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Visitor Oyster vs. Travel Card

Hello community,

I am looking for some help determining which travel card would work best for my family. We are a family of 5.....2 adults and 3 teens ages 17, 15, 15.

Flying into Heathrow and staying in the Victoria Station area. We will be arriving on a Thursday evening and departing the following Saturday (9 days later).

Thank you as always for all your help and suggestions!

Posted by
21067 posts

Please clarify: Do you mean the Saturday 2 days later or the Saturday 9 days later?

Posted by
324 posts

Get the regular Oyster (not Visitor) cards and your 15 year olds can have the Young Visitor's Discount applied and pay half price fares.

Posted by
6 posts

Am I doing that for my 17 year old and my husband and I too? How do you apply the discount for the 15 year olds...is it automatic?

Thank you!

Posted by
1063 posts

You get one of the TFL employees that will be near the machines to add the young persons discount.

Posted by
21067 posts

Have you looked at the 2-4-1 offers you can take advantage of if you buy a paper 7-day travel card at a rail station (rather than buying a paper travel card at an Underground station, loading one on the Oyster Card or just putting money on the Oyster Card)? I am not an expert on 2-4-1 deals, and I don't know how the three children affect the calculation (do they qualify for substantially lower entry fees at the sights you're interested in?), but paying for 3 people and getting 2 in for free could offer substantial savings.

The places offering 2-4-1 deals are on this website. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a simple list you can print out. There is one caution: To take advantage of the 2-4-1 deals, you must print out the proper form (or get hold of one after arrival, but I wouldn't want to risk that) and present it at the ticket counter on-site. This means you cannot take the line-avoiding strategy of buying tickets ahead of time online. So at the very busiest sights with the longest lines (including the Churchill War Rooms), you have to decide whether the savings are worth what could be a very long wait in line.

Posted by
13082 posts

More on the Travelcards and 2-4-1 offers:

We have used these many times to get the 2-4-1 deals.You need a "paper travelcard" purchased from a National,Rail Station, NOT a Tube station. You can buy at Paddington, Waterloo, London Bridge, Kings Cross, and others, but make sure younare at the rail station window, not the Tube station window. The card will cover unlimited travel by Tube and bus for 7 calendar days, and can give you a discount on a boat ride on the Thames waterbus ( not the cruise boats).

The cost for adults is £35.10 for a Zone1-2 Travelcard (what most visitors will need). The 17-year old counts as an adult in this system. The 15-year olds are considered children ( under 16 if the usual rule) and their Travelcards will cost £17.60.

You can then pair up, with the two adults using one 2-4-1 offer, and the two younger children using another. Younwill need two vouchers for each attraction and it is best to print them in advance, as the stations often run out of the little voucher booklets.

The 17-year old will qualify for a "student" concession price at some attractions, but now all.

Using the 2-4-1 offer at the London Eye, for example, will save you one adult and one child admission, so £30 plus £24. Note that you can get 10% off those prices by purchasing in advance on the website, but then you cannot use the 2-4-1. And to get "fast track" or skip the line, you would have to pay an extra £10 each, and still not use the 2-4-1.

At Westminster Abbey you can save one adult and one child admission, for a total of £ 29 in savings.

Churchill War Rooms have timed entry tickets and it is best to buy those in advance, without the 2-4-1 offer.

Tower of London has a very complicated price structure, with family prices which may benefit you, so check that website carefully.

Many of the great museums are free, it they may have special exhibits which domrequire tickets, and you can usually use 2-4-1 on those.

Just be sure to get the right kind of Travelcard:

https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/travel-by-train/is-my-ticket-valid-for-2for1