London is waiting

After a lot of thinking Sasha and I decided to go to London on vacation at the end of summer. I haven't had a real vacation in four years and it's time we went somewhere we wanted to go and had a good time. The main difficulty with arriving at this decision was our daughter, who will turn two at the time of our planned trip. We couldn't decide if the trip is worth the hassle until we found out that London offers plenty of activities for young children.

This seems to be a perfect time to travel for several reasons:
1. Oil is cheap so air travel is relatively cheap too
2. Iulia will be under 2 years old at the time of travel, so we can buy her a lap ticket for a fraction of the cost of a full ticket (unless we want a separate seat for her)
3. The pound is very cheap against other currencies making it cheaper to travel now
4. The recession may actually lower some prices in the UK (I am hoping that a decline in tourist travel due to global recession will keep the rent rates down)

Now the main problem is finding an affordable place to stay for two weeks in London. London is still a very expensive place to visit and rent rates are mostly exorbitant for an average Moldovan (and for us). I really don't want to spend all of my family's savings in two weeks, but it looks like little will remain. So any suggestions for inexpensive, but clean and conveniently located, self-catered family flats will be more than welcome. None of my contacts (and I have quite a few in London) came back with positive results, so I'm still looking.

Our itinerary is not complete but we so far have the following in mind:
1. London Zoo
2. Kew gardens
3. Children's zoo somewhere in London
4. Entertainment centres with various activities for children (like pottery etc.)
5. Day visit to Brighton Pier
6. Day visit to Kent beach (maybe)
7. Shopping (believe it or not, London offers a lot of cheaper clothes and other stuff than you can find in Moldova)

Any ideas about what else to do with a 2 year old and a 13 year old (my sister) are more than welcome.

Ah yes, we still need to get the visas, which are ridiculously expensive (€78 each).

2009-03-06 16:46:11


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