Down the Tube – Secrets of the London Underground

The London Underground is one of the oldest in the world. The oldest parts recently celebrated their 150th birthday. And whilst it might not be able to compete with the modern, high-tech networks in some other cities, it surely has its very own charm and identity.

No it does not run 24/7… apart from New Years Even. Although some lines have started a night tube service on weekends.

Yes it lacks air-conditioning on most of the lines (and only works half of the time on those chosen few)

No it does not come cheap, compared to some others.

But it is still one of the quickest ways to get from A to B when in London. And we do love it, even if we complain about it (we are Brits, that’s what we do).

If you are a tourist in this city, chances are you will use it a lot and completely rely on it.

So let me introduce some tube trivia and secrets of the underground to keep you entertained and busy during those rides.

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A typical Monday – Another week another trip

As I already mentioned in last week’s post, I currently have a whole batch of weekly trips coming up. So it might not come as a huge surprise that this week started with another packed suitcase.

Compared to some of my other trips, this Monday morning did not start too bad. I had a relatively late flight (9.30 that is) from City Airport to Düsseldorf, so rather than getting a cab at the crack of dawn I opted for the train / DLR. Meaning I only had to get up around half an hour earlier than usual (as opposed to a 7 o’clock flight from Heathrow to Copenhagen next week that will see me get into a cab around 4am).

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How to speed things up at the airport

For some people arriving at the airport is the start of their holiday and they have all the time in the world. Lucky them. For others (like me) it might be the start (or end) of a busy work day. Which is why I like things to run smoothly and efficient… and why I totally loath those people with absolutely no clue what to do.

OK, I grant you, if you are 85 and flying for the very first time, this might all be a little confusing and you need some time to adjust… fair enough.

For everyone else, here is a handy list of what to do to speed things up at the airport.

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How to stay hydrated whilst flying

Ok, let’s not make this sound more scientific than it really is. The trick to staying hydrated whilst flying, or in any situation really, is to drink water… lots of it and on a regular basis. But this is not what I mean.

Most of my flights are short haul, so I don’t have to worry too much about dehydrating really.

But even if my flights are rarely longer than one or two hours, I need some water in between, so I almost always end up buying a bottle at water at the airport… after security obviously, so that the 100ml fluid rule does not apply.

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London on a budget

London is the greatest city in the world (well if you ask me, which is why I (and a couple of million other people) chose to live here.

But London is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. And for many that is enough to scare them off. Money aside, London has so much to offer, it would be a shame to miss out on that … and not everything comes with a hefty price tag.

So here are some handy tips on how to experience London for cheap.

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Stand on the Right – Rules for riding the Tube

Almost five million people use the London tube network every day. If you’ve ever waited for a Central Line train on a Monday morning during rush hour, you’d be convinced every single one of those five million shared the very same platform with you that morning.

As long as us commuters stay amongst ourselves, it all works well. We move at a rushed pace, we know exactly where we want to go, where to stand on the platform to ensure the quickest exit when getting off and we don’t need to consult a tube map, let alone ask someone for direction. But throw in some random tourists and this whole subterranean eco system falls apart.

If you are one of those nasty tourists, let me introduce some simple rules on how to survive your tube ride:

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Top 5 things to do in New York City

After London New York City is my second favourite city in the world (can you tell I’m a city girl at heart? Who would have guessed I grew up in the countryside)

First time we went to New York was for our honeymoon. A long trip with the intention to see it all and tick it off the bucket list once and for all. Little did I know this was just the start of an ongoing romance.

We’ve since been back twice and I can’t wait for the next time (Christmas shopping in New York would probably be next on my bucket list)

There is a lot to see and do in New York, so today I share my personal Top 5 with you

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The Glamour of Travelling for a Living

Jet setting around Europe, a different country every week, nice hotels, exploring new cities, living the dream … it all sounds so glamorous. But is it really?

Growing up, the idea of travelling all over the place for work sounded like a perfect life. And if I give a brief rundown of my past and upcoming travels to someone, it still sounds too good to be true. Three / four trips a month, sometimes a different country each week. Visiting countries that I have never been to before (and never even thought of visiting).

Read more The Glamour of Travelling for a Living