In just over a week I’ll be on my latest adventure in London! I’m already getting ready to go, as mentioned in my last post I have already bought an Oyster card to use on public transit in London. I’ve travelled a fair amount now so I like to think I have getting ready to leave down to a bit of an art form. Everyone is different and has different travelling styles but I thought this would be a good time to give out some of my ideas as I’m in the process.

I have one of those reusable cloth bags that I actually bought on my last trip to the UK that I’ve been throwing stuff in as I think of it.

This isn’t everything in the bag but it gives you an idea…
– There is a fairly small umbrella, it fits nicely in my purse if I need it.
– A converter so I can use my hair dryer, plug in my iPad ect.
– A face cloth – ladies this is a must. I’ve found quite a few hotels in Europe do not supply you with one so it’s a good idea to bring one with you.
– My travel diary.
– A small, plastic map of London with a tube map printed on the back. I know my way around pretty well but this is super handing to have.

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Other things are of course my travel plans, e-tickets for the airport, hotel reservations, mini tooth paste, tooth brush holder ect.  I like to put all these things together early on so it creates less stress the day before I go. I’m not running around going ‘where is that’ ‘do I need that’ blah blah. I just like to get the little things out of the way. This weekend I’ll probably start putting aside some clothes that I know I want to take. I can’t put them in a suitcase just yet. My cat sees the big bag and freaks out.

 

 

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Really? You’re abandoning me again?

 

Something else I like to try and get done ahead of time is booking and paying for certain things I know I’ll be needing/doing. For example I’ve already booked a car to pick me up at the airport and take me to the hotel.

In many cases this can be cheaper than paying for a taxi. Plus then you’re not having to unload a bunch of your currency right away. A good idea is to call your hotel and see if they have a preferred company they deal with. Now I just have to keep my fingers cross this car actually shows up 😉

Speaking of currency, I know some people who wait to pick up currency for the country they’re going to until they get to the airport or even until they get to their destination! I don’t like doing this!! I like to have a bit of cash on me all the time. I usually monitor the rates for a few weeks before I leave and when I see they’ve gone up or are holding steady I’ll go buy. You can obviously get currency at your bank, sometimes they have to order it in, or at a currency exchange place. In Alberta we have the AMA (Alberta Motor Association)  which is quite good at always having currency on hand, they also have traveller credit cards, which I hadn’t see before and traveller cheques.

Another tool I’ve found that can be quite handy is a travel app for your smart phone. I use Travel for Blackberry. It automatically takes travel information from your conformation emails and adds them to your trip. It also updates your flight times, gates ect. Gives you the weather for the destination you’re going and just keeps things all in one place. Sometimes it’s just more convenient to look down at your phone for something than rifling through all your papers.

I know this isn’t much but I hope it helps or gives you an idea or two! What do you do to prepare for a trip? I’ve got a busy week coming up so my next post will probably be from the Big Smoke.

 

 

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