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Confused about travel card/Oyster card

ontario
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Confused about travel card/Oyster card

Hello, I posted a question recently about which train to take from Gatwick to Victoria Station. I received great advice. We are staying at Victoria Inn on Belgrave Road. I have another question regarding the various transportations options. We will take the southern train to Victoria but I'm not sure what to purchase .. travel card or Oyster card. For some reason I find it all confusing. :( we will be in London for three days .. arrive on a Tuesday at 10 am and then we are taking a train to Watford on Thursday evening to stay with relatives. We would like to take advantage of the 2 for 1 deals, if possible. Can you please recommend what we would need to purchase .. and should we buy it in advance. Thank in advance for your patience and advice! P.S.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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1. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

I think this article should answer all your questions... If not, please ask.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186338-c195600/Londo…

ontario
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2. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

I have read that, unfortunately I'm still confused. :(. It says to go to a rail station and purchase a travel card for zone 1 & 2. So I can purchase this at Gatwick? Will this be part of my transportation on the southern train to victoria station? Is national rail the same as southern train?

U.S. expats
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3. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

National Rail is an information portal for all the various train companies.

I would not buy your Travelcard from Gatwick, but get your Travelcards at a National Rail station in London. The words rail station in the article are a hyperlink to all the names of rail stations in the London area. You can buy them, for example, at Victoria, from the rail station on the surface level (not the underground station).

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

Stick with paper one day travelcards.

On arrival at Gatwick buy one day Southern travelcards for £15.80. That's just 80p more than the single rail ticket and gets you the train to Victoria and all public transport within London for that day.

For the Wednesday get off peak travelcards for £8.90 and a also for the Thursday. If you travel by train to Watford Junction, you can show the ticket clerk your travelcard and they'll sell you an extension ticket from the boundary of zone 6 to Watford Junction (£4.40).

That's all your travel for £38. If you messed about with Oyster you wouldn't get 2-4-1 on Wednesday and Thursday and, because of that amazing "travelcard for only 80p extra" on day one, it works out (slightly) cheaper to use paper National Rail travelcards.

When you arrive at Victoria you can't miss the National Rail ticket office where you get the travelcards for 2-4-1 (you can buy Wednesday's and Thursday's there and then), directly opposite platforms 13-14 (you'll arrive at 15-19).

Your travel cards from Gatwick also cover you for 2-4-1 on Tuesday.

If you want to make an early start (before 9.30am on Wed and Thur) you can get anytime travelcards for zones 1-2 for £9.20. That's just 30p more than the off peak cards, though your extension ticket to Watford Junction would be from the zone 2 boundary and so more expensive.

Edited: 07 March 2014, 02:52
ontario
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5. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

Wow .. thank you both for your help! That's exactly what I needed .. a step by step guide on what to purchase. You have helped so much!

Illinois
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6. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

Wouldn't the ticket from Gatwick to London and the ticket from London to Watford qualify them for the 2for1? I'm not sure if that would be of any benefit or if they'd save money in 3 days using PAYG on Oyster over paying for a travelcard.

Bingley, United...
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7. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

< if they'd save money in 3 days using PAYG on Oyster over paying for a travelcard. >

About £1 compared to 3x 1 day Travelcards - assuming they hit the daily limit on the Oystercard

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

'Wouldn't the ticket from Gatwick to London and the ticket from London to Watford qualify them for the 2for1? I"

A single from Gatwick to Victoria, and another single from Eustom to Watford Junction would qualify for 2-4-1 over the entire stay. BUT. ultimately it would be more expensive in this case than travelcards.

The key here is that on day 1 (arrival at Gatwick) the Southern combi travelcard from Gatwick is £15.80. In order to qualify for 2-4-1 on the "return" or "two singles" they would need to buy a single rail ticket to Victoria for £15, and then additional public transport for that day (another £7). With that combi travelcard that days's full public transport is only an extra 80p, not £7, and that saving makes the difference.

** - Getting rather deep and meaningful here .... ---- .... Note that the combi travelcard from Gatwick does not contribute as a one way into London for 2-4-1, because it's actually a same day return (it qualifies for that day only). You get a same day return from Gatwick to zone 6, and unlimited travel within zones 1-6. You don't have to return to Gatwick, but because that card is a return on that day it only qualifies for 2-4-1 on the day of travel.

Illinois
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9. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

And we wonder why people are confused...

Hampshire, England.
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10. Re: Confused about travel card/Oyster card

As far as the Rail companies are concerned, the more confused someone is, the more chance that they'll end up spending more money.