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London with teens

Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 01:15 PM
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London with teens

A friend and I are planning to take our children (my boys will be 12 and 16, her girls will be 15 and 17) to London and Paris in May of 2011. We're looking at flying into London, spending 5 days, taking the eurostar to Paris, spending another 5 days, and then flying home from Paris.

With four kids going, our budgets are a little tight--I'm hoping we can save big on hotel and airfare by planning now and jumping on bargains as we find them. For the London portion, I'm looking in the $80.00 to $125.00/night range for triple rooms--is that realistic? I'm also very open to finding an apartment for 6 in the same price range. Are better deals possible if I start now, am I about right, or do I need to look in a higher price range? I could really use some advice. Since we'll be traveling alone (no husbands) with kids, we want to make sure that we stay in a safe, very clean place that's easy to get to and from the airport and eurostar station, and that's very close to the subway/train for getting around the city. The kids are old enough that they'll want to be out in the evenings--it needs to be safe to walk back to the hotel as a group (with parents!) after dark. If at all possible, it would be nice if the neighborhood had a little local color--interesting restaurants, shops etc. I'd really appreciate any and all advice on what neighborhoods to stay in or avoid, and recommendations for hotels. Our kids are adventurous travelers, they love experiencing new cultures, and we want to make this a special trip for them! Any places or restaurants that teens might like would also be great! Thanks so much!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 01:23 PM
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Hi there,

I live in London and havent stayed in London, so I cant recommend hotels, but I think apartments may be the way to go.

May I suggest reposting with a request for hotel help in your title...you may get more answers that way!

Hope you find Fodors helpful...you should get lots of good advice here for planning!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 01:32 PM
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That's great advice--thanks so much! I've been reading this site and I'm very impressed with the information and helpfulness of the posters--I'm so glad I found you!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 01:33 PM
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To get you started on some affordable things to do:

Free attractions etc: http://www.londontown.com/London/London_for_Free_2008

Great walks for 7GBP: www.walks.com

2for1 tickets to London attractions: http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/attrac...or1london.aspx

London Transport information: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresa...ets/10628.aspx

PS: Note, to get the 2for1 deal you need a transit pass bought at a national rail station, not a tube station (oyster). It is the same price, but paper - printed on orange paper with the national rail symbol on it (2 arrows). Do a search for oyster here and you will get tonnes of information. It works the same as an oyster.

I personally thing the best tourist site here is the Tower of London. (its available 2for1) Get there first thing in the morning and head straight for the crown jewels. Then head back to the entrance and pick up the free beefeater tour. Its fantastic and your teens will love it!

Enjoy!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Sorry, forgot the link: http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 02:10 PM
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Given that you can't take advantage of the LSE offerings (LSE Top Floor is out of your price range), I think a hostel could work. See this article:
http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/04/19...19hostels.html
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 02:16 PM
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I need to clarify this--I was looking at $80.00 - $125.00 per room per night for a triple--not total. If I need to go up I will--I just don't know what's realistic. I haven't stayed in a hostel since I was 20 a million years ago--I know they've changed but I'm not sure the other mom will go for that. Are they more family friendly now?
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 02:19 PM
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I wouldnt recommend a hostel.

Try Premier Inns for basic accomodations: http://www.premierinn.com/pti/home.do

Or Travelodge: http://www.travelodge.co.uk/
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Huskermom, yes, hostels can be very family-friendly. Read the article at the link I provided. Not every hostel, though, is, as some are party-oriented.

I think at $80-125 USD for a triple, that is going to be tough even with a hostel.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 02:53 PM
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Do I need to bite the bullet and plan for around $200.00 night for a triple? I'm basing my prices on a trip we took last year to NYC--I found a Holiday Inn just south of Central Park for a little over $100/night by really really looking and watching for bargains...
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 03:00 PM
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My daughter and I spent 10 nights in London last summer. We stayed in an apartment. This was great ! you should definately check out your apartment choices.There are many apartment rental threads for london - check them out.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 03:42 PM
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"$80.00 to $125.00/night range for triple rooms"

Currently $80 is only about £45 (and who knows what the £ will be nearly 2 years from now) No triples (and few singles) in that range. $120 = approx £70 -- very slightly more doeable but still tough. A 2 bedroom flat will run about a mi9nimum of £100 a night. And those that will rent for less than a week do tend to run a bit higher per night.

Did you really mean 2011? If so - I'd set out to save a bit more money - you have lots of time til your trip. Just an extra
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 03:44 PM
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oops - hit post by mistake . . .

Just an extra $500 or $600 added to your budget will at least get you into decent triples.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 03:49 PM
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oh - also meant to add -- the same quality hotels/flats tend to run a little cheaper in Paris than in London -- so you wouldn't have to raise your budget as much for your Paris lodgings . . . .
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Those rates for triples in London will be very tough to get anything decent and even remotely central. I would definitely look at an apartment. If you can get enough nights you might also consider bidding for 3 rooms on Priceline - and can possibly get 3* (not always reliable in London) for that amount.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 04:47 PM
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Thank you all so much--this is really helpful. I do mean 2011--I've been able to get really great deals on other trips by lots of advance planning. We have a big US trip planned for next summer (2010). I'm going to raise my budget for London AND look for an apartment as well. Any ideas on neighborhoods that would meet my criteria (safe, easy public transportation, budget friendly, interesting?)
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 06:03 PM
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A difference - especially for apartments. Most European landlords don't set their rates for the next year until the summer/fall prior. Many are reluctant to book so far out. And almost none will commit to a short stay a year ahead since they prefer booking full weeks or longer.

You would do better to wait until next year to even begin looking for places/deals.

Things change -- new places open, old ones close,.. For example 3 of the 4 places I've rented in the last 4 trips to London have either converted to corporate long-term rentals, retired and gone out of business, or sold and converted to a private home. In each case, if I had booked there this year -- all I would be due is my deposit back, not any help finding replacement accommodations.

So you are waaaaay too early.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 03:59 AM
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Thanks so much--this has all been very helpful. At this point I'm trying to establish my budget, and figure out roughly the best neighborhoods to stay in. You've helped me figure out that I need to up my budget and look for apartments--I know I can't book until closer to the date and that the exchange rate will make a huge difference. The more I try to sort out now, the easier it will be to grab good deals if they come up later. Thanks so much!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 04:03 AM
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you could do a search here for 'London apartments' as there have been many recent threads on the topic. That could give you a starting point.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 08:12 PM
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Kudos to you, huskermom, for planning ahead so early! Usually people do the opposite.
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