O is for…

Oyster (Card)

The Oyster Card is similar to Myki in Melbourne- except it is actually reliable.

Previous visits to London had involved a lot of walking, with the occasional train trip thrown in. I don’t really mind that, but having two youngsters and no pram meant I would be using trains and buses a lot more.

Mark organised the cards for us, with enough money on it to get us from Heathrow to Islington. We topped up the cards with a weekly Zone 1/2 ticket, which you could do from the station self-service kiosks, or go to the ticket counter for them to top it up for you.

What I liked about it was I could still use it without registering my card with my personal details- I was restricted to Pay as You Go and Weekly Travelcards (which was all I really needed) and I had multiple options for charging my card up, including asking for help from a ticket salesperson at a railway station. When you touched on a bus and at the station the light went from red to green, with an LCD display indicating the date on which my travelcard expired.

But the best thing? The kids travelled FREE. Actually that was the second best thing. The best thing was people were nice when they saw us en famille. They stood up and offered us seats on trains and buses. They smiled at the kids and were always greeted by a smile back. Miss BG ended up playing peekaboo with at least one person per train trip. Master BG’s never-ending questions in his Australian accent elicited many a grin from a wide array of people.

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