Cheap London Travel Guide

London, UK, is one of the largest cities in the world, but it’s also one of the most family friendly. Travelling through the city and visiting the many sights and wonders London has to offer is remarkably easy, and in most cases you will find special fares for family groups with children.

Even if you are only visiting England’s capital city for a few days, it is well worth investing in an Oyster card for cheap London travel. These are plastic cards, the same size as credit cards, that are pre-loaded with money (much like a mobile phone top up or gas card) and are then swiped at a special terminal on buses and at the entrance and departure barriers for underground stations. The money is automatically deducted from the card and this also time and hassle when it comes to buying tickets themselves. Oyster promise that they’re charges are the cheapest in London, and if you do find a cheaper ticket, they will refund the difference.

Depending on your home country, you can buy your Oyster card over the internet and have it delivered to your home address. When you do so, you can choose to have the card loaded with as much credit as you wish – in L10 increments – and also pay the L2 activation fee online, so when you arrive in London the card is ready to be used. This is also available to UK residents.

Cheap London TravelFor children aged between 14 and 18, a young person’s Oyster card is available. You will need to prove your child’s age and send in a photo to be included on the Oyster card – to prevent misuse – and pay a L5 activation fee. The young person’s card, however, is substantially cheaper than the adult fares paid and you will make the L5 back in one day of full travel. Cards take around two weeks to process and be delivered to your home address. When in London, you can add credit to your card online or at any newsagents or shop displaying the Oyster symbol. To find out more, visit the Transport for London homepage at www.tfl.gov.uk

It is worth remembering, when travelling in London, that children under the age of 14 travel free on all London buses and the underground network. Simply take proof of age, such as a birth certificate or passport, and when travelling by bus show this to the driver. At underground stations, your child will need to go through the gates that are next to each turnstile; these are manned whenever the underground is in operation, and again showing the child’s passport will allow them to proceed without paying.

Cheap London travel is getting easier all the time. No matter which way of navigating through the city you choose – be it bus, underground, boat, Docklands Light Railway or tram – there will be some kind of discount for a family group and free travel for under 14s. Taxis are expensive, as they are in any city, but also unnecessary considering the transport links in London are among the best in the world.