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London flight and lodging location advice

London flight and lodging location advice

Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 11:46 AM
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London flight and lodging location advice

After many years we are finally making a return trip to London! My youngest was 5 the last time we went and will be 13 1/2 on our return.

We plan to arrive Tuesday, June 21, 2016 and depart Saturday, June 25, 2016. We will be flying from Athens, Greece after a Med cruise.

My questions are then:

Which Airline is better for this route?
Easyjet departs Athens 12PM arrives Gatwick 2PM - more expensive based on mock bookings, must check our carry on size suitcases (paying to do so), no food or drink provided so we would have to purchase something to bring with us
BA departs Athens 1:30PM arrives Heathrow 3:30PM - actually less expensive based on mock bookings, provides complimentary beverages, snacks, can carry on our luggage and personal item

Hotel and location:
Premier Inn Victoria - more expensive, stayed in the area before so more comfortable with surroundings, lots of restaurant choices for breakfast, walking distance to many sights, easy to get to on train from Gatwick or bus from Heathrow
Premier Inn Kensington Earls Court - less expensive, not sure about restaurants or what is within walking distance, easy to get to/from Heathrow on tube

Oyster cards and kids (sorry, still confused):
If we order the kids Oyster cards how long does it take to receive? Is it even worth it? Would the 7-day Travelcard be better even if it ends up costing a bit more (we will only be there for 3 full days).
Is there a manned desk at Heathrow to assist with the adult cards and how much to load plus the extra expense of the travel from/to the airport? I know there is an office at Victoria that can assist there.

This is a start and will greatly assist. Thank you in advance for any help.



.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 11:51 AM
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Your airline question answers itself.

Would try to rent a flat instead, if possible. Victoria is far better located than Earl's Court.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 12:38 PM
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>
must be ordered online 4 weeks in avdvance and can only be collected from a visitor or travel information centre
https://www.tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-pay...On-this-page-0

for 3 days an Oyster card loaded with cash will be better value than a Oyster loaded with a 7 day travelcard
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 12:39 PM
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BigRuss - Any rental companies you can recommend? I would prefer a company to an individual via VRBO/Homeaway. Also, we are trying to be economical and the budget hotel route seems like a good choice for this trip since it's so quick.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 02:06 PM
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Budget hotel may be ok. But what's your nightly budget?

How many are you?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 03:29 PM
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How are you making mock bookings? Are you arbitrarily selecting a date in the next few weeks? That doesn't work because you are traveling so far in the future -- there is no way of telling what easyJe's fares will be a year out -- and if you book as soon as they release their schedule they will almost certainly be cheaper than BA. But it is months too early to be looking at either airline.

Plus >> no food or drink provided so we would have to purchase something to bring with ustwo hour flight - no one will starve if there is no free food

Both of those Premier Inns are fine -- if one is a lot cheaper than the other take that one. But if it is only a small difference, choose Victoria.

>>Is there a manned desk at Heathrow to assist with the adult cards and how much to load plus the extra expense of the travel from/to the airport?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 03:53 PM
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**It is a two hour flight - no one will starve if there is no free food** It's actually a 4 hour flight at lunch time

I did the mock bookings for the latest you can book that route which is October. As a number cruncher I will wait to make any bookings until everything is available I just like to have some semblance of a plan in place.

Our nightly budget is $250 tops and that even hurts. We are fine in one room with one bathroom. We will have just spent 10 cozy nights on a cruise ship.

Using the link provided above I read this. It appears we do not actually have to pre-purchase the Oyster card for kids and can purchase one when we arrive. Maybe someone can verify that this is factual. Thanks.

11-15s: Young Visitor discount
If you are visiting London and travelling with children aged 11 to 15 that haven't got an Oyster photocard; you can get a half adult rate pay as you go discount valid for up to 14 days set on an Oyster card for them.
The Young Visitor discount can only be set at:
Tube stations in Zone 1 and Heathrow Terminals
Visitor or Travel Information Centres
Victoria National Rail station ticket office
To get the Young Visitor discount:
You and your child must be together when asking for it to be set
The Oyster card must be registered in your name and address. Find out more about registering an Oyster card
No proof of age or identity is required, but you might be asked to confirm the child's age. One adult can get the Young Visitor discount set for up to four children.
The Young Visitor discount gives half adult rate pay as you go fares and daily caps on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services for up to 14 days. It doesn't allow free travel and discounted Travelcard and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets cannot be added to it. After 14 days the discount will expire and the Oyster card will revert to charging full adult-rate fares.
The discount can also be set on Visitor Oyster cards if you already have one.

Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 04:30 PM
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Sorry - don't see how many kids you have. You said youngest will be 13 - dos that mean there are at least two more kids?

Getting 5 adult size people in one room is going to be something of a challenge. As I'm sure you know the usual room configuration in europe in 2 people in 1 double bed. Up to 4 is doable but will take some searching. If 5 or more you need to start identifying options now.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 04:59 PM
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Only 2 kids who will be 11 and 13 which is why we have been looking at Premier Inn with their family rooms.

We usually don't travel for less than a week and do rent apartments. This is different because we will just be adding on some days at the end of our cruise. We only require clean, decent and close to transportation to the airport.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 05:30 PM
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Premier Inn really is your best bet since your kids are those ages. Basically they stay free (if one was over 15 it wouldn't work - they are strict about the ages).

The Premier Inn at County Hall is wonderfully located -- but will cost more. You could also try PI Waterloo (practically across the street from County Hall but usually cheaper). Leicester Square and Covent Garden PIs are VERY central.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 08:48 PM
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Last year I had a similar London one way situation with the 2 airline nonstop choices for Southern France being BA and easyJet. BA had posted fares but easyJet waits till a few months before departure before posting fares (like Southwest does). I also did the mock easyJet bookings like you for a rough idea what their fare might be, but as JanisJ has already pointed out, you won't be able to do the exact comparison between the two airlines till both have live fares. In my case the BA fare was only 35 pounds, in the range of the lowest easyJet fares that I saw, so I just booked it and stopped spending time on it. I did check on the easyJet fares later when they eventually posted and I don't think they were much different. By then the BA fares were higher. We did appreciate the BA service and snack and you can get AA miles.
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