What as Americans who are used to driving everywhere they want to go soon realize, “You’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy!”  Here in London it’s, “The Tube” if you want to get around, and believe me you do.  For most Americans relocating to London either work or school brings them to England.  Either way, a college kid, a commuting white collar worker, or a mom dropping off at school, you all need to get around.  This means doing things on a smaller scale than back home.  You’re not driving to Home Depot and loading your SUV, your buying at a local shop, or having something delivered.  You’re no longer supermarket shopping and loading two carts of groceries in the car, nope. You’re now friends with the lady at the store on the corner where you buy your produce as you need it.  You buy what you can carry, and when that something is not in your neighborhood…

…the Tube my friend.  So with what you can carry you can stand in line and purchase a paper ticket every day and wait in that extra line or you could buy an Oystercard.  The Oystercard is your “Tube Card”, after your relocation to London you will need one.  For only a 3 Crown deposit on the card you will whip that Tube Card out each time you are at the turnstile and tap the yellow sensor.  Bingo, registers where you get on, and so does your departure station register where you exit the Tube.  When you first buy the card, which you can get at any Underground Station in your neighborhood, you load it with pre-paid amounts.  Then much like a “SunPass” in Florida, or any pre-paid toll road card that records and debits as you drive through. So think of the Oystercard as your personal transportation card only it’s on your person instead of your car.


You can always look online to see how much you have left and refill it from any internet computer or phone, you only need to go to the station to purchase the card initially.  To check on your account, and to register it, which I recommend, for if you ever lose it, without registering, it’s gone. So do that here “Oystercard Registration”  For an American who’s relocated to London for schooling or for work, regardless, you will need the Oystercard.  Just living in London, as a consumer you will need to get around, moving to London makes you an instant “commuter” as well.

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