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Thread: Off to London........

  1. #1
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Off to London........

    ..........not me, but my son. He's jetting to London Saturday to meet his girlfriend for spring break. She's studying in England for the spring semester. They have plans for Paris as well. This is his first time in Europe. Any travel suggestions from anyone? Thanks......................42

  2. #2
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Hi again Show!

    I hope your son has fun. Is this his first trip to Europe? I'm not a seasoned European traveler, but on my one and only trip, I travelled alone, but met friends there. I guess that's a bit similar. This was about 15+ years ago, so maybe things have changed. But here's what I recall by way of "tips."

    Change money at a Currency Exchange - NOT the hotel. While most hotels will change currencies, their rates are much higher.

    Don't let anyone, especially kids, "offer" to take your son (or girlfriend's) camera and snap a pic of them together. I know a few folks who ended up with stolen cameras over that one.

    Enjoy Paris!!! Even if as an American, he is not made to feel especially welcome by the population at large. See the historic sites, enjoy the food, and find other *internationals* who willingly help with directions. (Sorry - I don't mean to offend anyone from Paris on this board - I just didn't find it to be the most friendly place as a tourist!)

    I'm sure this will be an awesome experience for your son!!!

    DG

  3. #3
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dgirl.........he's excited, but I'm a nervous wreck. I keep thinking of all the things that could go wrong, of course. His girlfriend has been to Paris a couple of times already, so that should help. He's been working double shifts at work to earn the spending money. His dad and I popped for the airfare with the stipulation that he pay for everything else, (we told him it was an early graduation present!)...........42

  4. #4
    ~ Evgeni's Sex Bomb ~
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    I lived in Germany for seven years and made numerous trips to Paris and London...especially London. He probably doesn't want to shop, but if he does, Oxford High Street is fun. If he's into music, he should check out any of the big music stores (HMV and Virgin Mega Stores). He can get some awesome music that isn't available in the States.

    I like to ride the train, via the Chunnel, from Paris and London, it's pretty fast. I get ill on the ferries, but the view as you come in to Dover is nice.

    The only place in Paris anyone was ever rude to me was at EuroDisney. I speak French fairly well, and the cashiers at one of the restaurants made fun of my accent. I let them know that I understood what they said, and they shut up. But other than that, everyone was very cool. Of course, I don't advertise myself as American (anywhere in Europe, not just in Paris), and tell your son not to dress like an American. Leave the baggy pants at home, if that's what he wears.

    Any questions, please feel free to ask.


  5. #5
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Princess........I've heard that comment about the French from other people too....

    Anyway, just got back from San Francisco after dropping my son off for his trip to London and Paris. It's a non-stop flight with the route being over the polar region to save time and fuel. He hasn't called yet , but I'm sure he will soon or I'll never let him hear the end of it.

    Interesting fact about Central California for those interested. At the exact mid-point of the state there are two trees planted, side by side. One is a palm tree representing southern California. Right next to it is a pine tree representing northern California. Kinda of cool. 42

  6. #6
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    I hope he has a wonderful time.

    I do get a bit tired of hearing about how rude the French are. I spent a couple of weeks in France, speak only a few words of the language, and I never met a single rude French person. Everyone was as polite and kind as possible to me. It depends on how WE, as Americans, act towards others that determines their behavior towards us. I was polite and I was treated politely in return.

    When I lived in Israel for many years, you would be amazed at how many Americans acted like big shots, loudly and rudely. I was embarrassed! Unfortunately, many Americans have a "holier than thou" attitude when they travel abroad then they wonder why people who live in the countries in which they are the guests are rude in return.

  7. #7
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    Show-hope your son has a good time.

  8. #8
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Thanks RGal and dlk.........my son is quiet and shy and very polite. He worked part time in retail for two years, so he knows how to bite his lip when people are in your face...... 42

  9. #9
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    I agree RealtorGirl. When I went to Paris, I tried to learn about the local customs before I arrived. For instance, calling a waiter 'Garcon' is rude. Also, it is customary to greet the shopkeeper when leaving and entering his/her establishment - unlike here were we do everything to avoid sales people on the look out for commissions, unless we need real help. I found that French people appreciate your not assuming that they must speak English - why should they since they live in France?

    If his girlfriend has been studying over there, then I'm sure she knows where to go by now and will guide your son along.

    Only other suggestion is a student Eurorail pass if he has time to visit other countries - it's really a good deal.

    I took the Chunnel, too. Very cool to think that one is riding underneath the English Channel at high speed.

  10. #10
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    My son finally called....he's hitting the sack as he hasn't slept in 24 hours. He and his friend walked around London for most of the day. He doesn't remember much, due to jet-lag I'm sure.......42

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