Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

A question please, about London transport travelcards

A question please, about London transport travelcards

Jan 23rd, 2003, 08:59 AM
Posts: n/a
A question please, about London transport travelcards

I am planning to purchase a 7 day Travelcard valid for Zone One, once I am in London. (I will purchase a second 7 day card when week one has passed because I will be in London for 2 weeks...lucky me.
I know that this card is valid on tubes , on buses, and on some trains.
I already have the photo that is required for the photocard.
And I understand that if I travel to a place outside Zone One I need to purchase an extension for my Zone One card.
The information I have not yet been able to find is which trains I can use my travelcard on?
In particular, may I use my Travelcard on either (or both) the Thameslink routes or the Dockland Light Railway routes?

Jan 23rd, 2003, 09:03 AM
Posts: n/a
Yes but...

only 2 stations to the best of my knowledge of the DLR are in zone 1; the vast majority in zone 2 and further. So you will need extensions. But if you are venturing into zone 2 twice during a seven day period, you are better off with the zone 1 & 2 card as the extension is 90p so you can see 4 extensions are £3.60 which is more than the difference between a zone 1 and a zone 1 & 2 card.
Jan 23rd, 2003, 09:15 AM
Posts: n/a
Thank you xxx. I see what you mean about initially purchasing a Travelcard valid for Zones One AND Two (rather than buying several extensions).
After I posted my question, I was browsing threads on the European board, and lo and behold there was one inquiring about Thameslink trains. It had been posted a short time before I posed my question but had dropped down the list a ways.

Jan 24th, 2003, 12:47 AM
Posts: n/a
Travelcards are also available online for visitors from selected countries, the US among them, at what appear to be slightly better rates than you could get in London (I think London Transport has factored in the hassle cost for staff and residents of being in a queue behind the tourists!).


Jan 24th, 2003, 05:55 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the link to travelcards on line. We're going in February and plan to buy travelcards for the family. Once in London, though, won't we have to get photocards to be able to use a weekly travel card? Also, I'm assuming it's a better deal to get Zone 1-2 travelcards and buy extensions for the Heathrow-London tube journey?

Jan 24th, 2003, 07:30 AM
Posts: n/a
The VISITOR travelcard that you order online( no matter what the duration it is valid for) does not require a photo card... but you MUST purchase the VISITOR travel card before you get to London.
The 7 day travelcard that you can purchase once you are already in London, DOES require a photocard.
Jan 24th, 2003, 11:38 AM
Posts: n/a
Hi! I received my travel card in the mail today- I ordered it on Jan 14th.

Commenting on the coupons- it is 20% off some restaurants and attractions.

The web site said you got 25 pounds of coupons- these could add up to more than that if you use them.
There is 10% Golden Tours.
Restaurants are (20%)
Burger King Slug and lettuce Bars
Henry's Latin Nights
Dino's Le Piaf
Cafe Lazeez Ed's Easy Diner

There are 24 attractions listed-
including- London Imax
Cutty Sark Wellington Arch
Ludon Dungeon London Zoo
St. Pauls Tower Bridge London Aquarium- Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Jan 24th, 2003, 02:14 PM
Posts: n/a
Re Heathrow. The online Travelcard has an option for a Heathrow Express return plus zones 1+2 that seems to be quite a good discount on buying a separate ticket, but for a family this would still be much more expensive than going by the Piccadilly line on the tube.
I don't think there's a lot of difference between the £6.10 you'd pay extra for a zones 1-6 card (for a week) and the cost of Heathrow add-ons each way to a zones 1+2. On the other hand, it's unlikely you'd go out of zone 2 once you've reached your hotel. But then again, with a 1-6 card you've got peace of mind wherever you want to go across London, and no queuing hassles.
Jan 26th, 2003, 12:17 PM
Posts: n/a
I did not know that the card you purchase IN London will require a photo?
What are the specifications? Is there one of those quick photo machines nearby?
Jan 26th, 2003, 12:22 PM
Posts: n/a
The card-holder for the long-term (7 days or more) cards requires a passport-sized photo, but they're not particular -- just cut up a snapshot that you have around the house. You can use the photocard repeatedly.
Jan 26th, 2003, 12:37 PM
Posts: n/a
To answer your question... yes, many of the tube stations do have instant photo machines.
Jan 26th, 2003, 12:50 PM
Posts: n/a
I'm just curious if most of those who buy the travelcards get their money's worth. Maybe it's because I stay so central, but I just don't use the tube that much. I find that on a few days I might plan to do a lot of travel and then I get a one day travelcard (usually the 4.10 one since I don't start out before 9:30). I also buy a carnet for individual trips (10 @ 1.15 each). And usually I plan on doing a lot of the in town traveling on Saturday and Sunday -- a weekend card for 6.10. So I could do unlimited travel four days of the week, a couple of single trips on the other three days and still come out cheaper than a 7 day travelcard.
But in fact, I usually find that there are a couple of days at least when I never even get on a bus or underground, so I don't come anywhere near the minimum to pay for a travelcard.

All of the above are based on just zones 1 & 2, and I suppose if you are staying somewhere out where you have to take the tube back and forth to the center several times a day, then my theory goes out the window. Do most of you actually ride the tube four or more times every day you're in London?
Jan 26th, 2003, 12:56 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the pic info.
To add to Patrick's question, or just to comment...
I've heard that having the pass is convenient if you are traveling during rush hour time periods because you do not have to wait in line to buy tickets.
Is this really the case?
Jan 26th, 2003, 01:47 PM
Posts: n/a

Let's do the math...2 days you buy the 1 day travelcards...that"s £8.20, you buy a weekend travelcard, that's £6, you buy 4 singles, that's £6.40. You've already spent more than you would with a 7 day travelcard...and you have had to buy tickets which means perhaps waiting at the booking office 7 or 8 times, waiting till 9:30 every weekday vs. having the one travelcard available whenever. And having the travelcard is great...you are out sightseeing and it starts to rain...just hop on the first bus that comes along using the travelcard.

Taking an excursion out of town...there is still the local transport to the starting point of the excursion be it the start of a tour or a train station...

My advise is to get the 7 day travelcard for trips of 5 days, 6 days or 7 days. Four days is sort of a wash...while it might be a few pence cheaper for a four day trip to get the one day travelcards (2 weekdays £8.20 1 weekend £6.00) if a weekend is involved; if weekdays are involved, you're talking £16.40, a 7 day zone 1 costs something like £16.50 again no 9:30 hassles, no waiting on queues to buy tickets each day.

It only takes 3 trips a day to make a 1 day worthwhile so 3 trips a day make a 7 day worthwhile.

So my advise is to buy the 7 day. Also, you might wish to consider buying a zone 1 as the only 2 touristy places in zone 2 are Greenwich and the zoo (Camdentown). If you're hitting both, the extensions added to the zone 1 cost ore than the zone 1 & 2. If you're only doing one of them, then the zone 1 is fine (unless, of course, your hotel is in zone 2 or further).

To me, it's pretty much a no brainer. Fourdays or more, a 7 day travelcards. One, Two or three days, the 1 day cards.....
Jan 26th, 2003, 01:59 PM
Posts: n/a
Hello Patrick,
The last couple of years I have gotten into the habit of purchasing a 7 day travelcard for zone 1 @ £ 16.20.
(Between trips to London, I have my photocard tucked away in my desk along with my passport, and on those days when it seems my next London trip is just tooooooo far away, I take both the photocard and the passport out of the desk drawer and mutter my mantra to them... "soon, soon, soon, we'll be in London, again". )
But I digress, don't I?
I used to purchase a Carnet ( the packet of 10 single ride tickets that Patrick has already mentioned.
It seems that a few years ago a Carnet cost £10, didn't it?)
And I have at times in the past purchased single day travelcards.
Now , as I said, I buy 7 day travel cards, then the whole transportation thing is taken care of for a week.
My use of the tube tends to be at whim.
I stay in Bloomsbury, an area that allows me to walk to many places, particularly to some of the West End Theaters, but if it is raining or windy or a combination of both, then I like to arrive at the theater looking as un-windblown as possible, so I will take the tube to and fro.
Some days I will walk to shop but take the tube back if I am loaded with parcels.
Many days, if I am meeting a friend for lunch, I will take the tube on the way to the restaurant but will stroll back to my hotel.
Some days I want to or need to travel before 9:30 AM.
And some days ( on about day 16 of my three week trip), my feet simply protest and insist that I take the tube to wherever I am going and back again, even if that journey is only one stop away.
Jan 26th, 2003, 02:51 PM
Posts: n/a
The book of 10 carnet tickets, good only for the tube and only in Zone 1, costs £11.50, whereas the 7-day travelcard for Zone 1 costs £16.50. So unless you're really sure that you're going to take the tube very little, and the bus not at all, then the 7-day card would be a better choice. Carnet tickets are good for one year and are transferable.
Jan 26th, 2003, 04:36 PM
Posts: n/a
Actually the math was wrong in your example, xxx. As I mentioned with carnets, the single prices are 1.15 each so with the intinerary you mention that total is still cheaper than the 7 day pass.
I do agree that there is an ease involved, and for a few pence it might be easier to just get the travelcard. Although I went back and looked at our prices from last year. In one week two of us paid a total of less than 18 pounds for all our metro tickets, so obviously for us that was a lot better than the 39 pounds for two travelcards. Actually our savings were even greater because a couple of times we were well outside the 1-2 zones, which would have required supplements on the travelcards.

No problem, I was just curious if most visitors really did an average of more than 3 to four trips per day on the tube. I certainly don't, but maybe most do.
Jan 27th, 2003, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 117

Thanks for your reply. The Heathrow Express is really not a great option for us because it's pricier plus it means shlepping on the tube anyway to Paddington or taking a taxi, which adds on even more. Will do the math for Zones 1-6 travelcards vs. add-ons, and if as you say it's not a big difference then it's definitely worth the 1-6 card for convenience.

My guess is that we'll get our money's worth for the cards. If it were just my husband and myself we'd doing a lot more walking, but with the whole family we need the flexibility to go back to the flat for a rest, make a few trips a day, etc. Plus the kids are really excited about riding the buses!
adlmllr is offline  
Jan 27th, 2003, 06:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
There are several things and you really have to do the arithmetic...

1. LU has a family travelcard. We just got back from London and since we were there for only 4 days, we had a group of 2 adults and 3 children. The zone 1-6 adult travelcards were £3.40 each day...the zones 1-2 were £2.70 each day, each of the kids was 85p. Usual 9:30 restrictions on weekdays holds....

2. For a 7 day travelcard, I think you will find quite a difference between zones 1 & 2 vs. zones 1-6. Unless you're staying outside central London, you'll probably only make the airport trip to zone 6 as well as possibly Hampton Court.....the extension is £2.20 each way so again you can do the math.
xyz123 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:05 AM.