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Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

Davis, California
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Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

Hi everyone,

I'm having trouble deciphering the best option for our extended family this summer(July) in London. We have 5 adults and 4 kids (ages 15, 15, 14, and 10). We will be 7 days in London but hope to make day trips to Ickleford (4 of the adults spent several years living there and want to revisit), Stonehenge, and possibly the Harry Potter studio. The best I can come up with from looking at the TFL site is to buy 4 Adult Oyster cards, three 11-15 kid Oyster cards and one 5-10 kid Oyster card. This appears to be the best way to get the best price on any rail travel outside London. The TFL site also says that PAYG travel within London's travel zones will be capped at the daily Travelcard rate, so it seems like there is no advantage to adding a Travelcard to your Oyster card. And it also seems that there is no way to take advantage of any of the 2for1 discounts using the Oyster card. Do I have this correct?

Thanks for any help!

Hampshire, England.
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1. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

"And it also seems that there is no way to take advantage of any of the 2for1 discounts using the Oyster card. Do I have this correct?"

Correct, you need to buy paper travelcards from a National Rail station to take advantage of the 2 for 1's.

Edited: 12 March 2014, 19:46
Davis, California
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2. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

Also I forgot to ask--can I pick up the kid photo Oystercards (they won't mail these to me) at Heathrow?

London, United...
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3. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

No - you have to order them in advance and submit photos. Your youngest will travel for free on all TFL services (NOT National Rail) as long as Junior is with a fare-paying adult. The others will qualify for a Child Rate travel card issued by Network Rail. More info here: www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/fares-2014/29086.aspx

Harrow, United...
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4. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

Laurie - You need to apply online and select correct heathrow office (one for terminals 1,2 and 3, terminal 4 or terminal 5)

TFL Quote:-

If TfL is unable to verify your child's age online, or you live overseas, the photocard will have to be collected from a Travel Information Centre. You will be able to select a Travel Information Centre during the application process.

…tfl.gov.uk/corporate/…11-15-zip-oyster-card

Edited: 12 March 2014, 20:13
Cardiff, United...
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5. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

"The TFL site also says that PAYG travel within London's travel zones will be capped at the daily Travelcard rate, so it seems like there is no advantage to adding a Travelcard to your Oyster card."

You cannot add a daily travelcard to an oystercard, for that reason. You can however add a seven day travelcard which, even allowing for some days out of the city may well cost less that your cumulative PAYG usage (costs around same as 4 days capped usage in zone 1/2)

Southampton
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6. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

You know that oyster cards cannot be used for rail travel outside London?

Cotswolds
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7. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

<<select correct heathrow office (one for terminals 1,2 and 3, terminal 4 or terminal 5) >>

The only place at Heathrow for overseas visitors is the Travel Information centre at T123

The thing you'll have to work out is if you will save enough to recoup the £10 fee for the card

Oysters are not valid outside London (Ickleford, Stonehenge).

Davis, California
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8. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

richt71 and dzug, thanks, I didn't start the online application yet because I'm still figuring it out, but great to know I can get them at Heathrow if we choose to get them.

c0mc0b, ok, I see what you mean about the capped rate being more than the 7-day Travelcard. So it seems best to get the 7-day Travelcard, which I am understanding MUST be loaded onto an Oyster card? In which case I will still need to apply online for the teen cards.

Akkarin and dzug, from this reading, it seemed that rail tickets to Ickleford or Stonehenge were somehow cheaper if you purchased them through the Oyster card? If that is not the case, it makes the decision much easier!

This forum is amazing! Thank you for all your help. I don't think I'm actually 100% stupid, but these details sure are stumping me!

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

With the £10 administration fee, each Chld rate seven day Travelcard will cost £25.70, not a substantial saving compared to the Adult rate cards. Your time is worth money, so if you are willing to spend a little more up front you will minimise taking an extra step at Heathrow on arrival.

As well, you can save considerably more by buying paper Travelcards at a rail ticket office and using them for the two for one offers. There is no requirement to use an Oyster Zip card to buy seven day Travelcards at the Chld rate at rail stations; the younger members of your party will simply need proof of age (if asked for it).

'Akkarin and dzug, from this reading, it seemed that rail tickets to Ickleford or Stonehenge were somehow cheaper if you purchased them through the Oyster card? If that is not the case, it makes the decision much easier!' Oyster isn't a ticket in itself, it is a payment method. There are no cheaper rail tickets 'through the Oyster card' as Oyster is merely the mechanism which holds PAYG pre-pay, seven day or longer Travelcards (the default method which those tickets are sold by TfL) or both (the PAYG money kept on an Oyster is handy for travelling outside the paid for zones of one's Travelcard).

What you *may* do is look for GroupSave fares for your journeys to Ickleford or to Salisbury for Stonehenge, or with Travelcards in hand ask for rail tickets 'from the boundary of zone 2' since you will have paid for part of the fare with the Travelcards.

Have you read the traveller articles about the two for one offers (find them under Top Questions about London)? If not, please do so as the purchase of paper Travelcards will change the complexion of how you will pay for transport as well. Have a look at rail fare possibilities at www.nationalrail.co.uk for GroupSave fares as well.

Davis, California
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10. Re: Oyster/Travelcard and teenagers

Hello TravellerPlus, thank you for great info. I had originally written off the 2 for 1 deals because it looked too complicated to get paper tickets from a rail station on the particular day we wanted to visit an attraction, and I thought it would be better to have tickets in hand from website to save lines. But now I see it looks like we can use a paper 7-day Travelcard, which is much more convenient. You make an EXCELLENT point about the hassle/cost of teen Oysters vs adult 7-d Travelcards. Also, I had not heard of the GroupSave fares, so that is a huge help!!