How to Save Money on Public Transport in London
Whether you are planning to visit London as a tourist, or are going to work or study here and you want to save money the best way to do this is by planning ahead. London is an expensive city and transport can quickly eat away at your budget but there are though lots of ways to keep costs down. Check out our top tips for how to travel cheaply around the city.
1. Buy an Oyster Car
The first thing to do when travellers arrive is get an Oyster Card as it is cheaper to use this than buying daily paper tickets such as Travelcards. An Oyster Card allows the user to top up the money on it with a PAYG (pay as you go) system. Every time you use the Oyster card for traveling on the tube, overground trains and buses, money will be taken off for that particular journey. Oyster Cards are can be bought at most train stations in the capital and though a small deposit that will be returned when the card is given back. Having this card makes travelling around London much easier.
2. Remember to Touch in & Out
A good tip is to make sure you touch your Oyster card on the yellow readers when you enter and leave a station, even if the barriers are open. If you fail to do this you might be charged extra for not scanning in or out. For a bus though you will only need to scan the Oyster Card once when you start your journey.
3. Stay Close to Where You Will be Going
What are your main aims for visiting London? Sightseeing? Working? Studying? It is best to check where you will be visiting most to how you can keep costs down. For example, for general tourism it is best to stay somewhere central then you might be able to walk to all the sights. Although the cost of accommodation might be higher, you will be able to make saving and time on transport. Staying near a a tube or rail station is highly recommended to make getting around more easier. You could also choose to stay further away from the centre of London, for example in a area outside of zone 1 and 2but close to a train station - this will cut accommodation costs and train journeys to zone 1 are not horrendously expensive.
4. Travel Off-Peak
A wonderful way to save money on the tube is by travelling at off-peak times usually after 9.30am and before 4pm on weekdays. In the morning and after work hours is when the tube becomes very busy and tourists will want to avoid the rush of commuters. If you travel outside of peak times you will be charged less.
5. Buy a Longer Travel Card
There are also opportunities to purchase a weekly, monthly or annual ticket for those who are on a gap year, year out travelling or staying for work or study purposes. Using an Oyster Card is the best way to save money when traveling in London but a lot of international visitors do not realise you might also be better to buy a Travelcard as it may be cheaper on certain occasions. If you will be making multiple journeys throughout your stay then getting a 7-day Travelcard or for a longer period could be beneficial and cheaper. All you need to do is get your oyster card and select the travel card option at a machine where you can top money up.
6. Avoid the Tube
Buses are cheaper than the tube and also provide wonderful views of London overland. There is a fantastic 24 hour bus service connecting the whole of London.
We hope our top tips to keep your costs down whilst getting around London is useful - happy travels.
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