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London: Buy travelcard in advance or wait and buy Oyster

London: Buy travelcard in advance or wait and buy Oyster

Feb 20th, 2007, 08:08 AM
  #1  
twk
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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London: Buy travelcard in advance or wait and buy Oyster

We will be a party of three: two adults, and one 14 year old. Will be arriving in London on Friday, June 8, and departing by train early in the morning on Friday, June 15.

We will be making extensive use of the tube and buses during our stay. I see where I can buy travelcards in advance, and, it would appear that I can even buy a discounted travelcard for my nephew without all the trouble of getting a photo card. However, I can see where there would be advantages to having an Oyster card, if we decide to travel outside Zones 1 and 2 or to take the tube to the train station on our departure date (which would be the 8th day, and thus, not covered by our 7 day travelcard).

So, my question is, should I buy the travelcards in advance, or should I wait until arriving in London then buy Oyster cards with 7 day travelcards loaded on them?
twk is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 08:26 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Buy (well pay a deposit on) a pay as you go oyster card for each individual when you arrive at Heathrow (or when you first get to a tube station) - it's the cheapest way to go and not as much hassle as the Transport for London website makes it out to be.

I do think that any tourist who understands London tube fares should be awarded a special diploma for academic research as it's SOOO confusing
londonengland is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 08:40 AM
  #3  
 
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If you buy a 7-day Travelcard and load it on an Oyster, the £3 deposit is waived.

Yes, your nephew can get an all-zones travelcard for £1 since you have a Travelcard. He has to travel with you. For days you're walking or busing only, no ticket is required. Kids' fares are here:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/fares-tick...-discounts.pdf
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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We are a family of three with a 13 year old - arriving the day you are departing! Like Robes mentioned, we are getting Oysters loaded with seven day travel cards (or one TC and one PayG) for the adults and counting on the "Kid for a Quid" daily travel card for our daughter. It will mean actually procuring her a travel card each day, but seems to be quite a savings! I'm not sure whether to get her an Oyster card under these circumstances, though? Also, I believe the Kid card has to be used off-peak and I'd like to get to the Tower of London by 9 am one morning while there. Maybe we'll have to pay more or depend on the buses that day...

crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 09:07 AM
  #5  
 
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Yes - buses aren't subject to peak period restrictions, so you can head for the Tower any time (traffic permitting!). Did you know you can buy your Tower tickets in Tube stations? Bus map here:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/pdfdocs/cen_bus.pdf
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 11:21 AM
  #6  
 
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Robespierre -

From another site I had identified bus 521 from Holborn to London Bridge - and then RV1 to Tower Hill - as a good bus route to Tower of London from our hotel. I don't see 521 on this bus map though?

Also, the child's daily travel card for 1 GBP would have to be acquired daily - and no real reason to load it onto an Oyster - right?
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 11:38 AM
  #7  
 
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That 188 to Aldwych and 15 to Tower Hill should do - I don't know why you would be routed down the south bank...

Yes, you need a KfaQ ticket each day, and I think they can't be Oysterized.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 01:51 PM
  #8  
 
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If you're staying near Holborn station (the Renaissance Chancery Court by any chance?), these are the buses from that area:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/buses/spiders/...ation-2128.pdf

For the Tower, you could take the 521 and change to the 15 at Cannon St (I think from the same stop).
PatrickLondon is online now  
Feb 20th, 2007, 03:47 PM
  #9  
twk
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Robespierre: If I were to purchase a travelcard in advance, can I subsequently load that on to an Oyster? How is a travelcard "loaded" on to an Oyster card anyway?

I'm not sure I want to go with the individual day cards for the 14 year old, since those are limited to off peak travel on the tube. We'll be staying right next to St. Jame's Park tube station, so we'd actually have to walk farther to catch a bus than to catch the tube.

I can purchase the kid's rate 7 day travelcard in advance for $22 (and that is dollars, not pounds), and the adult passes for $44. So, if I could purchase these online, but subsequently load these on to an Oyster card, that would seem to be the best of both worlds (giving me all the benefits of the 7 day, peak period travelcard, but the flexibility of having an Oyster on which to load additional fares for the trip to King's Cross on our departure date or trips beyond Zone 2). But I don't know that this is possible.

If that's not possible, I'm sort of inclined to still purchase the kid's travelcard in advance for $22 (wouldn't save much doing the kid for a quid deal, and would be limited on travel time), then buy Oyster cards with the travel card loaded on them for the adults when we get there.

On a side note: any opinions (from anyone) on whether I should take a cab or the tube to King's Cross (from the St. James Park tube station) in order to catch a 7:00 a.m. train to Edinburgh?
twk is offline  
Feb 20th, 2007, 04:23 PM
  #10  
 
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Thanks, guys! You've got ME all fixed up!
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 08:53 AM
  #11  
twk
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ttt -- anyone want to describe how travelcards are "loaded" onto Oyster cards?
twk is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 08:55 AM
  #12  
 
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The ticket agent sets up the computer to write the data and swipes the card.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 09:02 AM
  #13  
 
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I have an Oyster Card from last July.

If I go say next year, will I be able to load a TC without the 3 pounds deposit?

Or will I have to get a new OC?
scrb is offline  
Feb 21st, 2007, 09:04 AM
  #14  
 
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Yes, scrb, you just bring it back and use a machine or a ticket agent. In two weeks we are bringing our oyster cards for their third visit to London.
noe847 is offline  

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