Guide to Traveling London through King’s Cross Station

For visiting London, proximity to King’s Cross is the perfect location. An intersection of six tube lines, including the Northern, Picadilly, and Circle Lines, to name a few, can get you virtually anywhere from King’s Cross. King’s Cross is also a train terminal, in the case that you are planning to visit the north of the UK. But let’s not get off track and get back to seeing London via King’s Cross. London, the cultural melting pot that it is, offers amazing and varied shops of anything you could desire. Located near the major shopping zones of London, both commercial and artisan, King’s Cross is a convenient place for a shopping tour in London. The city is also a magnet for great and creative minds, as is well known by all the thinkers, writers and artists who both came to and from London. The wide range of museums and galleries reflects this intellectual breeding ground, and again, King’s Cross is a skip, hop and a jump away from many of these world-class museums. Less conventional tours to start from King’s Cross could include a round of the city’s parks, exploring the wide web of the tube itself, or the nearby nightlife hotspots. So, whether it’s shopping, rich culture, or any fun explorations that you’re after, King’s Cross will guide you there quickly and efficiently.

For the shoppers! Have an early and hearty breakfast (you will need the energy) and put yourself on the Northern Line, heading for Camden Town, where you will find open air markets selling art, crafts, clothes, accessories and much more. It’s best to spend time here in the morning, as the area isn’t the safest at night. After you’ve stocked up on original craft gifts at the market, head back to your hotel, drop them off, and back on the tube! Via the Picadilly Line, head towards Covent Garden, a famous indoor market, and the surrounding area, full of boutiques, shops, and nice cafes. This picturesque market makes a nice lunch stop, with some cozy restaurants nearby. Picadilly Circus comes next: very commercialized, with many well-known brand stores. Picadilly is a fun place to return to at night, as the lights and pubs draw partiers to them like moths to the flame! Head on to Knightsbridge to see the world famous Harrod’s Department store. After this detour, it’s on to Oxford Circus to join the crowded throng admiring and buying the riches of Oxford Street, which is equivalent to New York’s Fifth Ave, a street of fancy department stores interspersed with chic shopping boutiques. If your spending needs are still not satiated, check out other markets, such as Portobello, or just by walking through London, you will find hidden gems of stores throughout the city. If, however, Oxford Street sums up the shopping day nicely for you, head back into the Oxford Circus tube, and the Victoria Line will conveniently take you right back to King’s Cross.

For the culture seeker, you will start your day heading in the opposite direction of the shopper. Head south on the Picadilly Line to Russell Square, and just a few blocks south of the shady square is the British Museum. After your explorations, you may also enjoy Covent Garden for its history and theater – check out the listings as they may draw you back in the evening. Nearby is Trafalgar Square, home of the National Gallery. From here, continue on to Green Park, and gasp at the size and beauty of Buckingham Palace. Changing of the Guard takes place nearby, so check the season’s schedule if you are interested. Slide down the Jubilee Line to Southwark, and enjoy the neighboring Tate Modern and Globe Theatre. Make your way back north of the river to Tower Hill, and explore London’s Tower. Take the Circle line back to King’s Cross to conclude the cultural loop.

The adventurer who wants to learn the city by randomly coming across the interesting things may enjoy traveling from park to park, always great for people watching and discovering the wide variety of London’s inhabitants. Regents, Hyde, Green, and St. James Parks are the main ones, each with distinctive personalities. The Tube itself is extremely interesting, and it’s worth reading the entertaining advertisements of the tube, listen to some talented and not-so-talented musicians, pick out who the tourists are and who the natives are… the tube can be really enjoyable during your voyage. Take advantage of being in this unique London sub world! King’s Cross is also nearby to Leicester Square and Picadilly, both popular night out areas. Or try traveling round Circle line and seeing how many pubs you can manage to stop at… after which, see if you manage to find your way back to King’s Cross on this concentric line!

King’s Cross, recently made famous through Harry Potter’s platform 9 ¾, is more than a fictitious train platform. It’s a station that literally will get you anywhere in London (and beyond) very conveniently. If you’re visiting London to shop, to learn its culture, or just to explore it for face value, King’s Cross is the best starting and ending point. You will get to where you need to go quickly, and at the end of the long day, you won’t have to wait long to be back at your London home, sweet home.

Exploring The Top Attractions In Paris

More than 23.5 million visitors flock to Paris on a yearly basis to gaze upon the attractions scattered across the land. Throughout the city, there are literally hundreds of notable monuments and museums to take note of, but five of them seem to draw the most attention. Below are the top sights associated with the destination that many know as the ”City of Light.”

Eiffel Tower: It is quite hard to ignore the beauty of one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. In all of Europe, it is rather difficult to find another landmark that holds more clout. Whether you associate the sight as the Cruise and Holmes proposal spot or the main feature of countless Paris postcards, it is the breathtaking view from this monument that is the most talked about.

Arc de Triomphe: While it doesn’t compare to the height of the Eiffel Tower, it does however present some of the best views of the city. Each year, more than a million people come here to enjoy the city sights.

Louvre Museum: When it comes to exploring one of the most famous museums in the world, it is here where you will find the infamous Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, as well as thousands of additional pieces within an impressive collection of art that spans hundreds of great civilizations. With a history that dates back to 1793, the Louvre is one of the oldest museums located in Europe.

Centre Pompidou: Modern art enthusiasts should head for this building, which could stand as a work of art on its own. Here, an assortment of activities is offered, including film, concerts, and things for children to enjoy. Millions of tourists gather at this site on a yearly basis.

Cite des Sciences at de l’Industrie: If science is your cup of tea, this interactive museum has plenty of exhibits to help pass your time in the city. Many of the hands-on entertainment explore the depths of various branches of science and technology, such as biology to anatomy.

7 Good Reasons For Travel Insurance

For thousands of years, risks have been shared during times of tragedy. The first formal insurance company, Lloyd’s of London, was formed in 1769 and their principal concept remains today – to gather the premiums of clients as a pool of resources to return to clients who experience unexpected but covered events. So, that is the secret really, plan for the unexpected and make sure you’re covered, especially when you’re travelling. Whether your trip is a quick one or a round the world cruise, there are many good reasons for travel insurance. Here are just 7:

Medical Emergencies: If you fall sick or are injured during your travel, your travel insurance will give you financial coverage.

Flight Cancellations: If your flight is cancelled or delayed then your travel insurance should help. Depending on the cover available, a room for the night and even alternative travel home can be included.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions: Even if you have a pre-existing medical condition and it flares up while you’re on vacation, as long as you’ve advised your travel insurance company prior, you should be covered.

Damage or Loss Of Personal property – What are you going to do when your luggage gets stolen? Yes, it happens, all the time. There are organised gangs that work in airports doing just that. Guess what? You need travel insurance.

Loss of Cash or Traveller’s Cheques – You’re in a foreign country far from home. You either lose, or have stolen, your entire holiday fund. You’re going to need help and quick. Again, travel insurance is a must.

Emergency Evacuations – What with global warming and economic pressure more and more holiday destinations are being built in potentially dangerous territory. Who would have wanted to be in Thailand on that Boxing Day? Travel insurance will help if you have to get out quick.

Car Crash – It can be very difficult driving on the wrong side of the road in a strange country. Accidents happen.

Okay, there you have it. 7 good and solid reasons why you need travel insurance the next trip you make. The other alternative of course is to not take out travel insurance, or to stay at home. Now, there’s an idea. But seriously, as always when taking out insurance, especially travel insurance, read the fine print. Importantly, find out before you go what is excluded, not just included. So, always read the fine print. For example, accidental coverage is not provided in case of drunken driving, driving under the influence of narcotic substances etc. Exclusions are also provided for accidents during risky sports like bungee jumping, car racing, scuba diving, white water rafting, flying (except as passenger in regular airliners), gliding, skiing, bike racing, diving, mountaineering, windsurfing etc. The list goes on (insert for your favourite potentially dangerous sport here). That means in case of accidents in these situations the insurance company is not liable to pay any amount to the insured.

Credit Card that Offers Great Benefits Beyond Just Travel

The biggest trend among credit card companies today is in the realm of travel related rewards. People want to travel more and more and they are looking to credit cards to assist them with their frequent flier miles and the travel rewards that come with them. The Qantas American Express Premium credit card is one of the most highly sought after travel credit cards and it is making such a big impact not just because of its travel rewards. The Qantas Premium card gives full benefits and bonuses that enhance its appeal. Whether you want the Qantas card for travel purposes only or for its low interest rates or the convenience of online banking you can benefit highly from having it in your wallet. Let’s take a closer look into the card’s popular bonus features:

One aspect of the Premium card that many people like is the Qantas Club invitations that are available each year when you first spend with your card on select Qantas services. These two tickets you get are your invitation to using the travel rewards that the card offers and they are available each year.

Insurance is another great bonus feature that the Qantas Premium card comes with that many other credit cards leave out. As a traveling credit card holder you can have a greater piece of mind knowing that you will always be protected. Insurance is available domestically (health and auto) as well as overseas. Check with customer service with your individual case to see what plans are available.

The Qantas Premium American Express credit card comes equipped with great features such as 55 days of interest free purchasing, low balance transfer rates and the ability to do your banking online. Because you have 55 days to spend without paying a dime of interest the Premium card is the perfect fit for someone wanting to try it out risk- free. The low balance transfer rates allow you to transfer money that is tied up in higher interest cards, which is sure to save you a good amount of money. And since you can do your banking online you can pay your bills from your computer. It doesn’t matter if you are in Australia or not because banking can be convenient and easy.

The Premium credit card by Qantas and American Express is the perfect companion for traveler’s and non-traveler’s who are just looking for a quality credit card to accompany them.

Things To Remember When Traveling With Your Partner

Going on holiday with a partner is the true test of a relationship. Here’s how to get it just right.

What makes a perfect partner? Someone who wants to have sex first in the morning, never asks you to go shopping with her and renounces all rights so the remote control on Saturday afternoons? Maybe, but no relationship, no matter how erotically charged and compatible, is proven until your first holiday together.

Ah, the holiday, that breeding ground of vice and corruptibility. You go on holiday to relax, but unless you know exactly what you’re getting into, going on holiday with a partner is likely to leave you more stressed than you were when you handed in your leave form.

There are sound reasons for couples fighting when they’re on holiday. Because you’re out of your familiar, everyday situation, holiday actually increase some stress levels. Also, because you’ve convinced yourself that you should be having a wonderful time during every second of your precious holiday small fights and irritations tend to get magnified. A lot of couples break up on holiday, over things that would not have mattered quite as much had they happened during their normal routine.

Everything is more intense when you’re on holiday because it’s such a valued time for most of us. But more holiday fights are caused by lack of planning than unrealistic expectations. You might not be able to do anything about your heightened holiday emotions, but you certainly can plan for physical eventualities, and in so doing hopefully prevent quarrels in Quebec and sulks in the Seychelles.

So if you are planning to go away with a partner – especially if it’s the first time the two of you will be taking a trip together – follow these rules and perhaps you’ll still want to look at each other when you return.

1. Make sure you both want go go to the same place – It’s no use dragging her off to go hiking in the Himalayas if she’d far rather be lying on a beach in Thailand. If your idea of a good holiday is vastly different from hers, perhaps you shouldn’t be together, or perhaps you should take separate holidays. Or you could compromise and choose a place that offers both your types of enjoyment (such as a resort where one of you can go scuba diving while the other lounges next to the pool with a book and a pina colada).

Of course you might not know what her interests and idiosyncrasies actually are until you get there and find yourself shuffling from monument to monument to examine ancient firesoes, despite your longing to examine an affable pub. Holidays show us sides of our partners that we didn’t even suspect existed. That’s why it’s important to discuss you idea holiday before you book the hotel room. If you think she might be agreeing with your choice of destination only to please you, that’s her problem, but give haer a chance to voice her preferences.

It is always more fun to do the things you love with a partner who loves the same things, but it’s inevitable that there will be areas of common disinterest between you. Make it clear that you don’t mind pursuing your quest for the tallest redwood on your own, and make sure she knows that you don’t intend accompanying her on visits to Cambodian orphanages (unless you want to, of course).

2. Divide the money. Money and map navigation are the two most common causes of holiday tension. Money is perhaps more important because even if you’re lost, you’re still okay if you can afford a bed for the night.

No matter how compatible you might be in other spheres, in every couple there is a partner who is the spender. This is increased a hundred-fold when on holiday. The one with the more careful nature will shy away from impulse purchases, while the other spontaneously lashes out on memorabilia that you don’t need and that doesn’t fit into your suitcase.

Some couples try to prevent money fights by nominating one partner as holder of the resolve arguments by saying. “I’m the one in charge of the money and I say we can’t have more than one ice cream a day” is only going to lead to acrimony. Even if one of you is financing the holiday – in fact, especially need to have access to your own money, or the power imbalance will lead to bitterness.

Workout the budget for the entire trip. Say accommodation is paid for, work out how much you’ll need each day for food, and if one of you wants to exceed that budget on a particular day, then economize the next day. Divide your spending money in two and share it. Then, if one of you blows their entire allowance on a three-meter mahogany giraffe. It’s only faire for the partner who still has money to dictate how it’s spent.

3. No bagging the navigator- Democracy does not work when it comes to directions. Whether you’ve driving yourselves around or simply have to find taxis or stations in unfamiliar places, either draw lots or play roulette before you leave home to decide who will be in charge of navigation. Or split the duties, but when one of you is driving or reading a map, the other keeps his or her mouth firmly shut.

Talk about this before you go, otherwise you’ll end up in a ditch when you slam on brakes in the pouring rain and shout, “Do you want to drive?” If she’s driving don’t say a word. And if you know she took a wrong turn, never admit later that you knew the right road to take all along.

Stick to this rule and there’s a good chance you’ll have a happy holiday and perhaps an entire life. The words “shouldn’t you have turned left there?” have been the death knell of too many relationships.

4.Find out if she snores. It’s seldom that a couple goes on holiday without first getting to know each other well, but it happens. You may have shared a bed, but do you know each other’s bathroom? Does she know it takes you half an hour to do your hair? Has she done her morning yoga routine in front of you? Are you familiar with other’s most irritating habits?

A first holiday can bring nasty surprises, if you discover on your fist night away that she grinds her teeth, it could ruin your trip. Alternatively you could be prepared for some irritation, and decide beforehand that, unless it’s a non-negotiable violation of every value you hold dear, you will allow certain annoyances to wash over you.

Say you know each other quite well already and have learnt tolerate each other’s curious habits. You could still find that being on holiday with her drives you nuts (or vice versa) because she thinks that being away means she doesn’t have to be considerate of your needs as would be when you’re both at home.

Being on holiday does mean you can relax, but it doesn’t mean turning into a complete slob. If she doesn’t clean up after you at home, don’t expect her to do it when you’re away. And if she thinks being on holiday gives her licence to use your razor on her legs, explain (gently) that it doesn’t.

5.Don’t combine buddies and new lovers – You have a friend with a pad in Manhattan who’s been begging you to come and stay. “Bring your new girlfriend”, he says. “You guys will have the best time here.” No you won’t. not if you’ve never been away together before and you want to spend a lot of time catching up with your old buddy. They might like each other and get along fine, but a first time holiday is about romance, and you’re not going to get that when you’re trying to divide your time and attention between a friend and a lover.

Perhaps neither of you is the romantic type and you’re both quite keen on the idea of going away with other people. If these are mutual friends, no problem, but going away to meet someone whom only one of you knows isn’t a good idea, don’t do it if it’s the first time the two of you will be spending time together.

You might also discover when on holiday that that one of you is more sociable that the other. She wants to invite those two couples you met on the train to join you for dinner; all you want to do is spend time alone with her. These are things you can’t predict. All you can do is reasonably explain your desire to socialize – or your objections to talking to strangers – and try to reach a compromise.

6.If it all goes wrong.- There is no way to guarantee that your first holiday together will be fight – free, but you can stop fights from turning your holiday into a nightmare. It may sound stilted, but if you can face up to it, talk about how you’ll deal with fights before you go away. Make a pact that neither of you will storm out, even if it means spending three days in silence. There’s nothing more mortifying than returning home alone. Having the staying power to see it through gives you time to get over fights.