Travel : Single Girl’s Guide to London
All of our lives there is that one place, the place we dream to be in. The place we feel like we belong, where people who we are slightly obsessed with live and play. For me this place is London. I have been obsessed with all things UK for a few years now. From their products, YouTubers, shops, foods, you name it, I was obsessed.
In May 2016, I was laid off so my mental health and attitude towards myself was pretty much at a -2. When all it took was a simple email from Norwegian Airline saying they had extremely cheap, nonstop round trip flights to London from Oakland, CA for $460. !Let me just stop right here and say one thing about me… I am not spontaneous! I never have been! Hell, even if I wanted to be I would probably plan a time to be spontaneous! But something about this email made me feel like I needed it. I needed it to look forward too; I needed it for my own mental health. So I booked it. I remember when I showed my parents the receipt how shocked they were that not only had I just done something so not…me, but that I was going to do this completely by myself. I can say looking back on it now that I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I had not taken this trip. This is the trip that made me believe in myself again. Sometimes vacation, traveling and saving money can seem like a waste, but I will never trade that feeling I got about myself from traveling alone, for any amount of money in the world.
Below I am going to give you my Single Girls Guide to London. All the details and a few tricks I picked up along the way. Grab a cup of tea and a biscuit… Enjoy!
Time: I chose to travel at Christmas time. I went from November 29 – December 6. It was not as crowded as I thought it was going to be, and honestly if you are a Christmas lover like I am, I implore you to go at Christmas. There is no other place in the world like Christmas in London.
Flight: Oh boy this is my favorite thing to talk about! I booked my flight with Norwegian Airline, which I am making this statement now… BEST AIRLINE AVAILABLE. Not only was it an insanely cheap flight and nonstop, the plane was new and really clean. My plane was not full so I was able to move to my own row and be as comfy as possible. The staff was lovely and you get your own television to watch with new movies and TV shows. I would say to save the most money book your flight months in advance. I booked in June for my trip. If you are within driving distance to the Oakland Airport and want to travel to Europe I am telling you now go stalk the Norwegian Airlines Website you will find some amazing deals.
Hotel: This was the hardest thing for me to pick. I wanted to really be as close as possible to an underground stop but be centrally located so I didn’t have to worry about extra travel. I chose to be in Trafalgar Square. I stayed at the Citadines Apart-Hotels. It is a hotel of mini apartment (or Flats as they are called over there) I stayed in a studio which had a bedroom, bath and a mini kitchen. It was $170 a night to stay there which was much cheaper than a lot of hotels and AirBnB’s in that area, but this had much more space. Having a fridge and cooking abilities is such a huge add on and really helps if you want to spend less on food. I would stay there again in a heartbeat if I went back. I was one block away from two different Undergrounds so I could catch it and go anywhere.
Itinerary: I would be lying if I didn’t say this took me months to prepare. I knew I wanted to see everything that was on my list but also not feel rushed or not be able to soak everything in. The best part about traveling by yourself is that you literally get to do whatever you want. So plan for yourself and what you want to see not what others suggest you do. So I decided to spend one day in each district of the city. That way I could explore all day and not worry about missing out. If you are traveling to a new place for the first time, spend a few weeks googling or pinteresting places you want to see and break them down into districts so each day you have a to do list for each district. For me this planning really helped reduce my anxiety that I would have missed something I knew I wanted to see or a place I had to try food at.
Start making a list with addresses of things you want to see in each District
Underground: DISCLAIMER- I do not use public transportation. Never have, never wanted to. So for me going on the underground for the first time was scary. But I have to say I used it 24/7 when I was there and it was so easy. It is much cleaner and more efficient than what we offer in California. As a single girl traveling by myself I was worried about safety especially on public transportation and I can say I didn’t have one scary thing happen! Never was scared or concerned for my safely during the day or at night. My best piece of advice though is before you even arrive in London, buy a Visitor Oyster card. On their website you can have a pre-filled underground card sent to your home before you go on your trip. I did this and it was a huge time saver!!! I never had to worry about getting a ticket for where I was going. It works on water taxis, the Underground and the famous double decker buses.
Now onto the fun part, if you are into Beauty, Museums, Tea, and all things British here is my favorite places in London…
Christmas lights in the Square at night
The National Gallery by far one of my favorites, a must see!
Westminster & Piccadilly
House of Parliament
Big Ben 🙂
Take the tour inside Westminster Abbey
Fortnum & Mason: the best food shop I have ever been into (great to grab gifts)
Shopping: Oxford, Regent, and Carnaby Street
John Lewis and Selfridge’s on Oxford St
Liberty: my dream store for Beauty and Home items
Space.NK for Skin care
Crumbs & Doilies
Covent Garden and Buckingham Palace
Covent Gardens has a local sellers market on the weekend that is one of my favorites
The entrance to the Mall, go to see Buckingham Palace at sunset, you can thank me later
Take the water taxi from the London Eye to the London Bridge and walk back along the Southbank. You see everything possible.
Tate Modern Museum
Shakespeare’s Globe: Pay extra to do the inside tour I learned so much
Best advice I was given was to take the London Eye at night
High Tea and Shopping at Harrods
Although I have about 200 more photos, I hope you enjoyed my mini escape to London. Let me know where your favorite places in London are. Also if you would like to see a separate posts on all the things I bought while in London.