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

London Pass v. Travelcard v. Oyster card?

London Pass v. Travelcard v. Oyster card?

Old Aug 19th, 2012, 07:41 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
London Pass v. Travelcard v. Oyster card?

I've been looking at the pros and cons on the above and cannot determine which of the 3 offers the greatest benefit.

I am visiting London for 3 days.

I am leaning toward rhe Oyster card but read somewhere that this card needs to be ordered 4 weeks in advance of usage. Is this true?

Many thanks for your advice.

Judy
Judy_Rosa is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2012, 08:16 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,950
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
I have no idea where you read that.
The quick and dirty:

1) London Pass is a very overpriced product that gets you into sites. It is seldom a good idea for anyone. It is NOT for transport. LP does sell a travel pass -- but it is an even worse deal than the London Pass itself.

2) A travelcard is a type of transport fare (like a one week travelcard). This can be in the form of a paper ticket OR loaded on an Oystercard.

3) An Oyster is just the plastic card that carries your transport ££. It does not (and should not) have to be pre-purchased. You walk into any tube station and buy one (including at Heathrow)

OK, what works for you? There is no 3-day travelcard. Assuming the "I" means you are traveling solo then what you want is an Oyster card bought in London w/ some pay-as-you-go ££ loaded on it. The ticket agent will tell you how much you need depending on where you are staying and how far out of the center you might travel.

BUT -- if you are traveling with someone else, let us know and we can explain the other option (a paper travelcard that gets you some discounts) but that is needlessly confusing unless you can share the 2for1 specials w/ a traveling companion.
janisj is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2012, 08:37 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,950
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Oh - I see from your other thread you are traveling w/ others. OK - now for the confusion

What you all want (assuming you are going to the same sites) are paper travel cards for each day you will be touring. Then you can get the 2for1 discounts here http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/

You pre-print the vouchers at home. The problem is you can't get these paper travel cards at a tube station including Heathrow. You have to go to a regular TRAIN station in London to buy them. Look over the offers on the Day Out website and decide how many of them you would use.
janisj is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2012, 09:31 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,927
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What janisj says.

Transport for London do offer a visitor Oystercard of their own that can be purchased in advance from outside the UK, but they don't appear to have any special advantage attached to them over the ordinary ones.
http://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2012, 03:16 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sorry -- I should have mentioned we are a group of ten. We are all staying in the same hotel and will be together for the entire stay except for one day when half the group is going to Stonehenge.

The 2 for 1 discount sounds appealing (we all like discounts!) but if we need to find a train station (as opposed to a tube station?) to obtains these paper travel cards, it might get more complicated than I think we want it to be.

I'll check out the websites you provided, thank you so much!

Judy
Judy_Rosa is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2012, 03:38 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Check the tf.gov website. There are group tickets for zones 1-6 for groups of 10 travelling together. So if you're tubing in from Heathrow, this might be the direction to go for the first day.

At some point that day, assuming you're not doing a 2 4 1 that day (and you'll be very tired and it may not pay), stop by a national rail office and pick p your tickets for the next day (they can be bought in advance). I assume, although somebody here might know better than me, you can buy the same group tickets at a national rail office on national rail stock which should qualify you for the 2 41's. Same might be true if you intend to do 2 4 1's on the third day. Of course on a day you're not doing a 2 4 1, you buy your group ticket that morning at a tube station.

I admit I'm not an expert on group tickets...I just got this off the tfl web site. Perhaps somebody smarter than I am can explain if this works.

(What you have to bear in mind, the 2 4 1's are sponsored by the national rail lines and to get them, you need tickets issued by the national railways and not tickets issued by tfl at tube stops even though the group tickets issued by tfl are on paper stock, they are not on national rail stock.

In any event, it seems to me group tickets would be the direction to go regardless and not oyster in this case given the price of them.

I'm xyz123 and I approved this message.
xyz123 is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2012, 04:43 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,538
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Judy, finding a train station for the travel card isn't really difficult, there are many all over town. I believe you can also buy them online, though I wasn't able figure out how to do it. The travel card is a little more expensive than the Oyster PAYG but with the 2-4-1 deals more than worth it. Have a great stay in London, you'll love it
geetika is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2012, 05:44 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,927
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
TfL group tickets are only valid on certain National Rail routes, and as far as I can tell group travel arrangements with national rail companies don't cover London travelcards. Besides, if you gave a group ticket, someone is going to have to be group leader and manager to herd everyone through the manual gates as a group.
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14416.aspx
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_...roup-discounts.

The TfL group ticket would start paying for itself if everyone together as a group used it for more journeys on tube or bus on the day of arrival from Heathrow. Thereafter, your chouices are:

- get a Tfl group ticket every day, but don't bother with 2for1s
- everyone gets their own Oyster, either at Heathrow or at a nearby tube station once in central London, but don't bother with 2for1s (and everyone is responsible for carrying their own card and getting themselves into and out of the automatic barriers)
- everyone buys individual day travelcards at a National Rail station for the days you want to use 2for1s (and everyone is responsible for carrying their own card and getting themselves into and out of the automatic barriers, and for bringing it out when the time comes to buy the 2for1 tickets - <b>and</b> someone has to be responsible for printing out and carrying enough copies of the 2for1 voucher for each attraction you want to use them for).

Where is the hotel - we can advise about which National Rail station is nearest.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2012, 05:53 AM
  #9  
LJ
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,759
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just a minor point, and it has been mentioned, but I did want to underline this: get your OYSTER card at Heathrow rather than waiting for the first tube station...the lineups are much smaller and the ticket-sellers just as knowledgable and less pressured.
LJ is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2012, 07:35 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Heathrow has three Tube stations
alanRow is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2012, 07:54 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are RAIL stations throughout London - Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, St Pancras, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Waterloo, Charing Cross, Victoria and more. All of them have ticket booths and you go one with an actual person and ask for the travelcard for the day. Is that worth saving $30 on admission for two people to the Tower or $20 on admission for two people to the Cabinet War Rooms? For a group of 10, that's five discounts. You can also go to the ticket booth the night before and get a travelcard for the next day. It's neither complicated nor troublesome if you want to pay 20.90 GBP for two people to enter the Tower instead of each person paying that amount.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2012, 03:41 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Excellent advice!

We are staying at the Thistle Kensington Gardens -- I've looked at maps to get my bearings, but cannot figure out the location of the nearest train station where we can purchase the 2 for 1 tickets.

Thanks again, everyone, for your invaluable advice!

Judy
Judy_Rosa is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2012, 03:59 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,927
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Paddington; but you're not buying the 2for1 tickets, you're buying travelcards (for everyone, for the day/s on which you wish to use the 2for1s). When you turn up to the attractions you want to use the 2for1 offers for, you show those travelcards in conjunction with the vouchers you'll have preprinted from the Days Out website.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2012, 07:31 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 72,950
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
And to clarify further . . . You the paper travelcards only cover your transport. You show the travelcards and the vouchers you preprinted at the site/attraction and pay for your admissions there.
janisj is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2012, 05:32 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One of my travel buddies said he read online (somewhere) that the attractions rotate daily regarding the 2 for 1 deals. So not all attractions are available every day for the discount?


Is this true?
Judy_Rosa is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2012, 07:11 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
DAILY? No.

Periodically, yes. Some attractions do participate only intermittently in the twofer system (most notably St. Paul's Cathedral). The daysoutguide.co.uk website will have expiration dates for the coupons.

But some attractions are basically constant users of the 2for1 system - Tower, Hampton Court Palace, Cabinet War Rooms - so they ignore the expiration dates.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2012, 07:54 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ttt
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2012, 09:04 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Excellent -- thank you for the clarification!

Judy
Judy_Rosa is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2012, 01:42 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You don't have to preprint out the vouchers. We picked up the little 2-4-1 booklet at the train station. In the back it has multiple coupons that you can tear out and fill in.
Also, if you are traveling to other parts of England, there are sometimes 2-4-1 booklets for various locations too.
starofthesea is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2012, 12:15 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 522
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Didn't know that, thank you!
Judy_Rosa is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -