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Travel card? Oyster card? Please help!

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Charlotte, North...
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Travel card? Oyster card? Please help!

I am thoroughly confused on what to buy for our transportation around London! Here are our tentative plans for our 4 day trip:

On arrival day we will be landing at Heathrow at 8:30am. I figured that we would drop our bags at the hotel (St. Ermins) and then head over to Covent gardens, Trafalgar Square, etc...pretty much looking to stay outside to fight jet lag. I guess we will be travelling by train or bus over to Covent gardens...maybe stop at the London eye at some point? So we will need train/bus transportation for the whole day. Next day I figured we would use the HoHo to do some sightseeing in the day (tower, St. Paul's) maybe have afternoon tea somewhere? In the evening we have ceremony of the keys tix. For days 3 and 4 we will probably visit Winsdor Castle and Hampton Court by train. Maybe a half day each day for those and then some more exploring around London for the remainder of those days. Given this type of itinerary, what would be our best bet? A travel card? Oyster card? All advice is appreciated! Thanks! (I almost forgot to mention we are 2 adults)

Vancouver, Canada
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31. Re: Travel card? Oyster card? Please help!

'Heathrow is the only airport on the tube network ...' Hm. Those who fly to and from and work at London City Airport would differ with that, although to be completely accurate LCY is on a DLR line (and in zone 3) rather than the Underground itself.

RP8 step free access from train platform to street level is scarce in the city centre stations. Green Park, Hyde Park Corner and King's Cross have lifts or escalators from train platforms to ticket halls and street level, but other stations will have stairs to and from the trains and street level, plus or minus escalator or lift.

If you were plannin to travel from LHR to the Renaissance St Pancras, the step free journey would be via King's Cross on the Piccadilly line, but since you're taking the train to Euston the walk to your hotel will be a short walk from Euston rail station.

Williamsburg VA
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32. Re: Travel card? Oyster card? Please help!

Just popping in to say thanks for the conversation and advice...along with this thread and the other thread where the spreadsheet was posted - I think we are well on our way to planning and trying to get the best value from our cost. Who would have ever known all the ins and outs of siteseeing and getting around if not for these forums!!!! OH I'll be back...after I digest all the information and we make some hard decisions about our priorities during our 3.5 days in August in London! Thanks all....

Williamsburg VA
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33. Re: Travel card? Oyster card? Please help!

One more question or clarification, please.

We have done our analysis, got our top ten sites to do in our 3.5 days whilst in London in August. Cost wise - looks like the London pass is a good deal for what we want to do. Therefore, we need to purchase an Oyster Card.

The Londonpass comes with a travelpass option at 30 GBP for the three days. However, my thinking is that we would probably be better off just getting a PAYG option so we can use it on the half day we are there plus the three days. What I am not seeing anywhere is any explanation of the Oyster Card PAYG option vs paying the travelpass included in the Londonpass option vs a lot of chit chat about adding a travelpass to the Oyster Card (huh?)....

1. People suggest purchasing a 7 day travelpass that can be used on all transportation options anytime (that is good) and it costs 30,50 or somewhere about that. The 30GBP travelpass add on to the 3 day Londonpass is similar in cost...but only good for the three days... HMMM - perhaps we should do a 7 day travelpass...Although that seems like spending too much - not cost effective. Do we get a refund of unused funds when we turn in the oyster card?

2. Can the PAYG option be used anytime also - just may require a bit more money for a swipe during peak hrs. Then "they" say there is a cap of 7.20 (or similar cap) per day. After one reaches the cap, then the transport is available to us, but not deducted from the card?

3. And finally, can one explain what the "add a travelpass onto the oyster card" is all about.

Thanks for the clarification. This will help us figure if the pay as we go option Oyster Card s probably the best best to get us around for the entire time we are in London or not.

Sydney, Australia
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34. Re: Travel card? Oyster card? Please help!

For VAgirl.

1. You only get refunds for any unused PAYG money on your Oyster card. The 5GBP is also refunded when you surrender the card - assuming you paid a deposit. If you have bought a 7 day travelcard, you get no refunds irrespective of how many days you have used.

2. Yes, you can use the PAYG funds any time. The maximum you will pay daily is the capped amount based on the zones you travel in. See http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14416.aspx

3. I call it a travelpass but I notice that TFL (the link to the site above) call it a travelcard. To me, they are the same thing. You can get a daily travelpass from either a tube or train station. In both cases, it's a thick paper ticket.

The other type of travelpass is a 7 day one. If you buy this at a tube station, it comes loaded on an Oyster card. You will not be issued a separate paper card. If you buy it at a train station, you will get a paper card. It's these cards issued at train stations that are eligible for toe 2for1 offers.

I woould never but a travelpass issued with London passes. Think about it - they aren't doing it out of the goodness of their heart. It's about making money. Why pay more when it's not needed?

As for the Londonpass, well, I am not a fan of those either. If you have done the sums and will visit all those places on your list, then it may be cost effective. I must say, though, that 10 attractions in 3.5 days sounds like a very full itinerary.

Williamsburg VA
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35. Re: Travel card? Oyster card? Please help!

Mez3000 -thanks for explaining the ins and outs and lingo. Oddly, when we added up our top ten list it came to about 123GBP for single entry; 77GBP using 241; and 69GBP with Londonpass. So for the conveniece of not having to run back to the rail station daily to get the 241 set up and juggle coupons - looks like Londonpass may be best this time around. However, once we get these top ten don, definitely next year/time to London, we'd use the 241 system as we wouldn't be redoing the high price entries. I, also, figured not to pay the travel option to the Londonpass...PAYG is probably what we will do. Feel better about the explanations on loading the Oyster Card with travel, etc. I can now sit on it for awhile, and relook the entire package I have collected for a second or third look at, no kidding, what will we do with our time. We are pretty aggressive travellers - up at 7 and 10-12 hrs to make the most of our days. But do intend to still be somewhat flexible (HA! she says with a smile...)

Again, thanks for the feedback and explanations.

Vancouver, Canada
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36. Re: Travel card? Oyster card? Please help!

The Londonpass travel option is more expensive than using Travelcards - not travelpasses - or PAYG on Oyster.

At £30 for three days of zones 1 - 6 travel, they're overcharging by £3.30 for three one day off peak Travelcards and £4.50 for three days of off peak PAYG on Oyster use, all for zones 1 - 6.

The travel option becomes less desirable should you stay in zones 1 and 2. An off peak one day Travelcard for those zones costs £7.30; one day of off peak PAYG use costs £7 per day.

37. Re: Travel card? Oyster card? Please help!

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