I know there are other threads about this but reading everything really has my head spinning. My wife and I are traveling to London March 21- March 28. This is an incentive trip that I earned through work. When we arrive in Heathrow, there will be people there to pick us up and take us to our hotel near Hyde Park. My initial thoughts about our itinerary were to buy a 7 day travelcard and I was considering the three day London Pass. I was considering the three day pass because one day will be tied up in meetings and I wanted to spend one day going to Greenwich and one day going to Bath. After looking at the 2 for 1 website, that seems like it may be a better deal. I initially thought my travelcard would work for this but now it seems like I'm wrong about that. Is there a way to buy a zone 1-2 pass that works with the 2 for 1 deal? Any other thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Rick doesn't even mention the 2 for 1 in his book so maybe it's not applicable.
" because of the cumbersome need to have paper tickets every day". But for 7-day paper cards that's not how it works - just buy one 7-day paper travelcard each at a railway station, as described above, on your first day - no need to buy new tickets every day - just the same as getting it on an Oyster really. This paper ticket gets you 2for1 offers during the 7-day period, and, of course, your travel in the zones you pay for (most people go for zones 1&2 as that covers most of where you will be). But, it seems you only really want a 2for1 eligible travelcard on three days, so you can buy single paper ones for those days and use a PAYG oyster on other days.
Correction: Rick does briefly mention the 2 for 1 on page 33.
You have to buy paper TravelCards from National Rail stations. The train companies sponsor the promotion so you have to buy the cards from them. You will also need a passport sized picture if you buy the weekly TravelCard. If you buy one day cards, no photo needed.
The standard advice for buying any pass is to plan your sightseeing out and do the math. You can use the London Pass for the cruise to Greenwich. It will also get you into Windsor Castle and Hampton Court. I've used the London Pass on one trip to London. I've never used the 2 for 1 tickets because of the cumbersome need to have paper tickets every day. It may be a better deal but even cheap me didn't want to deal with it. For the amount of time you will be there you should be able to use a 7 day travel card which can be loaded onto an Oyster Card. You won't need a picture. I recommend you buy it from a human in a ticket office because I find the self-serve ticket machines a little confusing and they might not take your credit card without a chip. Paddington Station is a good bet for people arriving from Heathrow but you save the train fare by being picked up. You should be able to get the Oyster at any of the larger tube stations during normal business hours. I don't know what that normal business hours are but I suggest you not try to buy these at 1 am.
Greenwich is on the border of Zone 2 and Zone 3 so Travelcards valid in Zone 2 are valid to Greenwich using either the train from Central London or the Docklands Light Railway (and even the Jubilee Underground line to North Greenwich). Won't your meetings day need you to go anywhere, or even out to eat in the evening? Will your wife be in the meetings too? For your journey to Bath would you need bus or tube transport to or from the kicking off point, or anything after you get back?
If you travel to Bath by train, that return ticket should make you eligible for 2 for 1 tickets, although perhaps only after the Bath trip.
I've been researching this as well trying to figure it out. It's incredible how complicated the train system is. We arrive at Gatwick at 8 in the morning and are staying near Victoria Station for 3 nights. I'll probably end up getting the London Pass as I know that we want to do Greenwich and possible Windsor Castle so it just seems easier to get it with the transportation than trying to figure out the paper travelcard system as I think no matter what option we choose, I'll have to pay extra for the Gatwick Express into London.
@ Karen, There are "Gatwick Experess" trains directly to Victoria station - they are Orange, you cant miss them. also, fyi, Victoria is the end of the line for the GE so you cant go wrong. Theres also "commuter" trains that make more stops. Im going to try the commuter maybe in Sept if my flight goes to Gatwick. The Express are more $$ than the commuter. I forget by how much, but you can look online for prices. just dont look too far out. In london i didnt buy the London pass since it didnt pencil out for me. I did buy an Oyster card tho. i think its handy. just an fyi the tube fees are more expensive during "rush" hours am/pm. If you look at the web site, it explains what charges for what zones and such. it can be recharged too if needed. as mentioned, you may want to pencil out the cost of your activities to see if a pass is worth while. happy trails