UK for the first time!

May 28th, 2012, 06:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 18
good to know! yeah i'm REALLY gonna try and keep an eye on the weather so i know what to pack and i don't overpack. i keep having nightmares about the last time i flew internationally...but i was also going for a month..i think my bags hit 70 lbs total. eh.

Plus, i KNOW i'm gonna shop while i'm there, so i gotta save room for that too.

thanks for the link!
olliegrl is offline  
May 29th, 2012, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,641
olliegirl - try what I do.

1. put out all the clothes that you think you might need. put 1/2 of them back.

2. get out the case. realise that you still have 2x what you need and put another 50 % of what is left back.

3. put things together. do you need that puffa jacket? that 7th pair of shoes [we have shops, in europe, as you well know]

4. weigh your case. remember that as well as shops, we have laundries. [yes, i know, it's a stretch].

5. wear those walking shoes to travel.
annhig is offline  
May 29th, 2012, 12:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 18
haha! i feel like you know me. i'll only be there for about a week, so laundry prolly won't be necessary.

yeah i'm trying REALLY hard not to overpack.

thanks for the advice!

also, do you have fr
olliegrl is offline  
May 29th, 2012, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,641
also, do you have fr>>

do i have ??? - yes, olliegirl - clearly we were separated at birth!
annhig is offline  
May 30th, 2012, 11:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 18
hmmm i don't remember what i was writing. oh well, must not be important. i think i tried to post something and it didn't take.

i'm going to vegas next week and i'm trying not to overpack for just 4 days. eh.
olliegrl is offline  
May 31st, 2012, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 9
My heart is utterly broken from all the harsh words! ;-)

I've flown out of Heathrow 5 times on different carriers, and I was NEVER allowed to carry more than one bag into the cabin. Maybe I've just been unlucky, but I don't really think so. I've never had to take my shoes off going through security in either England or France. I have had to wait in very long lines coming into Heathrow with thousands of world travelers, like herds of cattle (me included), trying to get into the country. The smell from the masses can be quite overwhelming, especially when so many people are crushed together. I don't think anyone is particularly happy or smelling very nice at that point. Same concept applies to the Underground regarding crushed and smelly, but only during rush hours. Not too different than being on the Washington Metro in the summer actually.

Having to use a knife and fork when given thick stew is not something I've EVER experienced in the USA, I always gotten them in England and Wales. I do generally eat slices of pizza and individual french fries with my hands, especially since I wouldn't order them in a fancy restaurant anyway. Brits eat both of them with a knife and fork. When I picked up a slice of pizza (that I had to cut from an uncut pie), you'd have thought I dropped my trousers in front of everyone! Oh well.

Can't say that I've every thrown a bone over my shoulder, not that I think there's anything wrong with that....

Alas, the only spoon I ever got was the tiny one that comes with tea (or coffee after dinner). I've never been offered a knife OR fork when given sliced cake, even in a tea shop. I have been offered ketchup or salad cream to go with my pizza, but that's a whole different story.

Sure, I misspoke about the "subway", but it sounds like everyone understood what I meant. I could have said "Metro", the "T", the "Underground", the "L", or the "Tube". When the weather is hot, and it CAN get hot in London (it hit the upper 90s when I was there in the summer of 2003), I would still rather travel above ground than in the sweltering Tube, crushed in a sweaty mass of humanity. Done that, in both London and Paris that summer, and have no desire to ever experience it again!

I hope you have an amazing trip with wonderful weather!
Kerry3533 is offline  
May 31st, 2012, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Most electronic devices today, as noted, operate on dual currents and will say input 100v-225 v or something like that. In that case all you need is a plug adapter sold everywhere in the UK at Boots or Superdrug for a couple of pounds (colloquially known as quid just like dollars are sometimes called bucks, pounds are sometimes called quid...this costs 5 quid means something costs £5...

2. I believe, Ireland and the UK are part of a common immigration area so you will go through passport control in Dublin and upon landing at Heathrow no passport control will be necessary (this is always subject to change) but as I remember just a year or two ago in flying from Dublin to London there was no passport control at Heathrow for that flight.

3. I always urge people not to use a debit card's "credit cdard" feature. I will explain why. Credit card theft is prevelant throughout the world, no greater or less in Europe than in the USA (although American cards are a bit more prone to cloning because of the lack of chip and pin which is discussed elsewhere here). If somebody clones a credit card, no big deal. You simply tell the credit card companywhich charges are fraudulent, they are removed from your bill and you are not out any money. True a bit of aggrevation the first tme it happen but it's happened to me three or so times over the last 25 years and while I won't say I'm used to it, it can be handled with a few phone calls. If your debit card is cloned, actual money will come out of your account and while for the most part it can and is restored, it is somewhat more of a hassle. While you are waiting for the matter to bge resolved, some of your checks and/or automatic payments may turn to rubber. Do not use your primary checking account's debit card feature. Immediately apply to Capital One for a no fee no foreign currency fee credit card and use it only.

As far as chip and pin vs. the antiquated American cards, there are lots of discussions here. For the most part in ht euK, especially in London, they are used to dealing with US cdredit cards and will know how to swipe them in the terminals so I woldn't worry there.

3. Tipping is included at some restaurants (it is indicated on the menu service included and if not it will also be indicated. Generally in London an acceptable tip is 10% at a restaurant, at least that's what I leave and have never gotten a dirty look (perhaps behind my back). You are not expected to tip the bar tender in a pub.

Guess that's it. You will find London is very used to dealing with Amerian tourists, even novice ones at that. Prices for some thngs will be cheaper, for others more. But then again, at least there should be few language difficulties because as I say all the time, English and American are very closely relatd language and in general we can understgand one another!
xyz123 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2012, 10:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 18
i have a shopping related question...i've heard rumors (from family members who have been there) that designer brands (Chanel, LV, Dior, etc) are cheaper over in Europe cause they don't pay the import and shipping fees to the US.

True or false?

again, thanks SO much for all the advice!
olliegrl is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2012, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,270
False. And "probably" is not spelled "prolly" Any tortoise knows that!
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2012, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 36
Although my Burberry is 30 years old and bought in Rye, Sussex, next time I am in England, I am definitely stopping by here for my next Burberry trench, if you can why not to stop by, It is in Hackney and if I remember correctly is north of Camden, the famous Camden Market, so you might visit both of them. Here is teh tripadvisor link.

About converter, I am not sure if you have Fry's in your area, I live in LA, so we have all over. I got last summer for $32.00. Think Brookstome is bit more expensive.

About IPAD keyboard, I have a bluetooth keyboard from Brookstone, I found it to be more expensive than the others offered online, but definitely worth it, but to charge, it needs adapter since it has only the USB plug.

About clothes, if I was going only for a week, I would expect to kind of wash undies in the bathroom, take 2 Tees, 1 shorts, 1 casual (jeans) pants, pjs, socks, cardigan, some kind of rainjacket, some kind of scarf, light backpack or tote, and maybe a less casual dress in case of going out at night and of course the toilettrie. Remember you will end up buying and you want to be able to bring them.

About Debit Card, I agree totally wtih XYZ123, use debit only for money and use credit for buying. You don't know what kind of scammer might be out there. And when you return you can check immediately what you spend against all the receipts you have kept

And about Peter_S_Aus, it is not entirely false, it is slightly cheaper, not a lot. And I am not sure where you are from, but be kind when you comment. Maybe the person who posted did not even mean to say "probably".
kbiscuitt is offline  
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