Enjoy hassle free travel in London with an Oyster Card

London is one of the finest destinations to spend a holiday in. It is home to some of the most famous world class attractions, which include both modern and medieval marvels. There is a lot to see in London and it is not possible to visit its many sights and tourist spots on a single trip.  The key to having a successful trip to London is to stay at a location in the centre of the city.

A good option would be the hotels near Bayswater Tube Station that are located within the heart of the city. It makes travel to different parts of the London a hassle free experience because of excellent transport connectivity to various parts including the suburbs.

One of the best boutique hotels in the area is the Park Grand Lancaster Gate hotel that offers premium facilities and great customer service and is reasonably priced. It also is well connected with a number of public transport links to choose from.

While in London it is recommended to buy an Oyster Card that is a transport smartcard for use on a variety of public transportation modes. It is the easiest and most economical way to travel on public transport while in the city. Some of the places where it can be used on forms of public transport include the Tube, buses, rail and tram services etc within London.

 

London Oyster Card

It is the shape and size of credit card that is used to as an electronic form of payment on the London public transport network. You just need to top-up the card with a certain amount of pre-paid credit, and you are good to go for practically all of the public transport networks in and around London.

Benefits of using an Oyster Card

The primary reason to buy an Oyster Card is convenience and is cost-effective. There are substantial savings to be gained when you use an Oyster Card to travel in the city, in comparison to buying tickets for every trip. Individual tickets are only more beneficial for use on public transport if you need to travel once or twice on public transport while in London. As on an average visitors to London have to travel multiple times on public transport, so it is far more economical and hassle free to purchase and use an Oyster Card.  Using an Oyster Card between different travel zones can save you up to half the fare than buying individual ticket. Whether it is travel by tram, bus, the Tube or by rail you will save a considerable amount using an Oyster Card.

Another advantage of using Oyster cards is their capping system that is very effective in saving on travel fares if you need to travel multiple times in a day. Through capping a maximum limit is charged for travel during a single 24 hour day (4:30 am from one day to 4:29 am the next day) for travel in multiple zones.  Once you reach the capped limit during your travel in a single day, the rest of the trips you make on the same day of travel would be for free. The capping limit differs between the different zones of travel and also is subject to travel in peak-hours and off-peak hours. As a result even if you need to make multiple trips on public transport in a day, you will not be charged over the capped limit.

Another benefit for those travelling with children is that kids that are below 11 years of age (limited to four kids) are eligible to travel free on public transport if they are accompanied with an adult using an Oyster card.

It is one of the most practical kinds of transport cards to use for travel in London. They can be used on most of modes of public transport and using them is easy. All you need to do is swipe them on the reader when you get on and off any transport. There is no hassle of looking for change or the bother of buying tickets for the trip.  Incidentally London buses do not accept cash anymore for travel.

Kinds of Oyster Cards

Oyster cards come in two types. 1) The standard Oyster card 2) The Visitor Oyster card.

The standard Oyster card is blue in colour and made of plastic. The Visitor Card of the same material but has a more elaborate design. Apart from the difference in appearance, both offer the same functional purpose and are used in the same manner. Both can be topped up and can be used and kept for a long time. Refunds are available on both if there is an unused balance. The primary differences are where they can be bought, the fee, available offers, and the facility to use travel cards with them. As far as fees go the Standard Oyster has a refundable deposit, whereas the Visitor Card charges an activation fee (that is non-refundable).

Also in terms of add-on cards Standard Oyster Cards offer the facility to add Travelcards as well as bus and tram passes. The Visitor Oyster Card offers no such facility.  While adding a Travelcard is not of much use if you are London for a short period, they certainly are beneficial to add on to a Standard Oyster Card, if you are in London for a longer duration and have to travel frequently. Using add-on cards offer visitors the benefit of unlimited travel within specified zones as a fixed cost. This leads to substantial savings on travel expenses if you are in London for a long period of time and need to travel a lot around the city. Selecting a card for yourself in London is subject to the duration of your stay and the amount of travel involved during your stay.

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