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Oyster Card vs Travel Card

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Oyster Card vs Travel Card

My daughter & I are travelling to London July 2008. It is our first time visiting. We have a couple of tours schedule - one outside London -- Bath, Stonehenge etc. and a 1/2 day bus tour of London. We are there for 7 nights. I am trying to figure out whether to buy a Oyster Card (which my travel agent hasn't heard of - but I found online) or to get a 3 day Zone 1 - 2 Travelcard. I'm pretty sure everything we want to see is with zone 1 - 2. We are staying near Russell Square. Any suggestions?

Malmo, Sweden
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1. Re: Oyster Card vs Travel Card

We purchased 7 day, zone 1 and 2 travel cards (they are loaded onto an "Oyster" card). Though it may have been a few pounds cheaper to buy single day tickets since we too spent one day otuside of town, the convenience is unbeatable. We never gave a second thought to jumping onto a bus or taking the tube and it covered all of our destinations. Zones 1&2 cover a lot of the city.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Oyster Card vs Travel Card

If you're staying for seven nights, get a seven day Travelcard, which will be sold to you loaded on an Oyster card.

Oyster is a payment method, rather than a ticket on its own; for the most part, seven day and longer period Travelcards are sold loaded on Oyster. You'll pay just £24.20 for the Travelcard, allowing you unlimited use of the Tube, DLR and National Rail services in the paid for zones plus bus use in all zones.

Even with a day out and a half day tour, you will very likely get your money's worth out of a Travelcard. If you're planning to take the Tube from LHR to Russell Square - it's an easy journey, a straight shot on the Piccadilly line - just ask for seven day cards at LHR plus the extra Pay As You Go money needed to get from zone 6 for LHR to zone 2. The PAYG extra will be either £1 or £1.80 depending on when you travel.

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3. Re: Oyster Card vs Travel Card

Have a look at the various prices on the Transport for London website (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/). You could buy 7 day travelcards if you are likely to be travelling a lot, or just 1 day travel cards on the days you are going to travel, as well as the options you suggest.

I would probably be tempted to buy a pre-pay Oyster card if you're not sure how much travelling you're going to be doing, as you then just pay for what you use. If you make lots of journeys in one day, the fare gets capped at the 1-day travelcard rate. You will also be OK if you stray outside zone 2 (OK, most stuff is in zones 1 and 2, but IMHO no visit to London would be complete without a visit to Kew Gardens, which are not).

If you're staying near Russell Square, you will also be within walking distance of a lot of stuff (including the British Museum, where you could happily spend the whole week and still not have time to see everything), so you may need less transport than you think.

If you do decide to buy a pre-pay Oyster card, you get to choose how much money to load on it. I suggest not putting too much on to start with (say £10 each?), but don't forget to top it up if you use it a lot. Please also remember that you can't use Oyster cards on most of the overground train services.

And one final thought: I feel really embarrassed, as a Londoner, about the hoops we make people jump through when trying to understand the fare structure of our public transport system. It has to be the most complicated charging structure for anything in the whole history of the world.

Good luck!

4. Re: Oyster Card vs Travel Card

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