The Art & Science of a London Layover

The fun of getting somewhere (in our case, to a soft launch this week in Firenze) is only further fueled by the chance to stop over somewhere else along the way. Only those with serious wanderlust will understand this urge. For us, the journey is just as much fun as the final destination.

A big part of what we've coined as #NewTravel is the chance to explore cities in bite-size pieces, and to travel more frequently to satisfy weekend and short stay wanderlust, leveraging all the opportunities of the peer to peer economy, like local recommendations and local hosts offering Airbnbs. Cities make a perfect canvas for quick visits -- and are a convenient way to drink in a place while getting over jet lag. It's no surprise that it there's even a popular new travel TV show on 36 hour concept - years after the New York Times began its popular travel writer series on short city stays. 

A little about how and why we did our London layover, this time around: 

1. We grabbed a last minute fare from Delta and Virgin (part of their new partnership) and hopped across to London from Texas at about half the normal cost of a round trip. London in September is stunning and so much nicer (in our humble opinion) than August - which has hordes of summer tourists. As schools open again and most of us return to work, the city takes on a post summer hue - still bright, but less edgy, and more well rested. 
2. We spent barely 24 hours in London (well, counting our return leg it will be closer to 36), but chose to base ourselves in just one neighborhood, and drink it in. Our founders' guide to this beautiful locality will follow. 
3. Resist the urge to sleep. By forcing yourself to stay awake, you can settle in to the local vibe. A short nap (20 or 30 minutes) is an acceptable mid-day escape but avoid the temptation to sleep away part of your precious layover hours -- but also don't go crazy trying to see every corner of a place as complex as London town. 
4. Plan an anchor evening event. In our case, the event was personal, but it would be a good idea to take in a play, concert or fine dining experience as a way to stay awake and experience the city by night. London is worthy of far more than 24 hours, but it's complexity can often lead to stress for travelers. Rather than going wide, go deep. Think like a local and travel slowly, on foot or to connecting areas by local train. In a place like London, if you pick your borough right, every corner is an opportunity for discovery. 

Weekend guides to major cities written by bloggers and peer influencers are a big part of the Guidrr brand vision. If you're someone who knows a place deeply and well, we can't wait to see your step by step 24, 48 or 36 hour experience come to life. Go ahead - apply & be a part of #NewTravel. You don't have to your own TV show, to be a Rick or Bourdain, to be a force in the industry. They paved the way - now it's your turn follow and create experiences that serve those who wish to walk the world in your shoes, with your unique perspective, peer to peer. 

More on our soft launch in next week's blog!