Oyster Card or Travelcard for 4-5 days?

Sep 21st, 2015, 07:07 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 117
Oyster Card or Travelcard for 4-5 days?

Hi!

Could you help me choosing our card for transport. I have already read the tfl website, some Fodor´s forum posts and other pages such as https://www.londontoolkit.com, and I still have doubts.
I think Oyster Card for adults and Oyster card with Young Visitor Discount would be the best for us, since (I think) we cannot take advantage of the 2x1 discount for attraction tickets (no train travel until day 4)
Am I right?

Here are the details (sorry for the length)
We are two families traveling together: 4 adults and 4 children 11-15.
- Day 1: We will arrive on December 29th around 8 pm to St. Pancras Int´l by the Eurostar train and we will only travel to our hotel close to Custom House and Royal Victoria Stations (I guess it is zone 3). Does it make sense to have the cards since that day or the day after?
- Day 2-3: visits to London centre (our hotel I think is in the zone 3)
- Day 4 (1/1): we are probably going to Stonehenge (are the oyster cards or travel cards entitling us to any discounts to that destination?)
- Day 5 (Saturday January 2nd): visits to London centre and at night we go to Gatwick.

Here are the questions:
1) Could you confirm that the Oyster card would be the best option for us? Our best option would be one that represents less money in transport and visits.
I read that the travel card does not cover the train services between St. Pancras International and Stratford international. I am assuming then that we are not going to take advantage of the 2x1 benefit in the tickets of attractions, and therefore, I´m thinking we will be better off with the oyster card, does it make sense? We may take train on the day 4, but the benefit would only be good for day 5.
Am I missing something? Is there normal use of train between my hotel and London centre?
2) Is it true we can buy the transport cards (oyster or travel) during our Eurostar trip? Would we be able to buy the Young Visitor Discount or children travelcards in the Eurostar? Can we pay with credit cards or only cash?

3) If not possible, where could we buy the transport option in St. Pancra´s international? Would it be open on a Tuesday around Christmas (29th) after 8 pm? The link you provided us to check facilities don´t tell the opening and closing times. Ticket halls is the place we should be looking after?

4) Are we going to take train from St. Pancras Int´l to our hotel close to Royal Victoria Station / Custom House station or from there to London centre? If not, would the travelcard be not good for us since we wouldn´t be able to take advantage of the 2x1 discount on visits to monuments, etc.?

Thank you in advance for your help (and patience for reading this long post ... I just needed to write all the detail).
B
bqycc is offline  
Sep 21st, 2015, 08:43 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,830
Your choice is between pay-as-you-go (Oyster only) or travelcard (can be loaded on Oyster or, if you want to take advantage of the 2for1 offers, can be bought from a national rail company and comes as an old-fashioned card). Generally speaking, a 7-day travelcard breaks even as against pay-as-you-go somewhere between 4 and 5 days - don't forget that you'll have to use London transport to get to and from Waterloo where you get the train for Stonehenge.

St Pancras International to Stratford International is on the high-speed line out to Kent, which has much higher fares, and isn't covered within the Transport for London zones to which travelcards and Oyster apply. I can see it would be more convenient if you really have to stay that far out east (is there no possibility of finding somewhere more central?), but it would be cheaper, and covered by travelcard/Oyster, if you were to take the tube. It will look a bit like the long way round, but I think it would be quicker and less stressful to take the Victoria Line to Green Park, change there for the Jubilee Line to Canning Town, and the DLR from there - there are lifts and escalators between the lines at those interchange points. Taxis or a car service all the way would be most convenient, but expensive.

I believe Eurostar does sell TfL Oystercards, but of course they would put a bit of a markup on it, and I have no idea how they handle all the complexities around child fares. You might need to email them in advance to ask.

Otherwise you can get Oyster (with pay-as-you-go or 7-day travelcard on it) at the Underground station at St Pancras, or you can go to the National Rail ticket office in the main station concourse. I think you will need passport-style photos for the travelcard from National Rail, but not for the Oyster (apart from the children, who will need photocards)

Yes, tickets will still be on sale after 8pm, but it looks like you have to apply online in advance to get the photocards for the children.

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/statio...Overview.xhtml
http://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments...s?intcmp=25258
PatrickLondon is offline  
Sep 21st, 2015, 08:44 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 720
Am I right?

No, as the correct type of Travelcard can be used for the 2-4-1 offers

http://www.londontoolkit.com/blog/tr...train-tickets/
dotheboyshall is offline  
Sep 21st, 2015, 09:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
I wouldn't stay all the way out where you are if visiting London, but that's a different story.

< Am I right?>>

You are not.

Your day 2-3 will consist of what? If you're visiting one or more of the Tower, Churchill War Rooms, St Paul's, then get the seven-day travelcards for the appropriate zones when you arrive at St Pancras from the ticket booth ON THE LEVEL YOU ARRIVE ON, not the Underground train level. You should get a plastic-coated paper travelcard with the old Britrail symbol on it and you use that with the two-for-one vouchers.

Oyster cards are useless with the vouchers. Travelcards loaded onto Oyster cards are useless with the vouchers. You do NOT need to have a rail ticket that will take you out of London to use the two-fer offers - the 7-day zone 1-X travelcard works and will save more than 22 quid per duo at the Tower alone.
BigRuss is offline  
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