From United States To London: Planning a Travel With Painstaking Details

So you are succumbing to the fascination of London! Before you head to travel planning, acquaint yourself to its ways, understand its people, and know its weather conditions better. London is a free city, with uncertain weather and independent social behaviour. And you are sure to fall in love with it. You have to take care of just one factor, which is to welcome the fun and adventure possibilities as they come your way. So welcome it with arms wide open, and find out the expanse of possibilities that lie ahead.
Here is a guide to help you on your tour to London, from your homeland, United States. Know how can your plan your travel, to makes sure you are comfortable in a city which is new to you.
Visa Information
Visa requirements for London change frequently. You will have to check with the visa and immigration office to find out what requirement do you have to fulfil. Besides, you might, or might not need a visa to travel here. So before applying for one, check under the suitable category, to know what rule is applicable for you.
Currency Exchange in London
You will need to change your currency before heading to London, since currency is different in this city. You will get coins of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2, and for money, you will get notes of £5, £10, £20 and £50. It will be better to travel in London with money in your pocket, since it is an unknown city to you. And, if you still chance to be here, you can convert your money at post office, airports, train stations, with banks and travel agents.

Local Transportation in London
Local transportation in London has a well-developed network, efficiently making life easier for Londoners. You will find several means of transportation for local travel, backing your plans. And it will include:
  • Tubes: Tubes, also known as Undergrounds, are the cheapest and fastest means of transportation, which will carry you to various destinations within the city. More conveniently in central London. You can board a tube to practically any area. It also minimises your chances of getting lost here.
  • Taxi: Taxies are also a good option, but make sure you are carrying money with you to pay. Besides, it is a courteous gesture to pay tip to the driver. It might cost you a tad more, but it will bring the convenience of stepping down right in front of the destination you are travelling to. Find out the taxi fares.
  • Trains: Trains are again one fast and efficient means of travel within London. Not only in different areas of London, you will be able to travel to neighbouring cities too. Find out the UK train times and routes.
  • Buses: Tubes are a little distanced from each other, outside of central London. So, to make up for the loss, there are buses which will carry you from one place to another more efficiently.
  • Cycle: London has a pleasant weather, and cycling is a good way of retaining a good health, while getting in touch with the culture of London in normal life.
  • Others: Apart from these major means of transportation, you will find light rails and trams, riverboat services, and night buses.

Card Usage in London
Cards can make your life easier in London. You can depend on cards for your local travel and for cash management too. Carry these cards, to assure convenience and comfort:
  • Oyster Cards: Oyster cards are travel cards, which can be used for any transport. It will also cut down the cost of riverboats. This will cost $38.00 to an American, and will save you hours on queues. You can travel as much within the city as you wish to, but make sure you do not exceed £8.40 per day.
  • Travelcard: Travelcard can be easily loaded on the Oyster Card. And you can load it to suit the duration for which you are here. Travelcard can be issued for different time periods, a single day to 1 year.
  • Cash Passport: Carrying a cash passport is a life-easing way of travelling over-seas. Pre-load it, and use it with any ATM, restaurants, or shops. Carry it if you do not wish to carry cash all the while. Or if you do not know how much currency to change into pounds. This is an even easier, faster, and efficient means.

Visitor’s Information

  • Take care of the language difference. Though basic language is English for both, American English and British English, have a huge lot of difference. Words might mean different to Americans from what they mean to Britishers.
  • Carrying arms is not permissible in London, even for self-defence.
  • Travel well supplied and well researched. Carry a map to find your ways if lost, and know where and how are you going to travel. Besides, Oyster Cards, cash and ID will be your “must carry” while travelling within the city.
  • It is best to dress like the locals of the city you are in. Dress like Londoners, to make yourself comfortable in its atmosphere.
  • Plan your itinerary properly, and have alternative plans considering the weather conditions in London.
  • Take safety measures to assure that you get a safe vacation.
  • Know the local area thoroughly before making a hotel booking.
  • You will find smoking prohibited in London. If you do wish to smoke, find yourself a hotel that permits smoking.

Flights from U.S. to London
Several flights will bring you from U.S to London. Flights from USA hugely vary in their price, timings and duration. Besides, prices are subjected to availability while route opted by different flights will also be different. So, sooner you book, the better price you will be able to draw.  It will be a good idea to research about these flights a bit. Make bookings after making a through research and comparison of flights, based on price, and the route they take. There are some direct and some indirect flights to London. And if you want to squeeze in a plan of travelling to some other country as well on your way, you can consider it too.

Direct flights to London:

Indirect Flights have larger options:

Compare their price, duration they take to reach the destination and the timings when they fly. Make early bookings to get best rates, and go for special offers available with flight tickets.

Good American Restaurants to Sup at

You might be looking for a suitable American Restaurant in London to take your suppers and dinners. At the end of the day, we are most comfortable with our own cuisines. You can fall back on the tastes of your country at these American eat outs:
  • Automat: Located on Dover Street, it is 0.1 miles away from Green Park Tube Station. This American Brasseria is a sigh of relief for people looking out for a supper in an American way. Its menu is typically developed to fascinate an American’s taste buds.
  • Garfunkel’s: Reach the Regent’s Street to be here at this American restaurant. Loved by families travelling to London, it has some of the finest food serves like pastas, salads, pizzas and burgers prepared by abiding to America’s kitchen culture.
  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen: Gourmet Burger Kitchen might be a tad more expensive than the rest. But you will be delighted with its serves that bring deliciously prepared dished and burgers to your table, made from fresh breads and vegetables. It is also a vegetarian delight to be here.
  • Smollensky’s: Situated on Canary Wharf, this American restaurant developed its tastes in special American flavours. You will get some of the most delectable tastes from American cuisine. Lay your hands on pan roast, chicken skewers served with the soya bean sauce.

You can stay at a place that keeps you close to these eating options, or search for some suitable restaurant option close to the area you stay at. Eat at restaurants like Sports Bar and Grill on Melcombe Place, California Kitchen on Wembley Hill Road.

Fastfood Hubs in London
There are several fast food hubs in London which you will be able to spot it in every other corner of the street. Munch on hot dogs, burgers, french-fries and hamburgers for your breakfast/brunch. You can look for something close to your stay, and you are sure to find Hache, Subway, McDonalds, Burger King, and Charcoal Grill. You can fall back on the usual, known tastes with them. Besides, it will be ideal to start the day in an English way with an English breakfast, which will take a bit of time, as it is best enjoyed on table and not on a run. With traditional teas, made with a blend of tealeaves from Assam, Kenya and Ceylon, enjoy this shot of life with baked pudding and bread.
Attractions that an American Cannot Overlook

  • HintHut: How good can you work under pressure? HintHut will give you an adrenaline rush with its vivacity and exciting concept. Work under the given time to solve the mystery and get the right hints within the right time. This is a famous and loved gaming and entertainment centre in London.
  • The Courtauld Gallery: One good way of exploring the facts of the city is by visiting its museums. The Courtauld Gallery is an amazing gallery with Renaissance to Impressionistic, post-impressionist and 20th century paintings. And besides paintings, it has sculptures, paintings and decoratives too.
  • British Museum: If you wish to see more than just art, you can get at the vast British Museum and orient yourself to the place with the help of a guide map. You will find some good snack places too, to eat something while taking a round around.
  • London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the Big Ben: These three attractions are iconic part of London’s landscape, that announce you are in London city. Visit these icons of London, and find out what do they mean to Britishers and to their history. Taste thrill at London Eye. You can take rotations and revolutions both together in this big observation wheel. Visit Buckingham Palace, that continues to be the royal chamber of her-highness even today. And lastly, Big Ben which is a reminder of the old times, and novels which have included this attraction.

How to Make Best of London’s Weather? : (Enjoy The Seasonal Treat)
Different weathers in London inspire different fun. And you can make a plan that is supported by weather conditions.

  • Summer: Summers make the parks and gardens paradisiacal in London. There are flowers, colours and a sweet fragrance in the air. You can best explore the topography of London during this time, when everything is fresh and there in front of you, unlike the winter season, when everything is covered under a thick layer of snow. You can take a rejuvenating walk along River Thames, or spend a soulful time at its big gardens and parks.
  • Winters: Winters are festive and frozen. With the Christmas and New Year celebrations falling in this time, people are in best of their spirits. If you are here during this time, you can take the chance to make shop bags full, and lay your hands on most precious and innovative gifts, and have the best fun of your life at its fairs and carnivals.
  • Rains:  It can rain anytime in London. So it is best to have an alternate travel plan ready in your hand. If it is raining here, you can watch a free movie at a nearby cinema. A movie which has not even release yet! Yes, London does run shows of movies which have not been released yet. Besides, you can go and watch a movie, spend the day at your favourite gallery or museum, or shop at a covered mall, like Brent Cross shopping centre, Cardinal Place, or the Victoria place Shopping Centre.

Security Concerns?
You will not find yourself travelling around the city, and getting worried about your security. Though you will find some places dangerous, but that is so for nights. To evade dangerous situation what you can do is, avoid travelling and getting into risky situations. In London it is not permitted to carry arms for self-defence. Even pepper spray is not permitted here in London.
Treatment you get here as an American is pretty decent and heart warming. Britishers are a bit more interested in American way of life, and you might face some questions about how do you live there.

Live the London Way: (Nightlife)
Since you are here in London, it is essential to indulge in activities and fun that Britishers enjoy in their usual tenor. Give away yourself to some English fun. If you really wish to enjoy a vacation in London, open yourself to new experiences, and visit the nightclubs during evenings. London has a very vivacious nightlife, and people usually visit nightclubs during evening. With such a variety of clubs available here, do visit one of these:
  • Cable: With loud music that might take your feet out of control, Cable is there at 33A Bermondsey Street, Bankside is there to reach and unleash your passion for celebration.  
  • Koko: A place to party at any hour of the day. You don’t have to wait for evening to fall, or night to dawn. Reach it at 200 York Way, King’s Cross.
  • Fabric: Hedonistic choice of dancefloor often brings people to fabric, at the 77a Charterhouse Street, Clerkenwell.
  • Egg: If maddening music is what you are looking for, then be here at 200 York Way, King’s Cross.
  • Ministry of Sound: A true club in every sense, to know it, you will have to be here at 103 Gaunt Street, Elephant and Castle, London.
  • Electric Ballroom: Not an all time club, this indie club changes very frequently. Reach it on 184 Camden Street, Camden Town in London city.
These clubs in London are a hedonistic delight, and London is incomplete without the music beating here with the fall of evening.And if you are looking for something quirky, among the London bars, you will find it with the Bar With No Name.

Your plans of London travel will need a little knowledge and a deeper research on this city. And with these suggestions and travel guide, you will get all the facts in front of you. Make elaborate travel plans, and fly in with painstakingly laid itinerary with you.
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