Posts tagged Travel tip
The Ultimate English Experience in London
Tired of London

Planning for a trip to London? Great choice, there’s no place like London, not only it is filled with history and arts, but also cultures from all over the world get integrated here. You probably have done your research and already have plenty on your list. But don’t depart without reading our recommendations, which will enable you to truly dive into English history, culture and lifestyle.

Attend a Parliament debate

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The Parliament is not just a tourist attraction but a functional office. You can visit the public galleries in the House of Commons and the House of Lords and watch the debate live. And it is FREE! On most days, you can just turn up and wait for entry. But tickets are required for PM’s Questions. The galleries are open to the public from Monday to Thursday, and you just need to check the schedule HERE before attending.

Have some tea

afternoon tea

Afternoon Tea is a meal composed of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam (known as “cream tea"), sweet pastries and cakes. It was initially developed as a private social event for ladies of the upper class in Britain in the early 1840s. Many places serve it across London: from the full-blown to the basic cream tea. If you want to have the “royal experience”, go to the English Tea Room at Brown’s, where Queen Victoria used to take her tea (£55). Or when it is sunny, our favourite is to sip tea from the love garden of the Orangery at Number Sixteen Hotel (only £22).

Visit an English house and garden

Fenton House

Architecture and garden design and landscaping have played an important role in the UK. Nowadays gardening maintains as many people’s primary hobby. London has a few private English houses and gardens that will give you a glimpse into English lifestyles. To name a few: Red House (best for craft lovers), Fenton House (London’s most enchanting country house), Apsley House (home of the first Duke of Wellington with fine art collection), Spencer House (London's finest surviving 18th-century private palace).

Step into Tower of London

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This probably is already on your list as one of the most prominent landmarks in London. Tower of London is one of the oldest palaces in the country, built by William the Conqueror in 1066. But don’t just look at it from the outside, book a tour and explore its complete history and view the Crown Jewels. Tours are given by the Yeoman Warders (known as “Beefeaters”. In addition, remember to pay a visit to the Tower Bridge, it has a glass pathway which allows you to see the city from a new angle.

Picnic in a park

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…on a sunny day. Though a busy city, London has many parks for everyone to take a break. When the city’s blessed by sunshine, it transforms: working day or not, Londoners just enjoy sitting under the sun. Join the locals and relax. Our favourite parks are St James (especially in Spring and Autumn, bring some nuts so you can feed the friendly squirrels) and Hampstead Heath (on the Parliament hill, you will have the best view of London).

Dive into the multi-cultural Brixton

Brixton Village

London is a melting pot of cultures from all over the world, and that’s exactly why we love it. 1/3 of Londoners were born abroad and over 200 languages are spoken here. This wide range of cultures can be best experienced at Brixton. Not only it filled with the best food, drinks, clubs, markets, but this cultural mecca is also filled with a sense of community. Experience it by taking a walking through Brixton Village and have a drink with some local residents at the open café and bars.

Seek inspiration in the East End

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The East End of London has been transformed into a hipster hub in the past years. Unlike Central London, the best place to look for visual inspiration in the East is its streets. Take a walk from Brick Lane to Shoreditch, you will see some of London’s most impressive and creative murals. We highly recommend taking the Alternative Tour of London to get in-depth and hands-on experience.

Classic English experience at Richmond

Bushy park deer

Richmond is known as the affluent residential area in London. You will not find the large crowds of international tourists as in Central London. At Richmond, you will be more among the local people. There are many things to do and see, but our suggestion is just to chill and enjoy. Our favourite day out: picnic in the Hampton Court gardens, followed by a walk in the Bushy park with deer and tea at the local pub.

London is a city full of excitement and surprises for you to explore. We wish you a wonderful visit, and please share your recommendation with us.

*Images from the internet. Please contact us for credits.

A solo traveller's survival guide for long-haul economy flights
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Exploring exotic places and cultures sound exciting, except the seemingly endless time spent in a narrow seat on the long-haul flight taking you there. It seems even worse for a solo traveller, as you wouldn't have a shoulder to lean on, or a companion to chat with. We have asked some of the most frequent long-haul flyers for some tips to make the journey as comfy as possible.

We will skip the obvious ones like getting an aisle seat, wearing soft cotton clothes, bringing a pair of socks, and just focus on the less-known and super handy ones:

Get the best seat possible

If you can, do not leave your seat choice to the airline, try to reserve a seat as soon as it opens. Here's the secret weapon: SeatGuru. Just enter the name of airline, flight number and date, it will automatically show you which seats are the best and the ones to avoid. Here is an example: it does not just show which seats are good/bad, but also the amenities of each seat and the reason why it is bad/good. It is free to use, make sure you check this before booking your seat.

Seatguru

Food and nutrition ready

The long-haul flights often cause your stomach to rock, and airline food does not help. Always bring some snacks or meals onto the plane so you do not need to starve or risk the food quality. We recommend packaged soup- as you can eat it hot and it's easy to digest.

Food with vitamin B help to release stress, and vitamin C help to boost the immune system. Why not carry some soluble tablets which will support your well-being throughout your entire trip.

Stay hydrated

Due to the pressurised cabins, air is very dry. Don't only drink water when you feel thirsty, drink plenty regularly. The cups served onboard are pretty small, so we recommend you bring a bottle on board and ask the cabin crew to fill it so you always have something to drink.

Take a breathing mask with you. This does not only protect you from the gems in the aircraft, you can also wear it damp which help your breathing system to stay hydrated.

Healthy skin

Bring lip balm, moisturizer (mist will be great as it works on both face and hair) and eye-drop to help your skin combat the dry air. We've seen women using face masks during the flight - it is, of course, good for your skin, but if you do not want to attract much attention, try sink-in mask.

And here's the fact few know about: when you are high up in the air, you are exposed to higher level UAV and UAB rays. So if you have a seat close to the window, apply sun cream before your travel.

Dress to get comfy

Take off your bra before the flight - it does not help blood circulation and will only make you super uncomfortable. Wear knee-high compression/flight socks which improve blood circulation and help your legs to feel lighter.  And always bring a scarf with you as it's so versatile - be a blanket, seat cushion, pillow etc.

Sleep tight

This is a tough one, but we still found some tools to help you get some sleep.

Get a good travel pillow. There are so many in the markets which all claim to give you a good sleep during your flight. We tested many and narrowed it down to two really worked. 1) Trtl pillow: it wraps around your neck and provides neck support. It's light weight but the cons are: the shape of it makes it a bit difficult to pack into your small backpack; it can get quite hot. 2) Travel Head Pillow: made from memory foam, it also supports your neck sideways. We absolutely love it, it supports without any discomfort, though it is quite large to carry around.

Download guided meditation or hypnosis. When you feel stressed or cannot sleep, listening to those will help you to relax and fall asleep.

Buy a 3D eye mask. Its moulded design does not press against your eyes during sleep, and you'd hardly feel it once on 

Plan your sleep in advance to minimize jet lag. This website actually helps you plan your ideal sleeping period during your flight.

Get active

Go for a walk and stretch as often as you can. Even if you have a window or middles seat and do not want to bother others, there're still some stretches you can do just in your own seat. Check Vibrant Yogini for the instructions.

 

Try to enjoy it

Phone off, no disturbance, why not take this time for yourself? Read a book you had on your reading list, reflect your thoughts, watch some films you added to your Netflix watchlist. Don't just think this a painful journey to some destination, but time gifted to you. Try to make the best of it.