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First Trip to London - need advice

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I will be travelling to London for 8 days with my family of 5 including 3 kids ages 5, 7 and 9. I have been reading websites and travel books but still have a few questions that I would love advice on ...

1. Oyster card vs Travel Card : We will be in London from Sat - Sun i.e. 8 days. Should we get
a) an Oyster Card in London (not Visitor Oyster which apparently doesn't allow you to refund the deposit) or
b) the 7 day Travel pass for all zones (we need zone 6 for Heathrow on day of arrival) OR
c)7 dayTravel pass zones 1-2 only loaded ONTO oyster so that we can use oyster for the occasional far trip e.g.. Heathrow and Hampton Court palace but Travel card for rest
d) Will we still be able to use the travel pass for the 2/1 discounts?
e) Should I buy it when I get to Heathrow ? or order it online

2. The general consensus from reading the previous online posts is that the London Pass is not worth it! True?

3. Is the London hop on hop off bus worth it ? The reviews on trip advisor are very varied and often cite bad traffic and poor acoustics as a problem.


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