London Survival Guide

Remember: Back up your laptop before leaving the country.

Don’t forget to bring: umbrella, jacket, universal power adapter, comfortable shoes, and passport. Carrying a copy of your passport is a good idea as well.


Contact your bank before you leave to tell them you will be travelling abroad as many banks have restrictions placed on cards based on fraud policy.

Getting some travelling money ahead of time is a good idea.

First Tennessee Bank branches can sell you currency for $7 if it’s over 300, and $17 if under $300. Their customer service number is (865) 971-2080.  You’ll need to order it a week or two ahead of time.

AAA will order it for you for a $10 fee. Please order a week ahead of time.
Contact Michelle Patterson at (865) 862-9264.

You can check weather predictions at
Close to travel time, you can use URL
Don’t forget to bring an umbrella and jacket.  Average high for June and July is 70°F and low is about 55°F.

It’s a good idea to check-in online 24 hours before flight.  You may be able to print your boarding pass from home! This will save you time at the airport.
You can find an abundance of information at

Placing or receiving phone calls.
1. Remember you can use Skype with your laptop.
2. You can get an unlock code from your cell phone carrier and then purchase a SIM card at many websites, such as  Remember you need an international sim card.
Your cell phone may have an international plan.  Check with your carrier.
You may also want to check out getting a mobile hotspot.  See,, among others.  You will find many with a quick Google search.
Remember that using your phone without one of these options is very expensive.

Oyster Cards:
Oyster is a plastic smartcard you can use instead of paper tickets. You can put Travelcards, Bus & Tram season tickets and pay as you go credit on it. 
You can probably get all the information you need from the Transport for London oyster online page at You can order a card online by clicking on the “Order a Card Online” link on this site.

You can:
·         Store credit to
pay as you go 
·         Set up
Auto-top up so you never run out of credit 
·         Add
Travelcards if they're for longer than a day 
·         Add
Bus & Tram Passes 
·         Add
Bus & Tram and Jobcentre Plus Travel Discounts 
·         Add
National Railcards or Gold Card discounts 

Getting around town:
See for best “ways to get around” information.
Also on the Transport for London site you can get an abundance of information by clicking the getting around town link (
Bike stations around town have maps on them (Barclays in particular).  I’m told these maps can be helpful finding your way if you get lost.

Many museums are free to visit.

You may also want to see for food costs.