Travel within London and 2-4-1 Offers

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Jun 7th, 2017, 04:57 AM
  #1
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Travel within London and 2-4-1 Offers

Hi friends,

We are two adults traveling to London in June and would like your assistance regarding the local transport options (Oyster PAYG, Travelcard etc.) and also regarding the 2-4-1 offers.

I have read about the 2-4-1 offer on various threads and have also gone through detailed FAQs on daysoutguide.co.uk but am still not very clear on some of the finer details. I’m giving my understanding below and request you to update if it is correct.

We will be traveling to London from Lake District on 20th June using National Rail train service (Lancaster to Euston) and have home printed paper tickets for this journey. We will be in London for 6 days and fly out from Heathrow on 25th June. We can go for the following options for travel during this period and availing 2-4-1 offer:

1. Buy an Oyster PAYG card for local travel and buy a cheap rail ticket out of London for 25th June and use the two train tickets (Lancaster to London arrival ticket and cheap departure ticket) for availing 2-4-1 offers.

2. Buy travelcards from an overground station (will Euston station qualify?) and use them for both local travel and availing 2-4-1 offers. I understand that a 7 day travelcard cannot be used for 2-4-1 offers anymore as it is issued as an oyster card only. So we will need to buy separate paper daily travelcards for each day of travel. Is this correct?

I feel that option 1 will turn out to be cheaper for us because of the daily cap on Oyster card charges and we may not even travel much on 1-2 days as we are staying near Central London.

Our main query is whether the home printed, online booked advance ticket from Lancaster to London will be eligible for availing 2-4-1 offers?

Also for the London departure ticket (throwaway) which is the cheapest option available? And should we book it online in advance and take a printout or buy a hard copy at the ticket office at Euston station upon reaching London?
karanmehta is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2017, 06:55 AM
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You're wrong.

You buy a 7-day paper travelcard at Euston. Bring passport-sized photos.

You are not limited to having a 7-day card loaded onto an Oyster.
BigRuss is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2017, 07:59 AM
  #3
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Thanks for update.

Even if we are able to get a 7 day travelcard as paper ticket, I still feel that Oyster PAYG would turn out cheaper for us as our travel using public transport will be limited.

So in case we need to book a throwaway ticket for departing out of London please suggest which is the cheapest route available.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 08:36 AM
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To answe another question,
Yes, your home -printed rail ticket will be absolutely fine.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 08:45 AM
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>>as our travel using public transport will be limited.<<

Unless you have some pretty unusual plans -- in 6 days you will use quite a bit of public transport. Unless you plan on walking everywhere and/or use cabs you will probably us buses and the tube several times every day.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 10:08 AM
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I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what would work best for our 7 days in London. I posted a thread and got lots of good advice. We are in London now,

At first I wasn't sure I would use the sites available on the 2 for 1 travel card, but the more I looked, the more I realized it wouldn't take much to save a lot of money with the 2 for 1 travel card. Today we took the tube and a bus and went to 2 sites in the 2 for 1. We have already saved £40. We spent £66 for 2 7 day travel cards. So in only 1 day we have gotten close to 2/3 of the money we spent to buy the travel cards. You have to buy the card from a national railroad ticket place. We got ours from Kings Cross. If you got to the 2 for 1 travel card site, it lists where you can buy them,

London is huge. It takes time to walk from site to site and back and forth from where you are staying. I envision using the tube or buses at least 2 if not 4 times a dAy. We like walking but don't want to spend inordinate amounts of time getting around, I'd rather be sightseeing. I don't recall where I read it, but one analysis said that once you reach 5 days, you will save money with the 7 day 2 for 1 travelcard over the Oyster card.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 10:14 AM
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It's in NOT correct that the 2 for 1 7 day card is not issued. That is what I bought at Kings Cross rail station yesterday. While we had traveled by rail from Edinburgh no one asked to see anything to validate that we had done so. We just went to the ticket counter and gave them two photos and paid. Also I had read you need to print out the vouchers which I did. When we bought the 2 for 1 travel card I was given a booklet and to,d I could use that.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 10:17 AM
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>>but one analysis said that once you reach 5 days, you will save money with the 7 day 2 for 1 travelcard over the Oyster card.<<

That is sort of mixing up two different concepts. The break even point for most visitors for a 7-day travelcard (whether loaded on an Oyster or on a paper ticket ) is about 4.5 days -- so call it five days for discussion purposes. Whether one uses the 2for1's or not -- for a 5 day visit a seven day travelcard (Oyster or paper) is usually the way to go. Plus maybe a little PAYG on an Oyster for any journeys outside zones 1-2.

The savings via the 2for1 offers depend entirely on which sites one visits -- but basically even ONE site will be gravy since the Oyster and paper travel cards cost the same (if you don't include the cost of the photo).
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Jun 7th, 2017, 10:19 AM
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While we had traveled by rail from Edinburgh no one asked to see anything to validate that we had done so.

Why would anyone ask to see your train tickets???

There's no such thing as a "2 for 1 Travelcard", there's a Travelcard which as a side effect of buying it from a National Rail station ticket office gives you access to the National Rail 2 for 1 offers. You don't need train tickets to buy a Travelcard
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Jun 7th, 2017, 11:26 AM
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<< I don't recall where I read it, but one analysis said that once you reach 5 days, you will save money with the 7 day 2 for 1 travelcard over the Oyster card.>>

You may have read it here but you didn't read it right. First, there's no "2 for 1 travelcard" as dtbs said. Second, the Oyster card costs are variable depending upon how you use it.

Oyster card daily pay as you go caps are £6.60. A seven-day travelcard is £33. Divide 33 by 5 and you get ... 6.60.

<>

That's just bad accounting. You haven't "gotten close to 2/3 of the money" you spent on the travel cards because you would have spent that money anyway - if you hadn't bought the 7-day travelcard at Kings X, you'd have bought a 7-day travelcard "loaded" onto an Oystercard or used Oyster pay as you go, which would cap out at 6.60 per day and you'll be in London (IIRC from your other threads) for about 5 days. Instead, you have SAVED £40 in absolute terms by getting the travel cards. So the fact is you're not 40 quid towards recouping the cost, you're 40 quid ahead. And that's ultimately the point of getting the paper travelcards.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 01:56 PM
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I think you're quibbling with my choice of words. Yes, I agree the bottom line is I'm saving money. And sorry, you're wrong, we're here more than 5 days and I did not read about the break even point on Fodor's and I did read it correctly.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 10:02 PM
  #12
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Thanks a lot guys for all this analysis. I am actually trying to analyse this only to figure out whether to go for Oyster or 7 day travelcard.

I see that the daily oyster card is capped at 6.6 for zone 1-2 while 7 day card for zone 1-2 is for 33. Now even if we take this card, we will still need an oyster card for travel beyond zone 2.

Our rough schedule is:

20th Jun: Reach London in the afternoon. Roam around in London
21st Jun: Windsor Castle in the morning. Most of the day will be spent there with remaining time in London
22nd Jun: Harry Potter studio visit. Again most of the day will be spent there itself
23rd Jun: Mostly in central London so likely within zone 1-2 only
24th Jun: Visit to Greenwich observatory which would include travel beyond zone 2
25th Jun: Day time in London and leave for Heathrow in the evening using tube (again b beyond zone 2)

The way I see it, all travels beyond zone 2 (Greenwich, Heathrow and possibly for Windsor and Leavesden) will need Oyster anyways.

So have to see how much is the actual cost of these trips beyond zone 2 viz a viz the increase in Oyster daily cap due to traveling in these zones.

If the increase in daily cap even if you travel just once outside zone 2 is very high, then probably a travel card would help as it's average daily cost is 5.5 (33/6) for me. But if the daily cap is within limits such that I would anyways spend above it on all days then an Oyster card would be better.

Would love to get your views on this wrt my tentative schedule.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 10:22 PM
  #13
 
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>>24th Jun: Visit to Greenwich observatory which would include travel beyond zone 2<<

Nope -- Greenwich is in zone 2

>>The way I see it, all travels beyond zone 2 (Greenwich, Heathrow and possibly for Windsor and Leavesden) will need Oyster anyways.<<

Windsor and Levesden (Watford Junction) are not in London and not covered by Oysters. You would take regular trains to get to each of them.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 10:59 PM
  #14
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Thanks janisj, did not know these things.

On balance now it seems that a 7 day travelcard will indeed be better. We can purchase it from Euston train station upon reaching there.

Which route will be best for reaching Windsor and Watford junction? Checking in maps shows more than one route (through Paddington, Vauxhall etc.).

Also tickets for these trains will have to be bought separately only right as neither Oyster or travelcard will work for them. Should we book these tickets in advance now itself or can we get it over the counter on the day of journey as well? Are there limited train tickets which may get sold out later or is there any difference in price between buying now or later?
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Jun 7th, 2017, 11:09 PM
  #15
 
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For the WB studio -- the website gives you the instructions. You take a train from Euston to Watford Junction and then a shuttle bus to the studio.

For Windsor -- you either take a train from Paddington with a change at Slough -- OR a train from Waterloo with no changes.
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Jun 7th, 2017, 11:15 PM
  #16
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Thanks. And the train tickets can always be bought at the station only while traveling or better (and cheaper) to book online in advance?
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Jun 8th, 2017, 01:01 AM
  #17
 
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For long-distance trains, book in advance for the best prices. For local commuter services such as Watford and Windsor, it makes no difference.
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Jun 8th, 2017, 06:01 AM
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Watford Junction is within Oyster travel area. The excess fare from boundary zone 2 to Watford Junction is about £2 each way if you leave travel against the rush hour. So from Euston in the morning and from Watford Junction in the afternoon.
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Jun 8th, 2017, 06:02 AM
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I need to clarify that the excess fare amount only applies with a Travelcard on Oyster.
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Aug 4th, 2017, 06:56 AM
  #20
 
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hi good morning all. I read and copied BigRuss' information about the paper Travelcard. thank for your great advise.

My question: since we will be traveling all through UK, is there any such program elsewhere in addition to London? It sure would be great. After London, we are going to Bath, Oxford, Lake District, etc, etc.

Any other cards, or offers, that you think we should buy?
I appreciate in advance all the advise you can give us. thanks!
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