As the Christmas season kicks into high gear, many people start discussing what to do on New Year’s Eve. You may think it’s too late for an exotic trip to London or Paris, but it’s actually easier and less expensive than you might think. We checked some prices and have some recommendations on where we would stay if making such an exciting journey.
First thing, before you make any plans, check the weather. Currently, blizzard conditions have most of Europe on lock-down, but they seem to be letting up and should be clear by the end of the week. We looked at a trip from either Los Angeles or New York, leaving the last few days of December and returning the first few days of January.
We found some great prices on Yahoo travel, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to London Heathrow, leaving December 30th and returning January 3rd. We found fares as low as $757. round-trip, including all taxes and fees. We found seats available at those prices, traveling on Iberia. And from New York to London, we found seats available from $630., also all inclusive, also on Iberia.
For the hotel in London, we recommend the fun, luxurious and cheap Hoxton Hotel, in the Shoreditch area. Currently, rooms are available for those same dates from $208. per night. Although we are old, slow and boring, the Hoxton is young, hip and exciting, but also cheap, clean and centrally located.
The owners also own the trendy Pret A Manger chain of healthy, hip convenience and sandwich shops across the USA and the UK and offer some great high end services for low end prices.
Special London travel tip:
Take the Heathrow Express train, from the airport, right into Paddington Station in central London.
Travelers should keep in mind you can now zip between Central London and Central Paris via the Eurostar train. Tickets start at about $100. per person, each way. The journey takes about three hours so you could include a day in Paris as part of a London trip.
If you want to fly to Paris, we found prices on kayak.com for $771. per person from LAX – Paris Charles DeGaulle (CDG) and $620. round-trip from New York’s JFK on a newer Spanish airline called Air Europa.
For the hotel in Paris, we recommend a stay at our favorite hotel there, Au Manoir Saint Germain De Pres which is part of the Best Western chain. It’s in the trendy St. Germain area right on the Blvd. St. Germain, in the 6th district. For those of you who know Paris, it’s directly above, and in the same building as the Brasserie Lipp, a very famous and respected restaurant. The hotel is in the center of the action, right across from Cafe Les Deux Magots. It’s been improved and renovated since our last stay, now ranking four stars and going for about $400. per night, with discounts available of 5-10% for online booking.
Special Paris travel tip:
Take the Air France bus from CDG airport to central Paris, look for signs for “Les Cars Air France” because the word “cars” means bus in French.