We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

Burlington, Canada
12 posts
Save Topic
Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

My hotel is near Heathrow airport and plan to visit London attractions for 3 days from there. What is the best option?

(1) National Rail Travel Card: Does this allow Bus, Train and Tube? Is this same as Travel Card offered by Tube?I know I can take advantage of 2-4-1 vouchers. Is it available at Heathrow airport?

(2) Tube Travel Card: I know this allows Bus, Train and Tube travel. Off peak travel card max is 8.50. I heard this does not offer 2-4-1 vouchers. Are there any other attraction promotion with this card?

(3) Oyster card: As I understand it charges extra on bus service, so this becomes costly if I plan to use Bus and Train/Tube. Offpeak cap for Tube/Train/DLR is 8:50 + 4.40 for Bus/Tram = 12.90 Right? tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/visiting-londo…

~Asit

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
56,338 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

If you can change hotels, please consider doing so. Staying near the airport is like staying in Simcoe to visit Burlington. What hotel have you booked, please?

You say 'I' throughout your post. Unless you are travelling with another person the two for one offers won't be of value. There is no National Rail station at Heathrow airport to buy the necessary paper Travelcards should you be visiting with another person.

All Travelcards whether issued by TfL or National Rail ticket offices allow use on the Underground, Overground, DLR and National Rail services in the paid for zones as well as bus use in zones 1 to 6.

'I heard this (Travelcards issued by TfL) does not offer 2-4-1 vouchers.' Correct. Only National Rail-issused Travelcards and rail tickets for travel to London may be used with the offiers. 'Are there any other attraction promotion with this card?' You may save up to one third off the cost of some river cruises with Travelcards.

'Oyster card: As I understand it charges extra on bus service' No. PAYG on Oyster includes all modes of transport as above, with each journey counting towards the daily cap. If one uses buses only the daily cap is lower than when other modes of transport are used as well.

'Offpeak cap for Tube/Train/DLR is 8:50 + 4.40 for Bus/Tram = 12.90 Right?' No. The daily cap is set at the lowest fare for journeys taken, including bus, Underground, etc. There is no separate cap for bus use added.

Overall, though, the stay at Heathrow will mean either travelling at peak hours to the nearest Underground or rail station or will mean higher travel costs overall. Let us know when you plan to visit, where you've booked for the moment and your budget in pounds as you may be better off staying elsewhere.

Burlington, Canada
12 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

First, THANKS MUCH TravellerPlus.

We are two visiting London for a week. First four days, we have rented a car to visit Wales and Scotland. Last 3 days for London. Hotels in London are costly, so we thought to stay in Holiday Inn near Heathrow Terminal 5 ($80/-). Travel time from Holiday Inn(bus) to Terminal 5 (tube) to King Cross is around 1 hour which we are OK with. Since we will be there on weekends, there is no need to travel off-peak except one day. So total cost for Stay + Travel for two comes down to $110 per day. Can you suggest better alternative?

Issue is whether I should get London Pass or get NR Travel Card (to avail 2-4-1 offer). I expect to visit approx. 2 attractions per day for 3 days. Is it worth buying London Pass or opt for 2-4-1 vouchers? Where can we buy London Pass or NR Travel Card near Heathrow?

Attractions I plan to visit are..

Tower

Bridge

Westminster Abbey

Arecellor Mittal Orbit

Thames river cruise

London eye

Windsor Castle

If time permits, we can select some more attractions.

Hampshire, England.
Level Contributor
3,879 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

One of the many, many threads on the London Pass on this forum:

tripadvisor.co.uk/…58806074

Watford
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
41,741 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

I have no idea how Superman could get from the Holiday Inn Express T5 (it's NOT even a Holiday Inn) to central London in one hour. You have no chance.

In fact during the rush hour If traffic was bad it could take the best part of an hour just to get to T5 either by local bus or expensive (£5 per person per journey) Hoppa Bus. That's £20 more and you haven't even left Heathrow yet. Not to mention the cost of the tube tickets.

Please think again and look for somewhere more central.

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
340 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

wouldnt be better to use the piccadilly line to reach center London ? NO bus please. And i'd go with the travelcard for 3 days. The London pass is expensive and you need to visit a lot of places to make your purchse worth while.

If you purchase the travelcard at a National raiway station you will have a wide selection of two-for-one, good enough for a 3 days stay IMO.

Edited: 12 August 2014, 16:25
London
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
21,023 posts
45 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

The Holiday Inn Express T5 is on the outskirts of Slough. The only bus from there on which you can use Oyster cards and travelcards is the 81, which will take you to Hounslow West Station (not Heathrow).

There are buses from the hotel to Terminal 5 but they are infrequent, and you would need to pay a separate cash fare on them as they are not Transport for London services.

It really is not somewhere I would stay for a trip to London.

Edited: 12 August 2014, 17:07
U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
20,174 posts
208 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

This is, as they say, penny wise and pound foolish.

You will pay twice over for that hotel--first in time spent getting to London, (we're talking hours, not minutes) and second the cost of getting there, which you could apply to a central London hotel room, thus adding hours to each day.

You may want to take a look at this article:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186338-c205862/Londo…

Burlington, Canada
12 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

First: Thank you ALL who responded.

Holiday Inn to KingCross: 1 hr 12 min

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Holiday+Inn+Express+London+-+Heathrow+T5&daddr=Kings+Cross,+London,+United+Kingdom&geocode=FauoEQMdHNL3_yFTT6rZwuLksinj_c-Tm3p2SDFTT6rZwuLksg%3B&sll=51.480581,-0.505114&sspn=0.042656,0.130205&dirflg=r&ttype=now&sort=def&hl=en

Watford
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
41,741 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

Please accept that we know what we are talking about. That option suggests taking the Heathrow Express, the single most expensive railway journey in the world mile for mile at £21 single or £34 round trip. There are four trains per hour.

You also have to get from wherever you have been in central London to Paddington on the tube and pay for the local (75 or 76) bus which only runs every 30 minutes on a weekend evening.

So a journey that might take 72 minutes if all went well could also take over 90 minutes or more if you just missed a bus or Heathrow Express service. You will also pay about £75 more, enough for a equally good central hotel.

Edited: 12 August 2014, 20:49
U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
20,174 posts
208 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Travel card or Oyster card or London Pass?

+1 to the above.

The link you have posted shows only the journey times, not the waiting for the train times, or the getting there times. As Adam says, this could end up being 90 minutes **each way** every day.

In fact, this is my own experience. From my house in Windsor, I can always count on 1 1/2 hours from my door to the door of whatever attraction or museum I wish to see in London. This despite trains from Slough that take less than 30 minutes in to Paddington Station in London. I have to get to the station, buy my ticket, wait for the train, and then take the tube from Paddington (which isn't really near any attraction) to wherever it is I want to go.

Your link has you arriving at St. Pancras. Where do you go from there? Also, I noticed that the journey times change as the time of departure changes. It will also be more costly if you travel before 9:20 or 9:30.

Really, your very best option is taking the extra money you will be spending on travel, and moving yourselves to a hotel in the center.