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Travelcard or oyster in london

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We are a family of 5, 3 kids are 15, 13, 11 and will be in London in April for a few days. We are wanting to do the Hop on Hop off Bus but will need to use public transport for the other days. Which do I buy Travelcard or Oyster, I have looked but it all seems too confusing. I have also read that there are 2 for 1 vouchers if you buy Travelcards from the National Railways and it mentions 2 for 1 for on Hop on & Hop off buses as well as other attractions we are wanting to go to.

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    If you do a search here on oyster you will get lots of info. to give you a start:
    http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/another-london-travelcard-vs-oyster-question.cfm
    Basically a travelcard can come in 2 forms - an oyster which is a plastic card that you swipe in and out to use transit, or a paper card from National Rail. The price is the same, but there is a £5 deposit for the oyster you can get back when you leave.

    Depends on what a few days means and what sites you want to see.

    To see if what you want to see is available for the 2for1 check here: http://daysoutguide.co.uk/offers

    If you give us more info - how many days, what you plan to see we can advise better.

    Are you really settled on a hop on, hop off tour? I think they are overrated and expensive. They get stuck in traffic and I think if you are only here a few days there are better options. Its also difficult to hear the guides. Just something to think about.

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    There are better threads than that one -- check my name for more. Here's the simple thing -- you want the travelcard.

    What's a travelcard? It is a 7-day (or single day) pass for unlimited use of the London Transport system. As a tourist, you should only need the least expensive travelcard, which covers zones 1 and 2 (if you need more, you're staying too far out). The pass can be electronically loaded onto a blue credit card-sized hard plastic card called the Oyster card OR you can obtain an orange, flimsy travelcard printed on laminated paper like National Rail tickets.

    Why do you want a travelcard? Because of the 2for1 offers, period.

    How do you get those?

    (1) Go to the Days Out Guide website in jamikins' post above. Look for stuff you might want to do. Print ton(ne)s of vouchers. Take vouchers with you to London. No limit.

    (2) When you get to London, go to the nearest NATIONAL RAIL station near you and purchase a 7-day Travelcard (if you have 4+ days in London) from a human at the Ticket office. DO NOT GO TO THE UNDERGROUND STATION. Purchase the Travelcard at the National Rail ticket window and you get the flimsy orange ticket. The National Rail ticket window will be on the same level as the Boots Pharmacy and M&S Simply Food store -- there's one of each (just about) at every main terminal station (Paddington, Euston, King's Cross, St. Pancras, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo, Victoria).

    (3) Present flimsy orange ticket and your vouchers to get reduced entry costs. The offer is good on The Tower, the Cabinet War Rooms, Hampton Ct. Palace, and last I checked on St. Paul's (don't quote me on that).

    How do I know if I got the right card? If it's blue and hard, you screwed up; if it has orange borders and is flimsy and has the National Rail symbol (two parallel lines with a three-part slash through them), you're ok.

    And don't waste your time or money on the HoHo bus. Use the # 9, 15 and 136 routes and you'll see all you want of London sights and they're FREE with your travelcard.

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