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Transport passes for a week visit?

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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47 posts
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Transport passes for a week visit?

Planning a trip to London in late January or February. I've been reading the threads for the last few days, very good information on here. The husband and I need information on what is the best/cheapest way to purchase tube/bus transport for a week's visit. Last time we were in London we purchased a London Pass with transport, since we also used the pass for the Tower, Hampton Court, etc. This time we are going for the museums, most are free so we don't need the Pass for entrance fees. I am confused by the information on the transport passes. Is a 7 day transport pass the best way to get around? (no car, we are using the tube)Thanks everyone. I really enjoyed the "what to shop for" thread.

Valencia, CA
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1. Re: Transport passes for a week visit?

My wife and I got the 7 day travelcard and definitely got our money's worth out of them. It is also nice to have already gotten that expense out of the way before we landed and to go out each day and not have to buy a ticket for the day. We ended up getting zone 1-4 cards (we wanted to go to Kew Garden and Finchley in zone 4, you may only need a zones 1-2) and tickets for zones 1-6 for transport to/from Heathrow.

You probably have the link already but here is the one on the Transport for London site. Web ordering was fast and easy. They even prompt you if you want additional ticket (like for the airport).


Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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2. Re: Transport passes for a week visit?

TfL have just raised their fares, so a seven day Travelcard for zones 1 and 2 will cost 22.20GBP. Since single fare on the tube has shot up to 3GBP (!!) and a single fare on the bus is now 1.50GBP, the Travelcard has shown itself once again to be a fab deal.

You can buy one when you get to London, no need to get it in advance.

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3. Re: Transport passes for a week visit?

You can no longer get the 7 day Travelcard as a stand alone paper product on demand.

You have to purchase an Oyster Card (an electronic smart card) which is a story in itself and pay a 3 GBP deposit, then purchase the 7 day Travelcard and 'load' it onto the Oyster Card.

It is possible to get around the Oyster Card requirement by purchasing from a railway station (not Underground) where they havn't got the ticketing machines everywhere else has.

I'm not sure but I think you need a Photocard if you use this option - anybody know for sure?

The other option is a 7 day Visitors Travelcard bought before you travel, but this is normally much more expensive.

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4. Re: Transport passes for a week visit?

Just to clarify one point... When you've finished with your Oystercard you can get your £3 deposit refunded in cash at any station ticket office. It's not the case that you have to wait for a (useless) sterling cheque to be sent to you at your home address abroad.

And according to Oystercard helpline assistant Vicky, whom I had the pleasure of speaking to just minutes ago, the £3 deposit is no longer being waived.

Incidentally, are people aware that some Oyster prepare fares have actually gone DOWN quite substantially since the new fares came in? My journey from zone 3 to zone 2 used to cost £1.30. Now the machine is only deducting £1 for the same ride. Amazing!

AVOID paying cash on buses. It's £1.50 compared with 80p using Oyster prepay.

More Oyster info is at


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5. Re: Transport passes for a week visit?

Rentaquote, the info given to you from Vicky at Oystercard was different to that given to me by Oystercard befor Xmas so I too phoned Oystercard just now about refunds.

When I pressed the point that it seems different people at Oystercard were giving different info about refunds I was passed to "Simon" in the refunds department.

To summarise a long conversation he said.

- to get a refund at all the card needs to have been registered

- to get a cash refund on a pay as you go Oystercard it is entirely up to the discretion of the underground ticket office. Most will give a cash refund but some will not, and some may not give a cash refund if they are busy. In either case you will need to fill in a form. No he could not give a list of which ones do and which ones don't give cash refunds.

- if you have a season ticket oystercard (including 7 day travelcard) and everything has expired and just the deposit needs refunded then the position is the same as the pay as you go Oyster Card.

- if you have a season ticket Oyster card and there is more than just the deposit to refund you will get a cheque.

If you receive a refund by cheque it takes 4-6 weeks normally.