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London Trip Travel

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Hey everyone! I'm going to London for the second time and have some travel questions. The first time was a university trip, so I did not have to pay attention to that kind of stuff. Now, I'm planning it all, and some different things throw me through loops.

Overall question: Oyster Card or Travel Card, 7-day or pay as you go? Or something else?

Here's the itinerary for travel, with various small zone 1 touristy trips each day unless noted
Day 1 - Heathrow to hotel (zone 1 near Tower Hill, thinking tube?)
Day 2 - RAF Museum (zone 4, thinking tube, don't know what else can get me there)
Day 3 - Day trip out of London with travel taken care of, just need to get to St. Pancras station
Day 4 - Windsor Castle. This is where I'm a bit stumped, as I see Oyster can be used on National Rail, but not ALL National Rail? Well, which ones? And what's cheapest in the end if I cannot use Oyster? Can I use a travelcard?
Day 5 - everything in zone 1 this day
Day 6 - everything in zone 1 this day
Day 7 - everything in zone 1 this day
Day 8 - CHRISTMAS! No travel anywhere. So here's where I'm thinking maybe not a 7 day travelcard as this day is useless? Or travel card for the 7 days before this? Sorry I make things complicated.
Day 9 - everything in zone 1 this day
Day 10 - everything in zone 1 this day
Day 11 - departure, need to get back to Heathrow

AND... I'm not done, I have to make things a bit more complicated. My mother is leaving on day 11, I am staying another three weeks for a different university trip and was told I would be
receiving an Oyster card when the rest of my classmates and professor get there. I cannot request it early, nor can I choose not to get it at all and keep whatever I'm using during my days beforehand. That makes day 11 confusing, as I will only use my previous card until about 9am and then be getting my new card for the rest of the day.

Your help is GREATLY appreciated. Sorry again for making things so confusing, I tried to figure it out on my own but with so many different payment options, fare caps, staying mostly in zone 1 except for a few times, and lack of National Rail and Oyster information, I figured I'd go to people who know way more about this than I do. THANK YOU!

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