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Newbies in London: A disastrous trip – and tips on how to avoid one!

This was my first time going overseas with my family members. After much consideration, we finally chose London as our destination. As it was our first trip, we encountered many problems along the way. Let’s recap some of them..

Trouble in London

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On 11 December 2003, we arrived at London Heathrow with a palpable sense of excitement buzzing. It was 6 in the morning and it was raining heavily. We thought that our hotel would arrange our transport for us from the airport to our hotel, but after waiting for about an hour, there was no sign of any hotel representative. It was only upon calling the hotel that we realized that no such service was provided by the hotel. Hence, we had to make our own way to the hotel. However, upon arrival, we were told that there were no rooms ready for us to check into at that moment. We had to wait a couple of hours before we were eventually allocated a room.

 

We experienced a terrible shock when we saw our hotel room. The room did not look the way the website featured. The facilities were insufficient and the hotel looked old. In addition, we did not know where we should keep the cash that we carried. We crossed our fingers, hoping that nothing untoward would happen as we kept our valuables in the safe in our room. Fortunately, nothing went missing.

More trouble in Singapore

 

Anyway, since we had already paid for our stay, we had no choice but to live with that. 10 days flew past like it happened in the blink of an eye. The day we were to head back to Singapore had arrived. Since Singapore is a tropical country, we thought that there would not be any need for our topcoats anymore. Hence, we checked our topcoats in with the rest of our luggage, leaving only some documents in our hand carried baggage.

 

Obviously, we were not expecting any incidents to take place. After take-off, the captain’s voice came on air. He announced that there were some problems with the right engine of the plane and that we had to head back to Heathrow for a check as a safety precaution. All of the passengers were sent to the nearest airport hotel.

 

That night, no clear information was given to tell us what we should do next and whether our luggage would be sent to our hotel. We waited for some hours and there was still no sign of our checked-in luggage. We were left no choice but to give up. The whole delay lasted for 2 nights all in. The activities that we had scheduled for upon arrival in Singapore were all affected. Throughout those nights, we had no change of clothes at all. There were some incidents when we were moved from one hotel to another. It was utterly chilling without any jackets or topcoats to put on.

Tips for travellers

 

In conclusion, here are some tips that I would like to offer to all travelers:

  • Before traveling, it is best to check if there are any transport services provided by the hotel.
  • Double-check the features of the hotel by visiting more websites or call the hotel to check if they are well-equipped.
  • If you are carrying large sums of money, leave it with the reception so that they can safe-keep the money in their safety deposit boxes (if you don’t feel comfortable keeping them in the room’s safe.)
  • It is best to bring along a new change of clothes in your hand-carry baggage in case anything crops up. If you are in a cold country, it is better to think twice before checking-in your jackets.

Bon voyage! And be prepared!

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