It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oyster Card : London

If you're going on holiday to London, I highly recommend that you get your hands on an Oyster Card and save yourself a fortune on public transport costs.

I think by now everyone understands that I love London.  Love, love, love it.  Don't know why, but I just do.  I love walking around it, dining in it, shopping in it, reading the newspaper in it and just being in it.  London is fantastic.  The best way to get around London if you're not in a hurry is to walk, but they also have a pretty good public transport system.  The only problem with the public transport is that it's expensive.  Very expensive.

Probably the quickest way to get around is on the Underground (aka the tube).  It's the oldest underground railway in the world and the first section opened in 1863.  Yes, 1863.  That section is STILL running (part of the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines).

The tube runs all over (under, actually) London and the maps are fairly easy to understand.  That said, I have gone to the correct station and gotten on the train going in the wrong direction before.  If that happens, you just go to the next station, get off and cross over to the right platform - it's not stressy.

Now, back to the Oyster Card.  An Oyster Card is a plastic card, the same size as a credit card, that you pre-load with money and you use on the bus, tram, train, DLR, overground and most National Rail services in London.

You can get an Oyster Card at London Travel Information Services, Oyster Ticket Shops and tube stations.  They cost £5, but once you've bought one your travel becomes significantly discounted compared to what you'd pay if you just walk up and buy a ticket on the transport you require.

For example, one bus ticket costs £2.20 per trip, but if you use your Oyster Card it's only £1.30, with a daily price cap of £4.00 for as many trips as you like that day - see link here.  One tube ticket starts at £4.00 per trip, but if you use Oyster then it's only £1.90 - see link here.

So you can easily recoup your initial £5 investment (usually within the first day of your visit), and you go on saving money each time you use public transport.

The Oyster is rechargeable (you can keep topping it up with money).  You can top up your Oyster at ticket machines in tube stations or shops displaying the Oyster logo.  If I'm walking past a tube station and I've got a pocket full of change, I usually go in an top my Oyster up with the change (just make sure you don't do that in peak times unless you want a whole new group of enemies!).

So, get yourself an Oyster on your first day, save loads of money and go shopping with all you've saved!  I can't see a flaw in that logic, and I hope you love London as much as I do.

1 comment:

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!