My son will be attending Summer School in London. Since he will be there a month, I thought a 1 month Travelcard for zones 1-4 vs. the Oyster card would cover his needs. Is this the way to go?
Oyster cards let you travel on buses ans trains also including the underground
it is a lot easier to get around
i hope your son has a very good time in London!!!!
Thank you, he's looking forward to it. We thought the unlimited travelcard would be best, but you are suggesting the oyster. Why and how much do you suggest addin to Oyster
That should be good, he may need a tad bit of cash added if he is getting to and from Heathrow on it, sincethat is in Zone 6. I would recommend putting 5 GBP cash on it as well.
You can put a travelcard on the Oyster Card and also put some extra pay as you go money for when you travel outside of the zones of your card.
Where is he staying and where is the school? If both are within zone 1-2, I'd suggest he put a one-month travelcard for zone 1-2 plus some pay as you go money (start with 10 GBP and add more if it is needed) on an oyster card.
He is going to the London School of Econ. and staying at High Holborn. Will zones 1-2 cover that?If I try to add a month travel card on the oyster uk gov. website, it tells me I have a postcode error. I guess I'll get the oyster now and have him add the travel card later.
How old is your son? If he is going to the London School of Economics, it sounds like a high schooler at the very least. If you are covering his transportation costs, I would suggest giving him the money and letting him figure out which one he should buy and then taking care of it. After all, if he is going to an Economics school, he should be pretty decent with figures and most likely smart enough to figure out the Tube and his other transportation options.
So my suggestion is to let go a little bit of control (or force him to take some if that is they case) and trust that you raised someone who is smart enough to figure this out for himself.
He's traveling prior to arriving in London for school and wanted his daily London transportation taken care of before he arrives. The travel card option is what he came up with, we're just having trouble getting it prior to his arrival.
I apologize if that sounded in any way harsh - that wasn't my intention. As a teacher, I run into a lot of parents who are taking care of things for their children. There are as many different motivations for this as there are parents who do it. This seems to me to be one of those cases. I fully understand your desire to plan this trip and to do all the leg work (the control freak in me applauds you). But in the end, he is the one who is going to live it out, so he should be the one who is responsible for figuring this kind of stuff out. After all, he is the one who is going to be standing there in Victoria Station (or wherever) trying to get all of this situated. If you have done ALL of the advance work, he is going to be completely lost - rather unfair to him in the long run, in my opinion. And it is my guess that he is clever enough to figure it all out - even if that means "flying by the seat of his pants," as much as that might horrify the mother in you.
Just wanted to clarify.
Thanks cary, no offense taken. I'm sure , as a teacher, the "helicopter" parents are draining to deal with and you see that their kids miss out on valuable "learning opportunities". He has done the research on his trip and come up with these ideas. Since we are paying, I just wanted to make sure it was the most cost effective way to travel and not just the easiest for him. He has come up with a budget, and I guess I'll just leave it to him as to how he uses it. The mother in me wants to make sure he gets the most for his money, but you're right, it's his learning experience. Thanks.
The Oyster card is definitely easier to keep up with (plastic card vs. paper). Most Londoners use it rather than a travel card, so in the long run, I'm guessing it is a better deal, though for a month, I'm not sure. We didn't buy our Oyster Cards until we got to London and it wasn't too expensive. In the end, it is only a few dollars one way or the other unless he ended up trying to buy a new ticket every time he traveled, which doesn't sound likely. I wouldn't sweat it - in the end, it is a minor extra bit if he chooses the more expensive option. Considering the amount of money you are paying for the trip as a whole, I would bet it is less than 1% of the total.
One thing that should be noted is that the Oyster card will automatically calculate how much comes off the card for each ride and will not subtract more than the max of a 1-day travel card on one particular day. Also, I suspect he will be mostly in zones 1-2. The Oyster will give him more flexibility and as noted, will not cost much (if any) more.
I lived in London for a year, and found that a monthly pass was quite convenient. If you are taking the tube or bus daily, it works out to be less expensive than the daily rate.
I think some people are under the impression that travelcards are only available in paper format. This in not the case. From the Oyster website:
"An Oyster card can store up to £90 of credit, which can be used to pay as you go, plus your Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass." and "Travelcards are generally issued on Oyster cards except when bought from most National Rail stations ."
If he is staying at High Holborn, I would still recommend putting a 1 month zone 1-2 travelcard with some pay-as-you-go money (start with £10 credit) on an oyster card. This will allow him unlimited travel in zone 1-2 and it will deduct from the pay-as-you-go when he travels beyond zone 2 such as to Heathrow. He can add more pay-as-you-go money if he needs it. He can easily check the remaining balance at the tube station. He will need to make sure he gets the regular oyster card and not the "visitor" flavor. The visitor oystercard doesn't allow travelcards to be loaded onto it.
I would also suggest that he just buy the card when he arrives. It is quite easy to get it at the ticket counter at the tube station. I would not bother buying this in advance. Once he gets his oystercard, I'd suggest that he register it. That way if he loses it, he can request a replacement.
I agree with Laura. Your son can easily wait until he gets to London to buy an Oyster card, load a one-month zone 1-2 travelcard on it, and load some extra pay-as-you-go pounds for travel beyond zone 2. There is no advantage in buying it in advance--and it costs more.