If you’re an American moving here, then you’ll have to get used to fact that you’ll be using public transport while you’re living in London. Having a car is almost out of the question; not only is it exorbitantly expensive, it is also completely unnecessary. The Tube, which is the name for the London Underground (subway system) carry most of London wherever they need to go. Combined with an excellent train system and hundreds of buses, you’ll never be stuck without transport.
You might have heard about a Travelcard and an Oyster Card, and are wondering about the difference between the two. Most people living in London use the Oyster Card system. An Oyster Card will always be cheaper than a Travelcard in the long run but a Travelcard can be combined with some fantastic special offers if you’re new and want to explore the city before settling into your new rental.
A Travelcard is a temporary card and you do not have to pay a deposit for the card. When you’re Travelcard expires you can just throw it away and get a new one. There are a number of special offers and you can take advantage of the 2 for 1 admission to the some of the biggest tourist attractions. If you’re travelling for 5 or more days then a 7 day Travelcard is better value for money than the same fares on an Oyster Card. However in the usual British tradition of making things confusing, a 7-day Travelcard comes loaded onto an Oyster Card!
An Oyster Card is a pay-as-you go card for all forms of transport, and it is a permanent card that you can use as and when you need it. If you’re going to be a regular commuter then you can load your pre-paid Oyster card with cash amounts or with Travelcards to take advantage of the cheaper fares.