Anyone familiar with TFL can help please with advice on upcoming visit to London?

snowy2004

Active Member
Hi all. We are visiting London at the weekend. Arrive at Euston Sat afternoon and need to get to Waterloo (staying nearby) and leaving Monday morning from Euston so need to get there from Waterloo. So that's an easy tube journey.

We are a family of 2 adults and 2 kids aged 9 and 11. We want to travel around London but really only zones 1 and 2. Furthest north is Madame Tussauds and furthest East is Forbidden Planet store. We will be doing lots of other dotting about in between.

We intend to use the tube. I am struggling to work out the best way to get a card or pay for it. Oyster? Travelcard? Contactless? Is the 9 year old free? Is the 11 yr old discounted? How many cards do we need or can we get one family one? NOTE: We are all travelling together at all times. It is really confusing.

Any help and advice would be much appreciated
🙂
 

realfrankturner

Distinguished Member
Contactless, they have a daily cap so you don't pay more then what a travelcard would cost anyway.

It's simpler.

*Edit - Saying that I am not sure if you can save even more by getting a family ticket, as never needed to.
 

snowy2004

Active Member
So I could pay for both adults and the kids on one contactless payment ? How would I do that ? The side barriers I guess ?

That last time I went on the tube (and I used it a lot back then) was 20 years ago lol!
 

realfrankturner

Distinguished Member
So I could pay for both adults and the kids on one contactless payment ? How would I do that ? The side barriers I guess ?

That last time I went on the tube (and I used it a lot back then) was 20 years ago lol!
Just you and the other adult use separate contactless cards and the kids will pass through the gate with you, one each.
 

snowy2004

Active Member
Really? Wow ! I didn't know that - That's awesome. Thank you so much for your help :)

Only thing, my OH insists we pay for our 11 year old - Any idea how we throw that into the mix please ?
 

realfrankturner

Distinguished Member
Really? Wow ! I didn't know that - That's awesome. Thank you so much for your help :)

Only thing, my OH insists we pay for our 11 year old - Any idea how we throw that into the mix please ?
I'm not sure as never been in that situation, but you could buy the 11 yr old a separate travel card for the zones you are travelling. I think that would be only way.

- Edit just seen this

If you're travelling with children aged 11-15, buy a Visitor Oyster card before you leave home and, when you arrive in London, you can ask a member of our staff to add a Young Visitor discount to a Visitor Oyster card at:

• most Tube stations
• TfL’s 8 Visitor Centres
• Victoria National Rail station ticket office

The Young Visitor discount gives your child half adult rate pay as you go discount for up to 14 days.

Either or really.
 

snowy2004

Active Member
Yeah but that says you can add it to a Visitor Oyster card - that's different from just using Contactless isn't it ?
 

realfrankturner

Distinguished Member
Yeah but that says you can add it to a Visitor Oyster card - that's different from just using Contactless isn't it ?
Yes, so for the 11 yr old you would be better off getting a kids travelcard or doing the visitor oyster card.

Contactless would charge adult price.
 

lowmans100

Well-known Member
You can buy a TfL travel card from the train station when you buy your train tickets.
Don't forget the River Bus.
 

snowy2004

Active Member
Ahh - so I guess the adults can use Contactless and the 9 yr old is free anyway but what should we buy for the 11 year old then ?
 

Hokusai Wave

Well-known Member
Best thing we did as a family in London was ditch the tube and walk....only a couple of miles from Euston to Waterloo and pass major sites en route.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
You're probably too late to order a Zip card

If you scroll down then you'll find this...

Young Visitor discount​


If you don't live in London and you're visiting with children who don't have an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard, they can get discounted travel for up to 14 days with the Young Visitor discount:



The discount can be added to a standard Oyster card or Visitor Oyster card by a member of staff at:


  • Any Tube, London Overground or TfL Rail station
  • Visitor Centres (except Gatwick Airport)

The children must be with you when you ask for the Young Visitor discount.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
The first thing to note as regards Oyster and Contactless is each paying person must have a separate (different) card; the system works like this. You can't (for example) tap in (or out) twice with the same card as it will detect and ignore the duplicate tap.

The easiest (honest) thing to do - bearing in mind it will result in adult fares - is for the 11 year old to borrow a (different) contactless card from one of you. Thus the three of you have a card each.

The easiest dishonest thing to do is make the 11 year old 10 and use two cards. As long as they are always accompanied.

The easiest way to get discounted travel for the 11 year old is to use an Oyster. This costs £5, plus the credit you need to add to it to cover your travel. In the case of the visitor card that's a sunk cost. In the case of a normal Oyster, it can be refunded (as PAYG credit) after a year - but you have to visit London again and use it, within 6 months, to get it. Otherwise it's a sunk cost again. Either way, the discount has to be added on to the card after purchase.

The daily cap for travel in Zone 1/2 only is £7.40 any time; off-peak no different. That applies to Oyster and Contactless and means that once you make a journey that would bring your daily cost over this, that trip is charged only enough to bring you up to the cap. And further trips are free. Obviously, if you travel less, the daily total will be less. Thus, the largest "saving" from the discount is half of that figure per day - £3.70.

Thus I'd carefully consider whether it's worthwhile going to the effort given the £5 sunk cost to get a discount. I may not pay for itself. If you have a third contactless card (Credit or Debit) for the 11 year old to borrow, that may work out the best option. (Or, lie!)
 
Last edited:

snowy2004

Active Member
Thank you @LV426 That's really helpful. She does have her own contactless GoHenry card and, if I am reading it correctly, for the Saturday and Sunday she would spend a max of £14.80 if we really go all out on journeys and then maybe £3.40 on the Monday travelling from Waterloo to Euston?

The other thing is the younger child - How do we actually get through the barriers with her (as she won't have anything to tap) ?

And if we did "bend" the eldest' age a little, could we not get asked for proof of her age at some stage ?
 

realfrankturner

Distinguished Member
As long as you stay in zone 1 or 2 then yes that will be the max. Note that bus journeys don't have zones, they are charged at just £1.50 wherever you go, and if you make a second journey within an hour of eachother the 2nd journey is free.

You get through the barriers by them following you through, I have done it many times with my little one.

Technically yes they could ask for proof of age - However it is incredibly unlikely they will. TFL staff in my experience don't really care.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
As far as I recall, there is no legal obigation to carry proof of age in this country. Make of that what you will.

As far as "a lot of dotting about" is concerned the one thing I have found in many years of travelling to London is that it's actually much smaller than you might imagine and that it's often true that - for tube trips of only a couple of stops - it's actually quicker to walk. Recent personal example: alighted a RiverBus at Embankment pier, headed for Covent Garden. 10 minutes walk (1/2 mile). Tube fare £2.40 and would probably take longer......

You can get TFL single fares here Single fare finder

Waterloo > Euston is £2.40 with Oyster/Contactless anytime.
 

Hokusai Wave

Well-known Member
As far as I recall, there is no legal obigation to carry proof of age in this country. Make of that what you will.

As far as "a lot of dotting about" is concerned the one thing I have found in many years of travelling to London is that it's actually much smaller than you might imagine and that it's often true that - for tube trips of only a couple of stops - it's actually quicker to walk. Recent personal example: alighted a RiverBus at Embankment pier, headed for Covent Garden. 10 minutes walk (1/2 mile). Tube fare £2.40 and would probably take longer......

You can get TFL single fares here Single fare finder

Waterloo > Euston is £2.40 with Oyster/Contactless anytime.
Echo this, London is easy on foot, with many journeys on tube not needed.

Don't get the tube between Piccadilly Circus & Leicester Square.
 

Metromedia 1433

Active Member
Echo this, London is easy on foot, with many journeys on tube not needed.

Don't get the tube between Piccadilly Circus & Leicester Square.
Even more pointless would be getting the tube between Covent Garden and Leicester Square. This is the shortest journey between adjacent stations on the same line anywhere on the Underground.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
I worked in Covent Garden for 3 years and have used that Tube station once. As all access is by lift I spent longer queuing to get out than it took to walk from Holborn.

I agree with the comments that London is a very walkable city and you don't need to use the tube for every trip. Walking, the views are better, you find things you would otherwise miss and get more of a feel for the city...
BUT...
Having travelled with younger children it's also useful to have a moment to pause, sit and catch your breath. A couple of stops on the tube is a lot cheaper than a round of drinks in the West End.
We often travel to cities and walk a lot - clocking up 8-10 miles a day. For an adult that can be tiring but when you're 9 and substantially shorter, that's a lot more steps!

The buses in central London are also very good, included in the TFL passes and the view is better than the tube. As a kid a ride on the Underground was exciting - as was a ride on a red double decker.

Google Maps or the TFL route planner make it easy to use to work out the quickest and easiest way between two places and choose the best method.

Hopefully the OP had a good time with their family and enjoyed exploring London.
 

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