Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I see London, I see France

Day 1 (Mon, 2 June 2014)

We're really stoked to be able to take a trip to London and Paris as it's something we had talked about doing for years. We've always felt that our kids' first trip to Europe should be London and Paris (our kids agreed!) and since travelling to Europe is not exactly cheap, we wanted to make sure that they were old enough to appreciate the cultural and historical significance of the places we visited.

To make the most of our budget, we planned ahead. We booked our air tickets on Emirates six months ahead to take advantage of their sale - about $4,500 for all four of us which is a pretty good deal. Another plus for Emirates is that it transits at Dubai International Airport, cutting the journey in half which we like as it allows us to stretch our legs for a bit. Lots of lounges with free wifi, which makes transiting that much more comfortable.

Andre thought it was awesome that you could stand a chance to win a McLaren sports car by spending at the airport.

Airline food is never spectacular but Emirates does serve up some pretty decent fare. We had our first taste of English food with this English tea on board - sandwiches, chocolate cake, a scone with jam and even a little tub of clotted cream! Lovely touch.

Finally, after a full day of flying, we reached Heathrow Airport at about 6.30pm local time. You can travel from Heathrow to central London via the Tube, which was what we did. We're staying at King's Cross which is a direct train on the Piccadilly line. Took us about an hour and is super convenient.

As you can tell, we look quite spent. By the time we reached King's Cross, it was about 3.30am Singapore time and we could barely keep awake. We were very glad that we'd booked Premier Inn London King’s Cross - a hotel that was just a short walk down the street from King's Cross station.

The family room is not large but it comfortably sleeps four (a king bed, a sofa bed and a pull-out bed) at a reasonable rate.

As soon as we all showered, we crawled into bed and were out like a light. The adventure starts tomorrow!


Tan said...


Is there a limit on the number of people allow to stay in the family room?


monlim said...

Tan: I'm not sure but it would be a stretch for more than 4 since 3 pple wld need to share the king bed.

Tan said...

Thanks :)

Rachel Tan said...

Did you opt for the pre-pay option for Premier Inn? The thing about Premier Inn is that while you won't get a converted Victorian building or anything like that, it's a safe reliable product and you know what you are going to get - i.e. a clean modest comfortable room with the option of wifi at a reasonable fee.

monlim said...

I booked via so didn't have to pay first. We had free wifi in the rooms :) I found the service at Premier Inn to be super. Plus if you go for breakfast, your kids eat free! btw, Kenneth says if he's not mistaken, the 24-hr Tesco is very close to the Premier Inn Earl's Court.

Rachel Tan said...

Hi Monica!

We stayed at Premier Inn West Quay Southampton and found it to be fantastic! Absolutely no complaints. The breakfast is good value - if your family consumes like 4 cups of Costa lattes each morning, that's like 10 quid worth already :p We paid for Premier Inn breakfasts as a hearty start of the day really gives everyone the energy to start the day.

Speaking of which, traveling is tiring, even if one takes it easy. We do spend on proper food because we really don't want to risk anyone falling ill and so we do try to have everyone well-fed. Haha, what an excuse. Food plus sleep are important for the demands of touring!

I thought it would be cheaper to book directly with the Premier Inn website than through!?! There's a substantial saving with prepayment but I've not tried that option before, preferring to hold out payment until we arrive lest there are unforeseen circumstances.

Earl's Court is slightly less closer to the attractions than St Pancras/King's Cross... But it's cheaper. Maybe we will opt for St Pancras.

monlim said...

At the time of booking, I didn't see any prepayment option with booking direct and the price was the same whether through or direct. I noticed they've changed the website since. Or maybe cos it was the peak period. But if there was a cheaper option of prepayment, I'm sure we would have chosen that.

Yes, King's Cross is slightly closer to the attractions, esp Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square area. But if you take the Tube, it's only a difference of a few mins really.

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica,

Premier Inn @ King's Cross sounds a great option! Travelling as a family with my kids of 21 and 13 years old, but all of us are small frame:) - so all of us (4) would comfortably fit in the family room. The website states kids upto 15 years old - are you aware if there's an option to pay extra for all of us to stay in the Family Room? Don't want to be turned away when we are checking in!! Thanks.


monlim said...

Audrey: I don't know if there's an option. I don't think they will turn you away, honestly but if you want to play it safe, maybe you can write to them to ask?