I will be flying into Heathrow next Saturday and spending 3 days in London. What is my best option (cheapest/efficient/both) as far as tube or bus pass options?
If you are traveling solo, I'd just get an Oyster card with some pay-as-you-go money on it at Heathrow.
The reason Laura's plan makes the most sense is that the Oyster features "capping." That means that each trip is deducted from your Oyster card, but once you reach the price of a day pass, no more is deducted. So, if you take only a few trips, you spend less than you would have with a day pass; if you take more trips, you spend equal to a day pass. You can't lose either way.
I agree - buy an Oyster card at Heathrow. When you leave take it to a London Underground station and you will get the 5 pound deposit as well as any remaining money on the card.
Laura did include the important caveat "if you are traveling solo". If there are two of you and you want to use the 2for1 discounts then you need a (paper) travelcard from a railway station instead/as well.
I'll be with one other person. Does that change my best option?
In January my husband and I each opted for an Oystercard, and it was great. At the end of our stay we just used up the 5 pound deposit rather than take the cards back. The card doesn't "know" that is a "deposit." It just deducts your fare. On our way to the airport that last morning we read how much was remaining on each card, then topped them off TO THE PENCE for the ride to Heathrow, so they were empty after we walked off the tube. Since I am quite literally a penny pincher, I loved that! If there is a better option for two people, I would love to know what it is.
The Oyster Card is the cheapest thing you will get in London, it is great!!!!
I'll be with one other person. Does that change my best option? Maybe. As mentioned earlier you might want to get a Rail paper travelcard to use the 2 for 1 offers. The link below has info on all of this. Tripadvisor London transit options
We have been going to the UK every year for the past 20 and have tried them all. There are many options some of which have been mentioned already. Most are good choices depending on your situation and where or what you intend to do. One not mentioned is Taxi. The fares are generaly fixed and can be determined before you board, the price is for the cab not per person. If you have 4 or 5 passengers the cab from HR to Leicester sq area is cheap and faster than others esp the Tube. We often will recruit people at the cab rank to share the ride. Of course you do have to be a little cautious,so you don't get stiffed for all of the fare,which reportedly has happened but rarely . When in London proper for touring ,the Hopper / Brown bus is also a reasonable choice.