I think I underestimated how many family members/family friends would want to see me in London during the one week we have here. However, through a couple of apps and a few other things, we’ve managed to make it work. Here’s how:
Ah, TripIt. A wonderful app that allows you to not only plan your trip, but also allows other people to view it. Think of it like Google Docs, but for travel. You can edit it. Others can edit it. Others can view it. Others can share it. It made it ridiculously easy to put lots of stuff in (both for me and for The Boyf), and so we had plans every day, with relative’s names and dates and times and locations all put into one simple place.
- Opal Card
It costs £5, but it makes life so much easier. A tap-on, tap-off system means you don’t have to buy stupid tickets all the time. And when you’re racing around London to see one cousin in East London and an aunt in North London, it’s surprising how much time you save by just tapping on and tapping off as you go.
- SIM card/data plan
When we first arrived in London, we debated whether or not we should get a SIM card, because coffee shops/the place we are staying in has WiFi, so why not just depend on that? But O2 has a plan for £10 or £15 where you can get either half a gig of data or 1 gig of data (respectively) and a lot of texts and calls, so you can easily contact people during your one week in London.
- TheTrainLine app
This app lets you buy train tickets (underground, overground or national rail) from one very simple app. I travelled to Birmingham using i, and it was easy to just organise it the day before, turn up, show the ticket on the app, and get on. So if you don’t want to stand in line and waste time when you should already be on a train somewhere to see yet another family member/friend/family friend, get this app!
- Cold and flu medication
A week is such a short amount of time, and if (like me) you like to cram a lot in as soon as you get off the plane, you’re bound to get sick (like me). And it’s not fun. And I didn’t bring any cold and flu medication…so I’m writing this more as a warning than anything else. Please send help. *cough*