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Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

Southern California
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58 posts
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Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

Cheers to everyone!! We are traveling to London in either November or December this year, (looking for the best deal). Since we will be there for about 8 days, we are looking to either get a travel card or an oyster card. We would like to get it in advance if possible. We are going to be traveling all over London, so any suggestions? Cheers

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Bay Shore, New York
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1. Re: Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

We'll be in London in November of this year ourselves.

Someone posted this question and I thought the answers seemed very informative with links on comparing the two in the answers:


Its a bit confusing the way they have it set up - so I found the links in this answer to help.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

A travelcard can be loaded onto the Oyster card. To keep things simple, would suggest you go with the 7 day travelcard and then buy a one day travelcard (on either end of the trip).

Really no need to buy in advance. It's very easy to get an Oyster card at the stations, the agents are usually patient and helpful. Credit cards are accepted.

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3. Re: Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

We just returned yesterday from two weeks in Paris and London. On the flight back, another passenger saw my Oyster card and it started a nearly plane-wide conversation. I don't think anything is more confusing or convoluted for London tourists as is which travel card or package to get. Even London residents coming to the states agreed that it's almost impossible to explain.

We got Oyster cards for my wife and I at Heathrow. It was easy. We got five-day travel cards loaded onto them. We don't make it out of the apartment before 9 a.m. EVER, so this was a good deal for us. We used these cards CONSTANTLY, getting on buses or tube stops all day and night. You can't beat the deal. They were good on the light rail to Greenwich and even got us discounts on Themes trips. My wife put hers in the dryer, melted it, and it still worked.

To make it more confusing, however, if you have kids, they have a special Oyster card for children you must order in advance and pick up when you arrive. It costs us 5 pounds and our daughter went everywhere with us for free, and she gets to keep the pass as a souvenir.

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4. Re: Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

<<We got five-day travel cards loaded onto them.>>

Confusion rules OK!! What you actually have I've no idea but that's not possible - only 7 day and longer travelcards can be loaded on Oyster.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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5. Re: Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

For an eight day stay, I'd say get a seven day Travelcard, which if bought at an Underground station will be sold to you loaded on an Oyster card. Add a bit of PAYG money to cover the journey from Heathrow to central London plus the extra day and you'll be set.

Oyster is a payment method, rather than a separate ticket type. Travelcards of seven days' and longer duration are sold loaded on Oyster when the cards are bought at Underground stations. An Oyster can also hold PAYG money for journeys outside the paid-for zones. Travelcards offer unlimited use on the Underground, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services in the paid for zones, plus bus use in all zones.

PAYG on its own covers trips on all services except for most National Rail lines. The system follows one's journeys and caps at a rate 50p less than an equivalent one day Travelcard cost, whether you travel from zone 4 to zone 1 at peak hour or in zones 1 and 2 at off peak hours.

The reason Travelcards start to be better value for longer stays is the daily cap. Seven days of off peak travel in zones 1 and 2 caps at £5.10 each day, or £35.70. A seven day Travelcard costs just £25.80 for those seven days, with no time constraints for off peak travel only.

London, United...
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6. Re: Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

> You can't beat the deal. <

All the deals are good. People spend an inordinate amount of time over what, in the great scheme of things, isn't that important.

London, United...
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7. Re: Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

Bri is right - the difference in price is trivial, compared with costs of flights, hotels, meals.

Don't sweat it. You'll blow more money on buying coffee in over-priced places.

8. Re: Oyster Card vs. Travel Card

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