London transportation

Old May 31st, 2013, 09:40 AM
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London transportation

Our family of 4 leaves next Saturday for our summer adventure, starting in/near London for 5 nights. We will be staying in Twickenham (zone 5). I understand that the paper rail tickets will give us access to the 2 for 1 attraction passes (WIN!) but what else do I need to know? Oyster Card? Travel card? I have read the various forums (HONEST!) but I'm still confused and would appreciate your input.

Thanks!
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Old May 31st, 2013, 03:11 PM
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Rail tickets OR TRAVELCARDS (good for the tube, buses and DLR) bought at a RAILWAY(not tube) will avail you of the 2 for 1's (they are funded by the railway companies).7 day travelcards need a passport style (not quality) photo, 1 day cards do not.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 03:13 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...for-1-help.cfm
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Old May 31st, 2013, 03:23 PM
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The Oyster is a plastic card that holds whatever you put on it, whether you get a 7-day Travelcard, pay-as-you-go (PAYG) credit, etc. Most likely a 7-day Travelcard would be best for you, but the Tube ticket agents have been very helpful in my experience and will be happy to tell you what the best option is for you when you get there.

Using an Oyster is easy - just hold it over the reader at the gate. It's easier than scanning those loyalty cards at the grocery store. For the paper tickets, you'll stick them into a slot and they'll disappear, then come out for you to pick up before you go through the gate.

I can't help with the 2-for-1s or Tube tickets for kids.
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 01:00 AM
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If you're based in Twickenham, your access to central London would normally be by National Rail services anyway, so if you were to get paper travelcards from your local station, that would cover all your options for public transport and 2for1s. The only question might be if you aren't planning to go into central London every day - in that case, it might be cheaper to get one-day travelcards each day that you need them. But for 5 days, a 7-day travelcard would be less bother. (It is cheaper to travel after 0930, by the way).

I can't see why you would need an Oystercard as well.
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 06:05 AM
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My question would be... what if I want to travel within London? We probably won't walk everywhere.
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 06:20 AM
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Sounds like Patrick is saying that if you have a paper travelcard, it is good for travel not only to London but within London as well--that would include underground and buses. In that case, a 7 day travelcard would be your best option. The underground/buses don't go everywhere but they will get you close. But plan on doing a lot of walking and bring some comfortable shoes.

Taxis are not as expensive as they are in the US. You can also use mini-cabs, they are a cheaper alternative to the traditional London taxi. You have to call mini-cabs in advance, most restaurants and hotels are happy to make that call for you. London Taxis are found at taxi stands all over the city.

I don't know how old your children are, but you may want to keep in mind that travel during rush hour is a madhouse and it is not unusual for people to get separated in the crush. When I was a child and we visited London, we always had one adult with one child, and everybody knew what stop we were getting off at and where we would meet (usually somewhere on street-level, like a news agents) so there was no need to worry about what would happen if we got separated.
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:53 AM
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Yes, that's exactly what I was saying. From Twickenham, the normal way to get to central London is to take the South West Trains service to Waterloo. At the same time, the ticket office will sell you a paper travelcard for zones 1 and 2, which is all you need to get around in central London, and will get you the 2for1s. You don't need an Oystercard as well. The only issue is whether you will be travelling into central London all five days.

Are you staying with family or friends (since Twickenham isn't usually a tourist destination)? If so, ask them what they do.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 05:49 AM
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Thanks Patrick!

We are starting and ending our European vacation in London. We will recover from jet lag and easing into our journey while staying on Eel Pie Island in the Thames, across from Twickenham. http://www.homeaway.co.uk/p308994vb

Our accommodations at the tail end of our adventure will be more centrally located: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p166987 across the street from the Tower of London.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 11:07 PM
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Oystercard might come into the picture for your second period, near the Tower. If you're still wanting to take advantage of the 2for1s then, however, you can get paper travelcards at the National Rail station there (Fenchurch St): however, that is a bit more of a walk from that flat.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 12:22 PM
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I love the look of the Eel Pie Island place. Peaceful, but close to the High Street and easy access to Windsor, Kew and Hampton Court by bus or train. It's a bit expensive, but I'm bookmarking that for me.
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