I will be buying a backpack for this one (but also for future use). Should I take a carry on with me?
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Feb 15th, 2014, 02:01 PM
  #34  
 
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If you are checking a bag you MUST take a carry on for all those things it would be a real pain to lose - e.g. your camera - plus a change of underwear if not tops. My checked bag would work as a carry on on a lot of flights but I check it anyway (along with over-the-limit liquids and a Swiss army knife), and take a carry on with electronics, pharma etc.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 03:41 PM
  #35  
 
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Now onto another subject. OK.

If you plan to do a more 'backpacking' type trip then I suggest you look at 'travel packs'. These are neither a suitcase or a true backpack.

Backpacks are in fact designed for wilderness travel, not bumming around Europe. That many people who 'backpack' use a backpack in Europe does not mean they have got the right idea.

Travel packs are designed specifically for what is called 'backpacking' but which really means independent travel somewhere on a tight budget. Thus the average 'backpacker' who stays in hostels, buys food in supermarkets, etc. rather than hotels and restaurants.

Travel packs have a backpacking style harness for carrying the pack on your back but it zips away behind a cover when not needed making the pack far more airport carousel friendly.

The first thing you need to do is realize that for a 'backpacker', WEIGHT is your number one enemy. Rolling a wheeled suitcase from an airpor to a taxi and into a hotel is not the same as taking a bus into the city and walking half a mile with your pack on your back to a hostel.

So before choosing a bag, you need to get your 'stuff' down to as low a weight as possible. Then figure out what size pack you need to put it in.

Experienced travellers get as low as 15lbs. including the weight of the bag itself and get by with a bag of 30-35L in volume. Anyone should be able to get down to 40-45L with a little thought. Anyone using a 55-70L bag is simply not getting it right. If your 'stuff' weighs more than 25 lbs. go back to the drawing board.

I manage for 3 seasons with under 7kg/15lbs. and it makes no difference whether I travel for 3 days or 3 years. What I pack is the same for both.

No offense but if you use a bigger bag for 2 weeks than for a few days as you say, you're getting it wrong. Sometimes it's easier to see the picture if you make it even bigger. If you went for 3 months for example you would not expect to take enough socks, underwear, etc. to last that entire time without washing or having things washed for you.

The Rule of 3's says, 'one to wear, one to wash, one to spare. NO ONE needs more than 3 pair of underwear or socks no matter how long they travel for.

Two good travel packs to look at are the Osprey Porter 46 and the Osprey Farpoint 40. Have a look here:

http://www.rei.com/product/837012/os...46-travel-pack

http://www.rei.com/product/837010/os...40-travel-pack

Either of those will suit your planned trip. Both will fit carry-on regulations on most airlines but remember, it also matters what you try to carry-on. As thursdaysd says, deciding to take a swiss army knife automatically means you have to check your bag. The same is true of other items obviously.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 05:41 PM
  #36  
 
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rodarte - I travel with two cameras, both Panasonic. The main one is the FZ150 - almost as large as my Nikon DSLR but much lighter (and far more zoom range than one lens on the DSLR would give). My 'backup' is a pocket sized point and shoot (Panasonic LX5).

I also agree with the thoughts above re luggage. You can travel around independently without using an actual backpack. I use a 21" rolling bag plus a day pack. Both are allowed as 'carry on' -but most European carriers have fairly stick weight limits. A 21" bag that meets weight limits is easy enough to take on trains/metros, to carry up a few flights of stairs to hotels, etc. I would much rather have the option of rolling it when that's possible than having to have it on my back all the time. Plus I think it's really obnoxious when people get on public transportation with a huge backpack on - they usually bump into everyone. If you think you will want to wear it on your back maybe look into the convertible type that can be wheeled or worn as a backpack.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 06:16 PM
  #37  
 
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Definitely not a wheeled backpack - worst of both worlds. Go for one or the other. For a European trip, unless it's mostly Eastern Europe, and probably even then, I'd go for the wheels, but then I'm getting older.
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Feb 16th, 2014, 08:32 AM
  #38  
 
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A preference for a wheeled bag is fine isabel but don't go too far as thursdaysd says. A 'wheeled backpack' is indeed the worst of both worlds.

The KEY as I have said to a pack on your back is WEIGHT. If it isn't heavy and isn't big, there is no problem. If you think about it, the invention of wheeled suitcases (not all that long ago really) came about as a result of people finding their suitcase was too heavy to carry. Wheels let them take a lot of weight.

If the problem is too much weight, then the solution is A, to reduce the weight or B, to not have to pick up the suitcase and carry it. Wheels took route B.

I happen to prefer route A and a pack on my back. For example, suppose you are running down a cobbled street in some small town in Europe to catch a bus. Wheels will not work all that well believe me. Now think about doing the same thing with what you probably think of as a 'daypack' slung over your shoulder. That's MY only bag. Some school kids carry more weight in their 'backpack' than I do when travelling.

When you mention, "I think it's really obnoxious when people get on public transportation with a huge backpack on", you are indicating a far different picture than what I carry in reality.

This is what you envision (I believe): http://www.thehappiesthour.com/blog/...ckpacker-bars/

This is what I am suggesting which is far smaller: http://herpackinglist.com/2013/11/os...ckpack-review/

This is an example of what I personally use which is smaller still:http://outdooradventureguide.co.uk/2...k-gear-review/

As I said, no bigger than a kid's school bag and under 15lbs. total weight.
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Feb 16th, 2014, 12:52 PM
  #39  
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Thank you everyone for all the help! This really makes things much easier as I earlier had in mind a trekking bag. Usually when I fly around the USA I don't check my bag (these tend to be few day trips where I don't take a heavy load) so I don't think I will be carrying any items with me that might make it necessary to check my bag, of course unless I have to due to the weight restrictions.

dulciusexasperis, you're right about "not getting it right" by using a bigger bag for longer travels - in the past I have taken things I never needed and clothes I never used. I haven't been pressured into packing lightly nor had to worry about public transportation in past travels. But that's generally the standard I've used, only packing lightly for shorter trips.

isabel, Thanks for the cameras suggestion! This might also be an issue but I have taken it on flights as a carry on and put it under the seat in front of me, though carrying it might become an issue within the cities.

thursdaysd, I am taking a large longchamp tote with me to act as a handbag for my flights. In case I have to check my bag this will allow me to keep valuables in it, but then becomes flat and can be folded up taking very little space when I don't needed. I use it as my University handbag and it's been used up quite a bit for 3 years. But if I can manage to fit everything in the bags that are suggested here, I won't take it.

This is my packing list:
- lock
- padlock
- heels
- small towel
- umbrella
- tight seal water bottle
- phone
- camera
- phone charger
- camera charger

Washkit:
- shampoo
- conditioner
- toothpaste
- toothbrush
- deodorant
- razor
- liquid soap

Skin/Makeup:
- cleanser
- moisturizer
- lipbalm
- hand sanitizer
- wetwipes
- sunblock
- eyeliner
- lipstick
- foundation
- mascara
- makeup remover

Travel Documents:
- passport
- passport photocopies
- emergency numbers
- insurance info
- flight details
- guidebooks/info/maps
- notebook, pen
- money belt
- student ID
- license and photocopies
- credit card
- emergency cash

Clothes
- 1ightweight jacket
- 2 pairs of leggings
- 3 skirts/5 tops
- 2 dresses
- socks & underwear

Other
- hair iron
- packet of tissues
- alarm clock
- sunglasses

The wash kit and makeup kit are the same ones I usually travel with and are 2 small pouches. Some travel documents/info will be stored on the notes section on my phone and in the notebook. Everything else in that section is very small and will be put in a pouch probably. I need an alarm clock since I don't know if I will be comfortable having my phone out while I'm sleeping in London, so I'm just looking into buying a small one. And even though the amount of clothes sounds a lot they are small and can be rolled up tightly not taking up much space.
rodarte is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 01:09 PM
  #40  
 
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that's a pretty good list. Mine takes three posts here: http://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com/...take-part-one/

About that hair iron - is it dual voltage? If not you'd be better off leaving it at home as it will need a converter as well as a plug adapter and may still give problems - and don't forget the adapters for your chargers.

What shoes beside the heels? I suppose they are for evenings, although flats will take less room.
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