(Closed) Booked our Anniversary Trip– London, Paris, Rome… Any recs?

posted 5 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
Member
4110 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

No recommendations, but just read through your itinerary & had to say that sounds amazing! I’d love to take a killer trip for our first anniversary this year. Lucky you!

Post # 5
Member
3887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

My recommendations:

-Upon arrival at London, spend a couple hours in the airport’s Yotel which is a “day room” kind of place, basically you book your room by the hour with a 4-hour minimum and it’s designed so you can get a quick nap and a shower after the flight.  I don’t sleep well in planes and I find a little sleep in one of those day rooms is well worth the price. I can wake up at 11am or noon, quick shower, and have a very enjoyable day playing tourist, rather than being the walking dead and falling asleep at 5pm.

Yotel is not the only day room hotel in Heathrow but it’s the cheapest. The rooms are very small but they’re clean and (for the most part) quiet.

-Try not to add too many more pre-planned activities as your days are already quite full, leaving little if any time to just wander around and find your own experiences. I love tours, but I love those unexpected finds (great pubs, a funky shoe store, etc) even more.

Also the arrivals into Heathrow have been brutal with 2+ hour waits in the Immigration queue. Be prepared for an unpleasant arrival especially as so many other transatlantic flights land at that exact time.  If there’s any way at all you can arrive at Gatwick, you’ll be glad for it. If not, then check with your airline to see if they will sell you a “fast track” arrivals pass; this lets you go to a separate line that is usually significantly shorter, and is generally only given to business/first class customers, but since these days the airlines will sell anything that isn’t nailed down, it’s at least worth asking.

Post # 7
Member
3831 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

What a trip!!! Enjoy every second and take tons of pics!

Post # 8
Member
3887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m fairly sure there’s a Yotel at Gatwick so I’d check there first. There’s also a Hilton and a Sofitel (maybe a Novotel, it’s in that chain at least) and while neither list day rooms on their websites, it’s worth a call to each to see what they offer (it’s common for the hotels to not list a day room on their website even if they provide that service). I’ve stayed in the Gatwick Hilton many times and it’s lovely; very comfortable and clean rooms, very nice staff.  If there’s a Yotel, chances are it’ll be significantly cheaper but the Hilton would be worth the extra money for me, even for a few hours.

Also if you are planning to take the Gatwick Express into London itself (Victoria Station) book your tickets online but don’t book too far in advance. They do frequent specials and sales, sometimes up to 30% off. 

I’d also advise against the sleeping pill unless DH already takes them and knows how his body will react to them. My Mr is British and we fly to Heathrow/Gatwick/Manchester about 4-6 times a year, and there is always someone on those flights freaking out because their sleeping pill caused some weird, unpleasant reaction (flying to Sydney once we had to go back to LAX to offload a passenger whose Ambien made them freak out badly).

Post # 9
Member
2702 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

how amazing!! you have to eat lunch at Angelina’s in Paris. It was the best meal I ever had

Post # 11
Member
11284 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

sounds like a lot of fun.  we did london and paris in 2010.  it was great.

i read your itinerary.  wow, is it packed.  you may want to consider the jet lag on the first day in london.  i was whipped.  you haven’t allowed much time in each country.  i think you may be a bit rushed.  we spent 18 days on our london and midlands/paris trip and still didn’t find it long enough. 

my husband has done all of these tours in rome too and he said that you will be incredibly rushed in that amount of time.  he told me to tell you not to rush the roman forum & the pantheon.

you are going to have a great time.  i really do hope you enjoy it.  i can’t wait to go back, probably for our anniversary.

 

Post # 12
Member
2889 posts
Sugar bee

On your second day in London, when you head to the tour at  Parliment, why not stop by the TKTS booth and see if you can get tickets to a show in the West end for that evening. I noticed you have a drinks plan but not dinner so dinner and a show could be a nice addition. I too studies in London and some of our best nights involved half price tickets in awesome seats. When I took DH (back in 2007 before he was even FI) we were lucky enough to catch front row seats to Chicago with Ashlee Simpson. They were still 50 GBP each but for the front row it was amazing. There are often random American actors in some West End productions and I think it is cool to see them in different roles. I also caught Kramer from Seinfield in a play called Arsnic and Old Lace during my study abroad days. Finally, I could recommend Lion King if you are just looking for a fun show.

In Paris, I’m not sure if you can book Eifel Tower tickets in advance but I think there is a way to do so online and I would recommend it if you don’t like waiting in line. However, it has been recommended to me that instead of going up the tower, you go to the one sky scraper in the distance and take the elevator to the observation deck for a brilliant view over Pris INCLUDING the Eifel tower. Also, find the small statue of liberty. It’s in the river so if you do the cruise you will find it. Also, as a dinner alternative near the tower with a great view, head up the stairs and there are 2 museums, I don’t know what they are called but the one on the left when the tower is at your back has a really funky restaurant that was recommended to me bay a local. Unfortunatley, we tried to eat there and it was booked for a private party. Weather permiting, they have outdoor seating with a great view but indoors is a fun atmosphere  and you are still overlooking the tower.

I would also try not to pack anything else in as you seem to have a lot. Enjoy, I love all 3 cities you picked. 

However, if you are looking for restaurants, I find Travel Zoo Local deals and Groupon (in the country you will be visiting) are often good places to pre-plan a dinner. You have to make a reservation and pay in advance so it takes a bit of decision stress out of wandering around looking for a place to eat. 

Post # 13
Member
7908 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

When you go to Rome, buy your ticket to the Forum and Colosseum (same ticket) at the Palatine hill gate. There will be NO line, but at the Forum, the line will be long and at the Colosseum, it will be ridiculous. Then, just wander on over the Colosseum and laugh at all the people in the ticketing line 3 hours long as you breeze through the line for ticket holders.

Post # 15
Member
3887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

For London hotels, if you’re trying to stick to a budget, I’d go with any of the Premier Inn’s. They are consistently clean and comfortable despite being a little low on the frill factor. There are so many budget hotels in London and to be honest many of them are pretty dumpy.  I’d skip the “charm” factor here and go for the tried and true Premier Inn.

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