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Old 07-23-2011, 09:03 AM   #121
kristilew
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Thanks for the link! The site says they will mail if ordered 16 + days out from the US. I'm going Aug 13, so just barely make it. I wonder if I'd be better off to wait til closer in, and force a will-call. My daughter has a friend in Germany, and their letters often take a full month to go back and forth.

Bummer that we won't be there at the same time! One of these years, we WILL meet up on our journeys!

I will put AAA on my list of errands for next week. I read on the underground site that the visitor's pass is good for zones 1 & 2 - I think Windsor is in zone 2, so that would be really helpful. Especially if it does not limit us to traveling at off-peak times. We'll want to catch an early train into the city on the days we go in.

I'm especially excited about surprising DD with this trip. She is off at camp until the day before we leave, so it will be easy to keep it a secret.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:23 PM   #122
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Wait until you arrive to get cash and tube passes

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Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
Really need to talk to AAA about passes. I'm heading there tomorrow to exchange for some pounds & euros, so I'll ask them then.
Tube day passes are available in any major station. Most of the time, the Oyster card is a better value than an all-day pass. You can buy them from a machine or attendant with cash or credit.

I recomend that you get Pounds from an ATM at Heathrow airport or any major train station. Wait until you arrive in France to get Euros from an ATM.

Don't bring any foreign coins back home, because they cannot be exchanged! Change in often given with 1 or 2 Pound/Euro coins, so it very easy to get a pocket full of valuable coins.


-Paul
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:00 PM   #123
kristilew
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thanks, pjacobi. Yes, we usually just get our currency from ATMs. The thing with the visitor's pass for the trains/tube is that it may be a better deal, all told. We just have to check. I'll report back what I learn (By the way, love your hometown - we had a lovely walk up the main drag, admiring the old buildings and eating lunch in a brewpub there.)

Finally got through to the royal collections tickets page, so we are all set to do the Royal Day Out. I was able, about halfway through the purchase process, to choose to pick up (or, rather, "collect" - how very British!) my tickets when I arrive. This works well, since I won't have to worry about the mail, and I'm obsessive about getting places early so should have time to get them even if there's a line.

Has anyone done a Shakespeare play at the Globe theatre? It looks like we could do a morning tour, then see a matinee of Much Ado About Nothing, which is one of DD's faves, but it's over 3 hours long. That might make for a long day of Globe, at least for me with a short attention span. But if it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, maybe I should for her sake. Decisions, decisions!
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:27 PM   #124
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Kristilew, I didn't make it to AAA on Saturday (ATM by there was unable to dispense cash, so by the time I found a working ATM, I was at my bank & just went ahead & ordered the currency there). I'll let you know as soon as I find anything out!

By the way, one of the tellers there said you can exchange money in London at the post office! As long as you have cash currency, they'll exchange it for pounds with no fee.

Glad you arranged your tickets for the Royal Day Out! I wonder what the lines will be like. It looks as if the wedding dress exhibit is mighty popular!

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Old 07-25-2011, 03:41 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristilew View Post
.....I think Windsor is in zone 2, so that would be really helpful.
Hi, I live in London and dip in to this thread whenever I can to assist with local knowledge and recommendations. Windsor isn't even in London - it is beyond Heathrow Airport.

Here is a useful guide to public transport in London, for visitors.


Here
is a map showing the rail lines and the underground which shows the different zones.

I hope this helps.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:52 AM   #126
kristilew
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Thanks for the links. Yes, I know Windsor isn't in London! It's the zones that get me confused, so that large map is especially helpful - though still overwhelming. Coming from somewhere that has no large system of public transit, grasping what seems like very basic concepts for a tube/train system can take some work. (so glad there are apps to help plot routes!)


I hate to be the bumbling tourist who holds up the line with a million questions about which tickets I need - though I must say the attendant at Windsor was ever-so patient with me last time! Anyway, I will study up on that guide you gave me - thank you!
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:43 PM   #127
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You always loose on currency exchange

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By the way, one of the tellers there said you can exchange money in London at the post office! As long as you have cash currency, they'll exchange it for pounds with no fee.
*Anytime* you change currency, you loose! It's as sure as death and taxes.

If you don't pay a fee, you will loose out on poor exchange rate. Sometime it is better to pay a fee to get a better exchange rate.

ATMs are usually best because your transaction is combined with other for an inter-bank rate.

Exchange at least $100-$200 to lower percentage cost of transaction.


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