I have always wanted to travel to Europe and now that I can afford it I have a 9 day trip planned for London and maybe a day or so in Paris. However before this the farthest I have been is Hawaii. So to say the least I am new to the whole traveling thing. Any tips anyone has for what to do, what to see, places to stay, (looked at some short term apartment rentals seems like there is good deals for those) how to get around easiest and affordably anyone has for the trip I would appreciate it. While I am there I would love to do as much as I can.
London is a great city and you'll have an awesome vacation!
Best way to get around is the "Underground" (subway). You can buy a pass with unlimited travel for a number of days at most stations. They are very easy to use, ask for a map.
I've stayed at the Nadler Hotel (http://www.thenadler.com/kensington.shtml), not too expensive, a block away from an important "underground" station.
A lot to see in London, and you can also take one-day trips to Oxford, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, etc. I would also recommend booking a theater show (I'm particular to musicals). Theater in London is great.
Have a great time!
A habit that I have gotten into when planning a trip to a European city is to check if there is a "Hop on-Hop off" tour bus option. These are usually fairly inexpensive (around 20 bucks for 48 hours) and gets you around to most of the "must see" sites. You get really helpful background info about the history of the city and you can start to get a feel for what you want to spend more time looking at. I have done these in 4 cities now (Prague, London, Milan, and Budapest) and each one has been worth every penny.
Thanks for everyones input and I have been looking at the hotel you mentioned and it does seem like a pretty viable option. We have been thinking of taking a trip and maybe spending a night in Paris since you can take the chunnel over there. Seems like the oyster card is a good way to go.
I have been looking and seems like our good old magnetic credit cards are hit and miss over there so having some cash as a back up is a decent idea.
One final thought... Your trip is a bit short, and I don't know if you have any flexibility to extend it, but I would spend at least two days in Paris. Most likely you'll really love Paris and wish you had more time there.
If your total trip time is non-negotiable, I would consider shaving off a day or so from London and add it to Paris. Both cities are at the top of my list (my favorite cities), and both have a lot to see and do.
If not, don't worry, because I can promise you that you will return to both cities, now that you have been there.