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Oystercard vs travelcard, one size does not fit all!!

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Nov 19th, 2010, 07:05 AM
  #1
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Oystercard vs travelcard, one size does not fit all!!

I know there are MANY posts on the oystercard vs travelcard in London and I have read them until my eyes are starting to cross each other The problem is that the decision of which to choose is depending on number of peope, how they will be using the public transport, how many days in London etc

I haven't found the answer to help make my decision of whether it's the PAYG card or travelcard or combination for our situation. I'm hoping to receive some guidance here.

We arrive at Heathrow and plan to take the train immediately to Canterbury for three nights. I plan to buy a oystercard at Heathrow to get to St. P for the fast train to Canterbury, at St. P buy a round trip rail ticket to Canterbury and then use the 2 for 1 offers in Canterbury.

When we return to London we will be staying 10 days, 9 nights, near the British Museum. We will be leaving London on Boxing Day using the underground, even though it has a reduced schedule on that day, back to Heathrow, so Christmas Day without any public service could be part of our 7 day travelcard time, so does that count as one day even though we can't use our card? This is our 4th time in London and we usually find we walk alot more than planned and use public transport less but we've never been there in winter so those long walks may need to be replaced by tube or bus if the weather is nasty.

So what combination of travelcard or PAYG should we use? I appreciate the answers many of you have given to this question in other posts and I'm hoping you won't mind taking the time to help me. Thanks, Deborah
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Nov 19th, 2010, 07:18 AM
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As always, the complication is the 2 for 1's. I wonder though if the return ticket you have for Canterbury wuld help when you get back to London (although last time I went to Canterbury they collected the ticket as I left the station). If it weren't for those damn 2 for 1's, I would tell you when you return to London, have a 7 day travelcard for zones 1 & 2 put on your oyster card and for the last few days in London use PAYG on oyster...that way you don't lose the 1 day on xmas when you don't use public transport. That's the pure transport part of the problem. The problem, though, remains those damn 2 for 1's where you need a national rail ticket of some sort...maybe you could save the 2 for 1's for the last couple of days in London when you would be using PAYG on oyster and the day before you stop by a national rail station and pick up a one day national rail travelcard for zones 1 & 2?

So the issue comes down to those 2 for 1's. The easiest solution would be if you could show the return trip ticket from Canterbury and use that as evidence to purchase the 2 for 1's. That's the info you need I think.
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Nov 19th, 2010, 07:22 AM
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...or upon your return to London from Canterbury buy a paper seven day travelcard at the national rail station for zones 1 & 2 and do your 2 for 1's during that 7 day period and then after the 7 days run out, revert to using PAYG on oyster...now that I think about it, this might be the solution that is the least hassle free...since your last 3 days in London include xmas day and nothing will be running anyway, you wouldn't do a 2 for 1 nor would you do a 2 for 1 on the day you leave so....I think this is it!
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Nov 19th, 2010, 07:29 AM
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Thanks, xyz. we will try to hang on to our Canterbury ticket so we can use a 2 for 1 in London on that day because as I understand it, the arrival day is the only day it can be used as such in London. If I buy the 7 day pass at a national rail window can I start it on the day of my choice or does it start on the day of purchase? Thanks, Deborah
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Nov 19th, 2010, 07:33 AM
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I believe you can request a starting date on any 7 day travelcard you buy so I think what you're getting at is the day you arrive back in London use the Canterbury ticket for 2 for 1's, start the 7 days the next day leaving only a day or two at the end and using PAYG on oyster for those days...sounds like it will work.
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