Mika's Fun Adventurers


Layover in London, England


Affiliate disclosure! This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Clicking on these links will not cost you any extra fees.

Heading to Europe

Hi Everybody!

It is spring break, and we are going to Europe to visit my brother’s godmother in Budapest. The flights are usually cheaper when school is in session, but we got lucky. The goal was to spend the entire week with her, which includes a 12-hour layover in London. However, my mom decides it would be a good idea for us to fly to Paris for a couple days. We also have a few relatives who currently live in France, so it will be nice to meet with them while we are there. In today’s post, I will cover our layover in London on our way to Budapest.


Our flight to London is almost 9 hours long, and we are scheduled to land around six am London time (the middle of the night in the United States). We sleep less the night before to be tired enough to sleep on the plane. That way we will have enough energy to make the best of our tours in London. Remember, our bodies will be on the wrong time zone. We leave our car at the airport’s long-term parking, which costs $200 weekly. Next time we will take a taxi or an Uber to the airport instead. 


Our flight with Virgin Atlantic is smooth, with very light turbulence. The plane is massive with 10 seats per row. Three seats on each side and four in the middle. We check in one piece of luggage each and carry a lightweight backpack. The backpack only contains one additional outfit to change in London. We also wear compression socks to help with circulation, as sitting on such a long flight can result in swollen feet. Unlike domestic flights, this international flight provides at least one meal and snacks. Did you know Virgin Atlantic allows passengers to pre-order special low-carb meals for people with diabetes? They do. They also have choices for other medical conditions. Once we enter the plane, I go to my assigned window seat and stare into the dark night sky. I do not know about you, but in my family, all of us kids fight over window seats. There is a TV screen on the back of the seat in front of me, but it feels too awkward to use. So my parents give us just a couple hours to entertain ourselves before we sleep. Otherwise, we will be too tired to enjoy our short stay in London.


After falling asleep for a few hours, I wake up to find our flight crew preparing for landing, so I look out the window until the plane comes to a complete stop. We go through customs and tell the immigration officer we want to visit London during our layover. He is not interested in why we are staying. He does not even stamp my passport. Next, we go to the restroom to brush our teeth, clean up, and change clothes. Virgin Atlantic is supposed to transfer our luggage to British Airways for our connecting flight to Budapest. Hence, it is unnecessary to retrieve them from the baggage claim area. We then go to the airport’s locker area to have them hold our backpacks for a few hours. The cost? Only 15 British Pounds per item. Luckily, my parents had ordered currencies in British Pounds, Euros, and Hungarian Forint from our United States bank weeks before our trip. 


Sightseeing in London, England

london england

We catch the metro from Heathrow Airport to Baker Street, where we will get on the Big Bus Tour my parents scheduled for the day. A one-day ticket for an adult costs nearly 37 British Pounds, and a child’s ticket costs 31 British Pounds. They also have packages for families.


The train ride from Heathrow to Baker St takes less than an hour, but as a tourist, it may be wise to leave at least an hour for each trip. How do we know how to get from the airport to our stop? We look on Google ahead of time and ask at least a few people for directions. We also see a Big Bus Tour kiosk at the airport and ask the staff for guidance. We end up catching the tour bus around Marylebone and Baker St. The bus is supposed to stop at major attractions like Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, and the Tower of London, to name a few. Unfortunately, the recording is so poor we do not know where we are most of the time and do not get off for any major attractions. We see Buckingham Palace from a few blocks away only after we ask the driver what time we will arrive. We get off the bus to see if we can walk there, but it’s too cold. We are disappointed by this tour so we will have to make other arrangements the next time we are in London. 


After our disappointment with the Big Bus Tours and the fact that it is freezing, we decide to head back to the airport. Once at the airport, we proceed to retrieve our backpacks and head through security. We stop by a vending machine to get snacks on our way there. These are some of the best chocolates I have ever had in my entire life. They melt in my mouth. My siblings and I argue over who should eat what, but my mom insists that we all share so everyone can taste each bag. 

european chocolate

Food in London

We are starving and want to eat until our flight to Budapest. So we order some fish and chips, which are fried fish and French fries served with mashed green peas. Their best dish is probably the Alfredo pasta. And check out the chicken nuggets from the kids’ meal menu. It is actually made with real chicken breast.


We sit in the waiting area and watch the screen for our gate number. Each time, the time gets pushed back. At this point, we are all exhausted and ready to board our six pm flight to Budapest. We wait some more, and we are frustrated and sleepy at this point. Another four hours go by before we are allowed to board our flight. Our plane will now land after midnight. 

We get to Budapest in about two hours and catch a taxi to my aunt’s house. Surprisingly, she is still waiting for us, looking outside the window. We go in, and we hug and kiss. Everyone is happy to be in Budapest, so we can get some rest. We do not have any of our luggage with us. What happened to the baggage we checked when we boarded our flight in the United States? You will have to read my next post to find out. You will probably be as frustrated as we are. 

dinner in London
Having dinner at Heathrow Airport


See you on my next adventure!

mika's fun adventurers

mika's fun adventurers

Mika is a sixth grader who loves to read, write, figure skate, and listen to music.

Leave a Reply

Featured posts


Subscribe to my newsletter and new blog posts