Some great money saving tips for London travel!
Although there are many free things to do in London, the city is known for being very expensive to travel around! However, there are a few ways to make sure you are spending the minimum possible amount for your travel. Here are some of our best money saving tips.
Whether you are staying in London for a long time or just visiting for a weekend, it is a good idea to buy an Oyster card. Using an Oyster card is usually cheaper than buying a paper ticket, whether you’re buying a station to station ticket or a travelcard.
With an Oyster card, you can also use the PAYG (pay as you go) option. You can put money on your card (any amount you want) and every time you travel, money will automatically be taken from your card. If you are using this option, remember to touch your card to the yellow card readers when you enter each station and when you exit, otherwise you may be charged more for your journey (if you use your Oyster card on a bus, you only need to touch your card to the reader once).
You can see a full list of fares on the TfL (Transport for London) website: tfl.gov.uk
You can buy an Oyster card at most stations or online. You will need to pay a £5 deposit, but if you return your Oyster card you will receive the deposit back. It is also a good idea to register your card. This way, if you report it lost or stolen, no-one else will be able to use it and you may also get a refund or replacement card with any money/travelcards you had on your card.
Peak and Off-Peak
A very simple way to save money is to travel at off-peak times as often as possible. Peak times are Monday to Friday between 06:30 and 09:30 and between 16:00 and 19:00 (these are the busiest times of day as it is when most people travel to and from work so the prices are higher). If you travel outside of these times, you will be charged an off-peak rate which is usually a lot cheaper than the peak rate!
Another money saving tip is to buy a travelcard on your Oyster card or as a paper ticket. If you know that you will be making many journeys in a day or week, it sometimes works out cheaper to buy a day anytime, day off-peak or 7 day travelcard. You can try to work out the cheapest option for you by looking at the fares list on the TfL website, or you can ask someone who works in a station.
The next money saving tip is to purchase a season ticket. If you are planning to stay in London for a long period of time and you know that you will be travelling every day (for example, if you have booked an English language course and need to travel by Underground to the school every day), it might be worth buying a monthly or annual season ticket. These seem expensive as you need to pay a large amount in one go but if you do some calculations, you usually find that it works out cheaper in the long run.
18+ Student Oyster Card
If you are 18 or over and studying on a full-time course for more than 14 weeks, you can apply for a student Oyster card. This card will give you a 30% discount on weekly, monthly and annual travelcards/season tickets. Please note that you need to be registered with a school, college or university that is participating in the scheme (Bloomsbury International is a registered school so if you study with us you will be able to apply for this card).
Take a Bus
If you need to go somewhere in London, don’t immediately think that you need to take the Underground. London actually has an excellent bus system and you can usually find a bus or 2 that can take you anywhere you need to go. Of course, buses are usually slower than the Underground but they are much cheaper (especially with an Oyster card) and you can see more of London while you are travelling!
Another more obvious money saving tip is to walk. The London is a huge city but if you are going from one place to another in the centre, it is always a good idea to check the walking distance. Some journeys can actually be faster if you walk (especially during rush hour when the trains are busy) and you will be able to take in some of the amazing sights of London at the same time.
Use TfL Journey Planner or Download an App
The TfL Journey Planner website will show you different ways to travel from one place in London to another, showing the time it takes to get there and the different transport options.
Alternatively, if you have a smart phone with internet access, you can download an app which will show you the best way to get from A to B. My favourite is Citymapper – this app/website shows you all the different travel options, including the time it will take you to get there and the price you will pay with an Oyster PAYG card. It even tells you when the next train/bus is due to arrive!
Have fun with English
Can you put these words in the correct order to make sentences about famous places in England?
1. is England a prehistoric Stonehenge monument in well-known
2. is monarchy the and of Buckingham United workplace the of the London main Kingdom Palace residence
3. is Castle the and castle Windsor largest occupied in world the oldest
4. England District is a The beautiful West region Lake in North mountainous
5. is most seaside famous the Blackpool England landmark Tower in
Last week’s answers
Hi Jodie! I’m having a wonderful time in London – you’re right, this is a really special city! My English classes are really good (I think my English is much better now!) and I’ve done a lot of sightseeing. So far I’ve visited Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace and many other famous places. I know you said your favourite place is Oxford Street but I prefer
the Camden Town. There are so many interesting things to see and do there – crazy shops and crazy people! Tomorrow we’re going to the British Museum – I can’t wait! See you soon, from Katie.