What I’ve been doing this week – final details for my stay in London

Hi Frugalistas!

I’m heading off in a few weeks, so my task this week has been to finalise my arrangements.  I hate leaving things to the last minute – particularly my logistics.  Once I get away, my focus shifts to planning on how to enjoy myself the best way possible and on making sure I enjoy myself.  Fussing and organising logistics is definitely not on the agenda!  First stop on this trip is London, so that’s been my focus.

1.  Organising my transfers to and from the airport

I’m fortunate to be flying Etihad Business Class (will be posting my review once I’m home).  Etihad offer a chauffeur transfer for Business and First Class travellers in most cities.  I’d booked my ticket ages ago to take advantage of a very cheap fare, but hadn’t confirmed my transfers.  So that’s one job easily done by my travel agent, and one less logistics plan I need!

No First Class this time, but I still get a chauffeur!

No First Class this time, but I still get a chauffeur!

2.  Researching Canary Wharf

I’m staying in the Canary Wharf neighbourhood, which I’ve never visited.  I’ve also been commissioned to write a guest post for www.maiden-voyage.com about my findings.  So some extra research is in order – not just the usual eating and transport options to my meetings (it’s a work trip), but to write my post.  So off to the guidebook and Internet I go!  It’s an interesting part of London with a fascinating history, so I’m looking forward to the experience, and to writing about it!!

3.  I want my tea!

When I’m in London I love going for a posh afternoon tea.  I didn’t get the chance on a work trip last year, and I’m not sure if I’ll have time this trip either.  But with the best of intentions and thinking positively, I’ve done my research.  For me, there’s only one choice this time – the new Jubilee room at Fortnum & Mason is booked.  God, I hope I get there!

Fingers crossed my schedule allows

Fingers crossed my schedule allows

4.  Topping up my Oystercard, but then maybe not……

I bought an Oystercard on my last trip to use on public transport in London.  I kept it, and made sure I still had a few pounds left on it.  Now, I know you can buy Oystercards online, so some research was definitely in order to see if I could top it up to save having to do it on the run in London (there’s not enough on it to last more than a couple of trips).  Hopping onto the Oystercard website I’m optimistic – looks like I can.  Until I need to create my account that is – a UK postcode (or lack thereof) spoils my plans, so I know now it’s one of my first jobs once I arrive.


5.  Booking a hotel for the last night – convenient for an early flight

I’m heading to the continent first thing on Saturday morning, so a flight close by the airport is a must.  I’d organised my work base between Monday and Thursday early – taking advantage of a fantastic earlybird offer at a much better hotel than I would normally have considered.  So the only London accommodation left is to book somewhere for the last night.  I book the closest one I can find at the price I’m looking at, and prepay it to get an even better price!

So now, the only thing I’ve got left to do is start keeping an eye on the notoriously contrary London weather, so I can work out what to pack!

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7 Comments on “What I’ve been doing this week – final details for my stay in London”

  1. Josh Nagel 21/03/2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Hi Jo, looking forward to your blog following your trip! Only 6 months until we’re flying to London, my favourite place in the world! (so far!) If you find any spare room in your suitcase, i’m happy to travel with you!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 22/03/2013 at 6:19 am #

      Thanks Josh. Don’t know that stowaways are possible this trip – I’m taking an even smaller bag than I have previously!

      I’m looking forward to posting – and hopefully getting my afternoon tea!

  2. Lynne in NC 22/03/2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Thanks for the update — great blog post about your thought process prior to travel.
    Looking forward to ‘seeing’ your trip whenever time allows for posting.
    Hoping this trip allows for the tea time at F&M, too.

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 24/03/2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Thanks Lynne. Pleased that you “get” this series of posts. It is to go through my thought processes and actions using my real life travel in real time to illustrate the points I’m trying to make.

      I’m very much looking forward to posting about it!

  3. Pretraveller 23/03/2013 at 7:32 am #

    Jo, it is great that you are able to combine your work trip with some personal time. I also managed to do that on a recent trip to the USA where I had two weekends where I was able to do my own activities (and I am probably guilty as well of having my ideas all mapped out in advance!).

    It is great to make the most of any travel opportunity so enjoy your trip!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 24/03/2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Hi Anne, yes I’m fortunate to be able to combine the two. I also get to organise the work arrangements myself, so I use the same principles to book airfares, accommodation, meals etc exactly the same as if it were a private trip. Regardless of who’s paying, I still like to be frugalfirstclass

  4. Vanessa 26/03/2013 at 7:28 am #

    I love London – wish I was going along too! One of my favourites: hot pub meals, hard cider, sticky toffee pudding!

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