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London tube - visitor travel card versus 7 day pass

London tube - visitor travel card versus 7 day pass

Old Jan 20th, 2003, 05:32 AM
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London tube - visitor travel card versus 7 day pass

From what I have been able to find out, here and elsewhere there are two options if I want to buy a weekly pass for use on the tube in London. I can buy a 7 day Zone 1&2 Visitor Travel Card on line before I go for 19.50 pounds and I don't need a photo. I can also buy a 7 day travelcard at any tube station once I get there. I need a photo and the cost is 16,50 pounds. So far am I correct? And if so, why would I want to spend the extra money to buy it before I go? Is it just for the convienience of not buying it there or am I missing something?
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 05:47 AM
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The only omission from your overview is that the £16 7-day pass is for zone 1 only; the London-purchased 7-day travelcard is £19.60. Even with the same price, I wouldn't bother buying it in advance; just one more thing to remember to pack! And the photo is for a card-holder that can be re-used on your next trip.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 06:23 AM
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I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong...
But I believe that if you order a London Visitor Travelcard ( the one that is NOT available after you are in London) what you receive in the mail is a voucher that must be exchanged for the actual Visitor Travelcard once you are in London. There are specific places where you need to go to exchange the voucher.
If you wait to purchase your weekly Travelcard once you are in London( the Travelcard that is issued directly by the London Underground) then you just go to any tube station , walk up to the ticket seller , present your photo, and for £16.20 you get a photocard in a little holder, and a Travelcard that gets you 7 days of unlimited travel on the tube, bus, and some trains in Zone One.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 06:38 AM
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To Kerry, thanks for asking this questions, I was wondering the same thing.

To Jen & XXX, thanks for the clear, concise, and polite answer. It is so nice to receive a "real" answer and not some rude remark. This is what Fodor's is all about . . . nice travel help.

Thank you all,
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 06:44 AM
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After visiting London, my main regret was spending too much time Underground.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 07:26 AM
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xxx's info about vouchers is outdated -- in addition to a new pricing system, the visitors travelcards system eliminated the vouchers phase and now send out the actual passes.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 07:50 AM
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In case you decide to buy your travelcard in London, don't bother bringing a picture from home - all the tube stations have photo booths for that purpose.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 08:45 AM
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To me, bringing a photo from home is less a bother than locating a photo booth, and sometimes waiting around for your turn to use it. You and find a photo and slip it into your wallet before you leave. They'll accept just about anything, even one cut out of a snapshot.

If you buy a zone 1 and 2 at Heathrow and plan to use the Tube to get into central London, you'll need to buy an "extension" for the additional distance.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 07:40 PM
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To clarify this once and for all...

Several outfits still offer the voucher system of buying travelcards...it's a dumb way of doing things.

Yes indeed you can buy online the actual travelcard for the price indicated £19.50 and you don't need a photocard. The only disadvantage is you have to specify in advance the first day you will be using it (usually not a problem) and remember to bring it with you as well as the irritaion of waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

Personally I prefer to wait till I get to London, go to the booking office at Heathrow, buy the zone 1 card (not a hard decision....the only 2 fairly touristy things in zone 2 are the zoo and Greenwich...1 trip into zone 2 and yo simply buy an extension for that trip...2 trips into zone 2 and you should buy zones 1 & 2 which is essentially the same price whether bought here or in London. Again the difference is that if you buy it here, you don't need the photo...

Also remember that even if you buy it here and arrive at Heathrow with it, you don't buy a full fare single into town, you ask for an extension ticket to cover zones 6 - 3. That ticket gets you on the train at Heahthrow and your 7 day card get you off the train probably in zone 1. On the return, before getting on the train you buy your zone 3-6 extension and are on the way.
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 07:26 AM
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And even the zoo is only a fairly short walk across Regent's Park from Baker St tube station, which is in Zone 1!
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 08:48 AM
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I would second the suggestion that it is easier to bring a photo from home than to use a photo booth. They aren't that particular about the photo - it doesn't have to be passport quality. You probably have a photo of yourself at home that would work. The photo booths at the tube stations are fairly expensive - around 5 US dollars.
Old Jan 26th, 2003, 05:17 PM
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Jen, I think receiving a voucher or an actual travelcard that is ready to use might depend on what site you buy the London Visitor's Travel card from.
I was just looking at the raileurope.com site and what they say is :
"To Use a London Visitor Travel Card
Exchange your London Visitor Travelcard voucher at the following London Transport Travel Information Centers
Heathrow Airport (Terminal 1, 2, 3 station, Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 4)
Kings Cross
Liverpool Street
Oxford Street
Piccadilly Circus
St. James Park
West Croydon Bus Station "
Old Jan 26th, 2003, 05:40 PM
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Well, apparently it is still possible to buy your Visitors Travelcard from a source that sends a voucher rather than the actual pass (unless their web site just hasn't been updated). As xxx explained, it's a dumb way of doing things.
Old Jan 26th, 2003, 09:58 PM
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hi all,

I so disagree. I know I am in the minority here, but I think the VISITOR TRAVELCARD is the way to go if you are going for more than 2 days and up to 7 days.

for me, it is not a question of why, but WHY NOT? You can now purchase these thru thetube.com and have them sent to you. you have a choice of 3, 4 or 7 days. the 7 day 1&2 zone is only 19.50 pds and that is less than the 7day 1&2 zone purchased in london. I have had the need several times for zone 2 so for only 3 pds more than the zone 1 you purchase in london, why not so you don't have to worry about it.

when you buy thru them, you get the card, not a voucher. I don't have to worry about the photo, the photocard, or buying the metro cards when I get there. If I am taking the express, I can add that online to the card for about 17 pds more roundtrip. I do not have to exchange anything. just get off the plane, thru customs, then on the train.

so for me, the question is why not? it is less hassle and since I am planning in advance, why not take care of one more thing so I don't have to worry about it. when it comes in, i place it with my passport in the same pouch and it goes with me(i doubt i will forget my passport). I wait to purchase when my airline is confirmed so I know what day I will be arriving.

it covers both metro and tube and has several options. the only time I would not recommend this card would be if you are only going for 2 or 3 days. then I would only buy the day passes when I got there.

I have done both ways and the VISITOR TRAVELCARD purchased thru the official site is the way to go.

Old Jan 26th, 2003, 10:05 PM
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Metro??? Huh? I think you are confused Jen.
Old Jan 27th, 2003, 12:08 AM
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correction to above post.

it covers both tube and buses....

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