10 Things to Do in London

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10 Things to Do in LondonAs you know London is one of The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and my favorite places in the world.  In fact we’d totally live there if we could.  Everytime we go, we find something new to do, but we definitely have our list of favorites too.

Here are 10 things that will not disappoint if you are lucky enough to find yourself in London in the near future:
harrods

  1. Harrods.  Harrods is like the “IT” spot for department stores in London.  It’s massive {the largest department store in Europe}, upscale, and even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s totally worth a quick stroll.the orangery afternoon tea
  2. High Tea.  Nothing says England like High Tea.  There are tons of places in London to have afternoon tea, which one you choose really just depends on your tastes.  Some are VERY upscale, while others are more traditional.  Either way, save room for the assortment of scones, sandwiches, and desserts that accompany a hot cup of tea.  It’s a must do, really, you know, when in Rome…london tube Piccadilly line
  3. The Tube.  The Tube is London’s underground subway.  It can disperse you all over the city in minutes, and though it can be initially tricky to read the map, once you get the hang of it, you will want to trade in your car for a subscription to your favorite paper or magazine, and enjoy the stress free commute.  As a tourist, it’s fun to see the totally eclectic crowd it attracts.london natural history museum
  4. Natural History Museum.  This place really deserves its own post.  It’s The Girl’s favorite place in the world.  It covers every aspect of natural history–from rocks to cavemen.
  5. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.  The Globe is a modern day reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original theatre.  It is built only feet from the original theatre, and patterned to replicate the times.  The cheap seats {for the commoners} are standing only at the base of the stage.  The prices go up as your “social class” goes up.  Book your tickets early, though, because the season fills up fast.10 Things to Do in London buckingham palace
  6. The changing of the guard.  The changing of the guard in front of Buckingham Palace is FULL of history and pristine attention to ritual.  If you have never seen it, it’s one of those must-do touristy experiences.hyde park london arched trellis
  7. Hyde Park.  Make sure you schedule a stroll through Hyde Park on your way to something at least.  Not visiting it would be like not seeing Central Park on a visit to New York City.  It’s iconic.
  8. Billingsgate Market.  Billingsgate Market is like Seattle’s Pike Place Market, only on crack.  It’s where the locals go to get fresh off the boat seafood.  And as a tourist, it’s a great place to go to get a real feel for the locals.tower of london tickets
  9. Tower of London.  This is the mecca for British history.  It’s where the Queen’s Jewels live.  And, where many of England’s prisoners were held.
  10. Trafalgar Square.  This square is another iconic London location.  It appears in the movies pretty often, in fact, in 2012 Tom Cruise and movie makers shut down the entire square to film Edge of Tomorrow.  The square is named after the Battle of Trafalgar, which was an important victory for England over the Napoleonic Wars.  It houses several statues and a huge fountain.

There is seriously so much to explore in London.  These are just a glimpse.  Any you would add?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Can Flying on an Airplane Make You Sick?

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Can Flying on an Airplane Make You SickThe Girl and I are getting ready to head out the door on another one of our wild and crazy adventures.  With everyone sniffling and sneezing everywhere I go, I am always worried that when I get locked into a tiny plane with stale cabin air, I will get sick.   In fact, my Dad always comes back from vacation sick–maybe it’s the junk food people always consume on vacation, or bad hotel bed sleep, or maybe, it’s the plane?

I decided to do a little research on the air quality in planes.  Turns out, you are a little more likely to get sick on airplanes, but it’s not really the “air quality” that’s to blame.  Airplanes have HEPA filters that take both recycled air and air that has been warmed by the jets and pushes it throughout the cabin.  According to a Boeing spokesman, the air is actually better circulated better than an average office building.  The true culprit lies in the things you touch.  Airplanes shuttle hundreds of people each day, if you are next to someone who is sneezing and hacking, or you touch something that someone that was sick has previously touched, you’ll likely pick it up.

Also, the humidity on planes is pretty low–making the air feel different.  Plus, people don’t drink enough water on long flights, leading to dehydration, which weakens the immune system.  {Dry nasal passages and eyes makes it hard for your body to fight bacteria, etc.}

orange juiceSo, what can you do to prevent feeling crappy on your vacation?   I always drink the crappy orange juice they serve on the plane instead of soda hoping the extra vitamin C will do some good.  Turns out, my efforts aren’t that far off.  Staying well hydrated is key–so skip the soda, and go for juice or water.  You can also bring nasal spray to keep your mucous membranes moist {isn’t alliteration fun?}.

Also, wash your hands–like, religiously.  Try not to touch your face, if possible.  {Have you ever paid attention to how much you actually touch your face?  It’s crazy.}

If you want to be hyper vigilant, don’t be afraid to pack some sani-wipes or hand sanitizer and a tissue and clean the plastic parts of your airplane seat when you sit down.  Planes don’t get deep cleaned and sanitized very often, so even if no one on your flight is sick, there is no way to know who was on the flight before you.

Do you travel during cold and flu season?  What tips do you have to keep healthy?

~Mavis

Need more travel tips?  Check out some of the things I’ve learned on my adventures.  Or get some ideas on places to go on Pinterest.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

The Freedom Trail Boston, Massachusetts

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the freedom trail brick path

During our last trip to Boston, The Girl and I walked the famous Freedom Trail. It’s a brick path that runs through downtown Boston. It winds you through 16 historical sites. It’s only about 2 1/2 miles long, but with all the stops at the sites, you could totally make a day or two of it. I am such a sucker for these sort of things, and love all of the history Boston has to offer. Most of the sites are free, with very few exceptions {Paul Revere House, Old State House, and the Old South Meeting House}.

We started with the Boston Common.  It’s a huge public park. It dates back to 1634, making it the oldest city park in the United States.

Massachusetts State House

Next, we headed to the Massachusetts State House. It is the state capitol building to this day. The land it sits on once belonged to John Hancock {his signature on Declaration of Independence is so distinct, it’s where the term: “put your Hancock on it” came from}. The top of the dome is covered in copper and then plated in 23 K gold.

Continuing on, we went to Park Street Church. The church is also known as Brimstone Corner, because the preachers used to stand on the corner of brimstone and fire.

The Granary Burying Ground was founded in 1660–even that long ago, it is still only the 3rd oldest cemetery in Boston. Crazy how much history is in this city. It houses Paul Revere, the five victims of the Boston Massacre, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Robert Treat Paine {plus tons of other notable historic figures}. Along Tremont Street, there is a row of eleven large European Elms–a stroll through under them is known as Paddock’s Mall.

the freedom trail boston sign

King’s Chapel and Burying Ground has an interesting history. It started out as a burial ground {the oldest in Boston}. The church came later, as the result of King James II wanting to ensure that the Church of England was represented in America. When no one wanted to sell suitable land for the church, so King James II ordered the governor to seize a corner of the burying ground for the church. Mary Chilton {the first woman to step off of the Mayflower} is buried here.

Next up, the First Public School Site and a Ben Franklin Statue. The Puritans settlers established the first American public school in 1635. Later the school was moved to school street and the statue of Ben Franklin was erected to ‘overlook’ the site. Notably, that particular school was only for boys–all the way up until 1972. Hmmph, go figure.

The former site of Old Corner Bookstore sits on the corner of Washington and School Street. In its day, it published several famous books: The Scarlet Letter, Walden and the Atlantic Monthly Magazine. It was once owned by Anne Hutchinson, who was famously exiled from Massachusetts. {It’s occupied by a jewelry store now, but the building still has a ton of historical significance.}

The Old South Meeting House is famous for being the location for organizing the Boston Tea Party–5000 Colonists gathered at the meeting house. Benjamin Franklin was baptized here, and Judge Samuel Sewall apologized here for his role in the Salem Witch Trials. As my Grandma would say, “Ooo-ee, if walls could talk!”

Old State House was occupied by the British during the Revolution–and served as a reminder of British presence during the war. In 1776, though, people gathered in the street below it to hear the Declaration of Independence read publicly for the first time.

Then, we hit the site of the Boston Massacre. It is right in front of Old State House and is commemorated by a circle of cobblestones. When I read up on the history of the Boston Massacre, I was struck by the changes our country has seen. The Boston Massacre, in a nutshell, is basically the site where tensions between the Colonists and British soldiers came to a head. The Colonists began throwing snowballs, rocks, insults, etc. and the soldiers fired into the crowd, killing five people. Samuel Adams called the event a massacre. Would we still call this a massacre today, given all of the other massacres we have endured as a country?

Faneuil Hall  Boston, Massachusetts  Quincy Market

Faneuil Hall is a huge marketplace. It is soooo huge, I did a post on it last April, during our first trip. Basically, it started out as a gathering place for merchants, and though it has seen the threat of decay, it was rebuilt and is now a vital part of Boston.

paul revere house boston

The Paul Revere House  was equally fascinating. It was built in 1680, but Paul Revere’s family only lived in it from 1770 to 1800 {In case you don’t remember, Paul Revere is famous for his midnight ride where he shouted, “The British are coming, the British are coming.”} It had been owned by a wealthy merchant prior to Revere purchasing the house. Revere lived there with his wife, Sarah, their 5 children and his mother. Crazy to think this was a house of a privileged person, when it housed 8 people and still is relatively modest. Times have changed, huh?

The Old North Church is an episcopal church that was built in 1723. From the steeple, which is 191 feet tall, Robert Newman signaled with lanterns the approach of British regulars. The famous saying “One if by land, and two, if by sea” comes from the lantern signals.

copps hill cemetary boston

Copp’s Hill Burying Ground is the second oldest cemetery, founded in 1659. It houses thousands of Bostonians, including many African Americans who lived in the “New Guinea” community {though, they are in unmarked graves}.

uss constitution museum boston

The Charlestown Navy Yard is the home of the oldest commissioned warship still afloat in the world–The USS Constitution. The boat was commissioned by George Washington to protect America’s growing maritime interests. It was launched in 1797, but became truly accredited in its role in the War of 1812, where it earned the nickname, “Old Ironsides.” It was restored in 1927.

Finally, we stopped at the Bunker Hill Monument. It was built to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill. It reminds me of a miniature Washington Monument. It’s 221 feet tall and has 294 steps to get to the top. Want to celebrate America? Amazon has tons of American Flags you can proudly fly…

I.Love. Boston.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Things to Do in Charlottesville, VA

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Things to Do in Charlottesville, VA

So, after my recent trip, I have confirmed that not only is Virginia for Lovers, but Virginia is AWESOME, no matter when you visit.  If you have never been, I seriously recommend you consider it for your next vacation.  It’s full of history, absolutely beautiful, and totally worth your time.  Here’s a couple of things to do while you are there:

Monticello house

Monticello.  Monticello is Thomas Jefferson’s home and property.  It is worth it even just to see the gardens.  I have been in the summer and the fall now.  It is totally worth it both times of year.Walton Mountain Museum Earl Hamner House
The Walton’s Mountain Museum.  If you were a fan of the show, at all, then I seriously suggest you put this on your to-do list.  Makes you feel like you fell back into simpler times.Michie Tavern
Michie Tavern, Meadow Run Mill and General Store.  Virginia houses sooooo much of our country’s history.  We don’t get the same kind of history out west.  Our’s is more of a cowboy story.  It’s so fun to ‘travel back in time’ and really see how our forefathers {and mothers!} would have lived.  The culture of the times feels so alive at the Tavern–you can literally imagine what it would have been like for a traveler to stay at the Inn, or just grab a bite to eat before continuing on.  I was born in the wrong time, I tell ya.

the university of virginiaphoto credit

The University of Virginia.  The Lawn is enough reason to see this campus, but the architecture and history certainly don’t hurt.Virginia Discovery Museum.  If you have little ones, this museum gets rave reviews.  Plus, they have special events going on just about all of the time.  They have exhibits, an art and music studio, and caters to kids of all ages.  Plus, it’s on the downtown walking mall, so you can kill two birds with one stone.

Charlottesville Historic Downtown Mallphoto credit

Downtown Walking Mall.  The Walking Mall is a brick paved walking path, lined with trees, shops, and dining.  You can grab your souvenirs, a little lunch and browse all of the cute little shops with ambiance to boot.

Ash-Lawn Highlandphoto credit

Ash-Lawn Highland.  This is the home of James Monroe.  I hear it is not quite as grand as Monticello, but it still is pretty amazing.  It is much smaller, but because James Monroe and his wife spent so much time in France, they brought back lots of furniture and items that make the house really unique and eclectic.  As an added bonus, learning about James Monroe is pretty cool.  He gets overshadowed by Jefferson, but really played a HUGE role in building our country.

Shenandoah National Park.  If you are the outdoorsy-type, this park offers amazing views, great picnic locations, and easy hikes.  It is a great place to let the kids take in some fresh air and run around some of the pent up energy traveling sometimes brings.  {If you are planning a winter trip, make sure that you plan around road closures.}
Do you have anymore Charlottesville must-do’s?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Top 10 Travel Apps for iPhones and Androids

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Top 10 Travel Apps for iPhones and Androids

Are you headed off over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house this Thanksgiving?  Or maybe you have decided to forego all extended family chaos and go on an exotic trip instead?  Either way, make sure to check out these cool apps for iPhones and Androids.  They take the guesswork out of where to eat, how to get there, etc.

  1. XE Currency Exchange.  If you plan to vacation Griswold-style, and hit more than one country, a currency exchange is super handy.  A lot of European countries operate on the Euro now, but not all, so it’s best to know how much you’re actually paying for that roadside kabob.
  2. Poynt.  Poynt gives a list of restaurants, sorted by their distance from you.  You can even further sort by type of food {i.e. steak houses, Mexican, etc.} and get ratings, so you don’t waste your money on yucky food.  It’s a travelers of the world unite sort of thing.
  3. Google translate.  This is awesome if you are going somewhere that they speak another language.  Of course, there are some glitches, but short of a personal translator walking next to you, this is about as good as it gets.
  4. Dropbox.  Dropbox is my new favorite thing.  You can easily store and share your photos {with select people only}.  It’s like additional cloud space for the pictures you take with your phone.
  5. TripAdvisor.  This is a great app for the whole vacation planning.  You can check flights, hotels, etc. and it will compare prices of all the major sights for you.  Plus, you can read really helpful reviews on hotels and restaurants.
  6. AroundMe.  This app uses your location to tell you what is immediately around you.  It will give you a list, so you don’t potentially miss any cool attractions.  It works best stateside, though.
  7. Living Earth HD.  This app provides a ton of different helpful features for traveling.  You can check the weather, see a world clock and set an alarm instead of a wake-up call, all on one screen.
  8. Expenisfy.  This app helps you keep track of your expenses.  You can scan receipts and purchases to the app, helping you stay on budget.  It was originally designed for business travelers for the sake of easy reimbursement, but it works great for budget savvy travelers too.
  9. GateGuru.  This app is a MUST if you spend any time in airports.  It basically gives you the layout {including bathrooms, gates, and restaurants} of tons of airports.
  10. Wi-Fi Finder.  I love this one, because in order to stay connected with all of you, I have to be able to locate Wi-Fi.  This app helps you find the nearest hot spot and lets you know if it is FREE or not.  Helps me get my blog on, while still seeing the world.  :)

How about you, do you have any favorite apps that make traveling easier?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Things to Do in New York City

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Things to Do in New York City

Have you ever been to New York City?  It is one of those places you could literally live like a tourist for a year straight and still not see everything.  The list of possibilities is soooooo long, I actually had a hard time narrowing down my favorite, so let’s just call this an installment list–a place to start if you’ve never visited the Big Apple.

magnolia bakery cupcake{Photo Credit MamaJJ}

I think every morning should start at the Magnolia Bakery.  If you have never had a cupcake and tea for breakfast, believe me, you have not lived.  The bakery is world famous for a reason–it opened in the Village in NYC in 1996, and in just 17 short years has gone global.  The actual bakery is charming, to say the least, and boasts quite literally some of the best cupcakes and cakes I have ever tasted.  If you can’t get there in person, you can always get their cookbook {I guess they figured they even when they went global, they couldn’t feed everyone personally}.

No trip to NYC would be complete without ice skating at Rockefeller Center.  I mean, you’ve seen Serendipity, right?  All great romances start with ice skating at Rockefeller Center.  They only allow 150 skaters at a time, so unlike everything else in New York, you won’t be elbow to elbow. You can lace up your skates, throw on a scarf and twirl through the iconic rink, hopefully hand in hand with your favorite person.

Things to Do in New York City

Make sure to head to Times Square.  It’s classic New York.  It’s basically just an intersection, but because it houses tons of commerce, there’s a ton to do:  shop, eat, catch a show.  It’s also become an iconic place for people like the Naked Cowboy to strut his stuff.  You can see him perform in nothing but a pair of boots, cowboy hat, and undies {which he cleverly hides behind his guitar, giving the illusion that he’s naked}.  This street performer has become so famous, you can even book him to marry you right in Times Square.  Forget about the drive-thru Elvis Chapel in Vegas, the Naked Cowboy has got you covered–or not covered?

The 911 Memorial is also totally worth a visit.  It occupies the 17 acres left after the collapse of the World Trade Center and honors all the lives that were lost.  There is a fountain with all of the names of people who lost their lives to terrorist attacks in 1993 and 2001.

The Empire State Building is another must-see.  It is literally the stuff movies are made of.  {Remember in Sleepless in Seattle when Meg Ryan tries to meet Tom Hanks at the top of the Empire State Building?}  You can see the whole city from the top, and it truly is uh-mazing.

Statue of Liberty

It would be pretty much un-American not to see the Statue of Liberty–whether you actually go to her or see her from afar.  I love that she is the first thing that immigrants saw when they landed in the port.  She is totally a symbol of having arrived in America.  If you want to, you can click HERE, and search the passenger list of everyone who arrived at Ellis Island between 1892-1924.  Who knows, maybe you’re own family saw Lady Liberty in their quest for a new start?

If you are the outdoorsy type, renting bikes or taking a stroll through Central Park {especially in the fall!} is awesome.  You can also rent a canoe and paddle along The Lake in Central park.  With the city as your backdrop, and impeccably maintained landscaping, you won’t be sorry.  Whatever you do, make sure to stroll through The Mall.  It is that tunnel of trees and benches that you always see in the movies or in pictures.

Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe Metropolitan Museum of Art houses a huge collection of Ancient art, as well as rotating exhibits.  It began in 1866 when a group of Americans promised the French that they would bring art to the American people.  It has grown in size since then, but the general mission is the same:  bring art and education to people.  Make sure to check before you go, because the museum hosts a ton of different events and its exhibits change from time to time. This is a must see if you ever read From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler to your kids when they were younger.

What Mavis-approved trip would be complete without a visit to a garden of some sort?  None.  The answer is none.  the New York Botanical Garden {right next to the Bronx Zoo if you have the kiddos with you} houses more than a million plants.  Wowee!  It’s exists for both exploring and research.  With over 250 acres, there is no shortage of things to see.  Plus, as an added bonus, there is a Home Gardening Center where you can pick up tips and tricks from the world’s experts.  Not to bad a deal if you ask me.

wood fired pizza

If the cupcake and tea is starting to wear off, it’s time to head to Greenwich Village and grab a slice of Pizza from Joe’s Pizza.  They pride themselves on authentic, no nonsense pizza–and they are famous for it.  You can buy it by the slice or grab a whole pie.  Either way, it is pizza done to perfection.

new york subway

If you love people watching, New York will be your Mecca.  For the true people watching die-hards, you have to take a ride on the Subway.  It will change the way you look at humanity forever.  Plus, it’s cheap and effective–and in a big city, that goes a long way.  New York’s transit system is a well-oiled machine, and if during your visit, you learn to effectively read the subway maps and schedule, consider yourself a candidate for MENSA.

How about you, any must sees for you in New York?

~Mavis

 

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Things to Do in San Francisco, CA

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Things to Do in San Francisco, CA

Do you have a list of places you really want to see before you die?  Like a bucket list for travel?

I do.  I love to travel, every time I go someplace new, I gain some sort of new perspective {It’s all very deep and meaningful.  Ha.}, and  each new place gives me chance to experience life in a different way without having to put my house up for sale.

San Francisco, CA.  If you haven’t been, I seriously recommend it.

It is an eclectic city {huge understatement} with tons of cool stuff the see and do.  Parts of the city make you appreciate home, but the minute you grab a cable car and head to the sites, you feel like you are part of a huge real-life movie.

china town san francisco market

China Town is quite literally like stepping into a bustling city in China.  It’s essentially a neighborhood where Asian immigrants can retain their culture, religion, customs, etc, but it has become a huge tourist attraction.  There are tons of stores, and if you time it right, festivals, complete with music, fireworks and dragons dancing in the street.

banana split

Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory is in San Francisco as well.  It’s all part of Ghirardelli Square, which boasts restaurants, wine tasting events, etc.  I think the MUST NOT MISS attraction is the ice cream shop.  Bring a friend {or eight} and order an ice cream sundae.  They are huge–and decadant, and delicious, and magical.

Oh, sorry, are you still there?  I got a little carried away.  You can also see the original chocolate making equipment in the ice cream parlor.  While you are there, you can check out the stores around the square.  It has tons of specialty shops, which I love, because it’s stuff you can’t get find at big box stores.  You know, the one of a kind items that makes your travel experience unique?

lombard street san francisco

Lombard Street is that street you see in the movies.  It’s the epitome of San Francisco style.  It is a long steep street with 8 sharp turns.  You can drive it or walk it if  you like, or just stand at the bottom and watch the cars slowly navigate the turn.  In spring, the street is lined with tons of flowers–making it even more charming.

san francisco boudin bakery

Fisherman’s Wharf is the place to be if you head to San Francisco.  It is still an operating wharf, where the fleets come in with their daily catches.  Commerce, street performers, and events have sprung up all around the wharf, though, making it a day long experience.  There is an aquarium, several museums, and the infamous Pier 39, which is home to several restaurants where you can eat some of the freshest seafood of your life. Boudin Bakery is my favorite!

golden gate bridge

Last but not least, you have to take a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge.  From the bridge,  you can see Alcatraz {the famous, now non-operating prison}.  If you are so inclined, you can also schedule a tour of Alcatraz.  Make sure to plan ahead on that one, though, as the tours tend to fill up fast.

There is seriously so much more to do in San Francisco, but those are the highlights.

Have you been to San Francisco? What are some of your favorite things to do there?

Happy Travels,

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Travel Tips – Getting Around London

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london-tube-Piccadilly-line

The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I have been dreaming about taking another trip to London just as soon as we get enough points to earn a pair of free plane tickets again. One of our favorite parts about the city {besides all the cool museums, shops and food} is deciding how we are going to get around the city each day.

Even though getting around London can seem like a daunting task, they have a FANTASTIC transit system, and with a little planning, renting a car is completely unnecessary {plus who wants to navigate the left side of the road in busy traffic?}.

Here’s what I have found works best:

Coming in from Heathrow Airport – I totally recommend taking the tube. We usually stay in the Knightsbridge area and it takes only 45 minutes to get into the city.  If you are going to stay longer than a day or two, an Oyster card is totally the way to go.  You can get them at any Tube or major Rail Station.  They are 5 pounds, which is just a deposit, so long as you return the card at the end of the trip, and they offer pretty substantial discounts on the Tube, Railways, and buses.  You can load them in the station with cash or credit card.  Here’s a link for more information on the Oyster card.  If you are there less than a day or two, just purchase your ticket.

platform 9 3 4 kings cross

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you can stop at King’s Cross Station for a photo opp at Platform 9-3/4 {We did last time we visited London}.

london double decker bus

Inside the city, the bus system can pretty much take you anywhere you need to go, plus the double decker red buses are iconic, so at the very least, do it for the experience.

barclays bike hire rental london

If you plan on taking a spin through Hyde Park {which, in my opinion, is a must not miss}, renting bikes is a great option.  You can also venture into the residential streets fairly easily this way.  I love to see how people really live, so winding up and down the streets makes for an awesome afternoon.

London black taxi

And last but not least, the official Taxis in London are called Black Cabs.  There is a minimum charge of 2.40 and it is metered from there.  They are a great option if you need to get somewhere quick on your own time frame, rather than waiting for the next bus or taking the underground and walking. Plus London cabs are just plain cool. ;)

If you get lost, just ask for help! The people are so incredibly friendly here.

Cheers!

Mavis

P.S. Have you been to London before? What was your favorite part about the city?

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Travel Tip – How to Find Your Car in a Crowded Parking Lot

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airport parking lot

Okay, so raise your hand if you’ve ever parked your car and then went to find it and you couldn’t because you totally forgot where you parked? Um that would be me x 1000. If you know me in real life, then you know I have zero sense of direction. Which makes traveling with me really, really, fun.

parking lot signs

But one of the cool tricks I’ve learned along the way is to take a photo of where I parked with my phone. If I’m at the airport, I take a picture of the stall I parked in.

If I’m downtown and parked on the street, then I take a picture of the nearest cross street. I figure if I get lost, I can always ask someone for directions back to where I parked.

san francisco street signs

How about YOU? Do you have any clever tricks to help you remember where you parked? Or are you one of those cool cats with a big boquet of flowers tapped to your antenna?

~Mavis

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Packing Light for Carry On Travel

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Packing Light for Carry On Travel

Pretend for a moment you and 3 of your friends are traveling Planes, Trains and Automobiles style on an epic 5 day road trip across the country and you just happen to be packing nearly 500 gnomes along with you just for kicks.

Since you are dropping gnomes off along your route and flying is on the agenda, packing light for carry on travel is key.

Here are the photos of what we packed in our carry on bags and “personal” items:

Packing Light for Carry On Travel

Mavis’ Suitcase – 11 Ceramic gnomes, 1 pajama bottoms, 1 tambourine, 2 maracas, and some Clorex Wipes.

how to pack light

Mavis’ Personal Item – {Backpack} Clothing, laptop, camera, Go Pro Cam, Badger Sunscreen, Banana Slicer {I never leave home without it}.

Packing Light for Carry On Travel

Amber’s Suitcase - 22 Gnomes and a horse head. Hmmm.

how to pack light

Amber’s Personal Item - {Backpack} Fruit leather, trail mix, pistachios, running shoes, a laptop and clothing.

how to pack light

Lola’s Suitcase –  Gnomes, Gnomes and more Gnomes!

how to pack light

Lola’s Personal Item – She didn’t need one! ;) She was able to stuff all her loot in the secret pouch of her carry on bag.

Packing Light for Carry On Travel

The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird’s Suitcase – 10 Ceramic Gnomes, 12 plastic gnomes, 5 gnome hats, 2 pairs of gnome socks, 3 gnome balloons, plastic forks, spoons and knives and a camera tripod.

Packing Light for Carry On Travel

The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird’s Personal Item – {Backpack} - The basic essentials, shorts, tees, Tom’s, the best headphones ever, laptop and origami kit.

Packing Light for Carry On Travel

Additional baggage? Yep, we’ve got that too! Paying $25 for an extra “bag” {box} up to 50 pounds was a whole lot cheaper than shipping them.

So what do you think? Did we leave anything behind?

~Mavis, Amber, Lola, and The Girl

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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