Thursday, 13 September 2012

Travel Card

I've been thinking quite a bit about what to do regarding travelling in London. When I've been there before I have always gotten a "one day bus pass", as I'm not at all familiar with the underground in London (was a bit different when we were in New York, at least my Dad and I went on the subway all the time!) - but now that I tried to do some checking, I didn't find anything about a "bus pass", it was all Travel Cards or Oyster Cards.

Took me a while to try to familiarize myself with what was what and what I would need and what would be most economical, but in the end I decided a 7 Day Travel Card would probably be the best. It allows me to go on both buses and undergrounds, and it was cheaper to buy that than buy individual travel cards for each day.

Just one problem left. I don't get to London until rather late, the plane lands at Stanstead Airport at 5.30 p.m., meaning I won't be at Liverpool Street Station before say 7 p.m. - and I'll probably be both tired, suffering from my usual after-flight-headache (something about  the pressure changes when flying always gives me a headache) and nervous about finding my way to the hotel, so I really don't want to have to start figuring out the London transport system there and then.

I found out (thanks Annika!!) that you could order a travel card online, and have them send it to you, which was great! I was however, a bit nervous that I'd be too late, that they wouldn't be able to get it to me before I leave! After careful reading it said you had to order 7 days before leaving, so that felt okay after all.
Next problem: choosing delivery.
They had one fairly cheap delivery, but without any guarantees if the package got lost in the mail, and one more expensive which was insured against basically anything. I felt that it would be worth going for the more expensive one, since it would be SO great to have my travel card when I arrive in London. But then I find out that if you choose the more expensive delivery you have to sign for the package when they deliver it, meaning basically you have sit at home and wait for them to arrive any time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. - and they couldn't even give you a definitive day!!
I have so much going on right now, there's no way I can just stay at home waiting for a delivery ... so in the end I ordered the cheaper delivery, ordered early this morning, and now let's all pray and hope that my travel card arrives before I leave!! *fingers crossed - and toes too!*


The Darkest Night said...

I had the exact same problem when I ordered my travel card...I was not able to stay home an entire day to wait for it, so I had to take a chance and hope it would arrive with the cheaper shipping option..and it did! :) I hope yours will arrive without problems too!

Personally I love the subways in London...they seem so much easier to figure out than the ones in Stockholm...I don't think I had problems (except with the actual travel even once this time...I did pay extra attention though as I was travelling alone. In my experience I tend to get into much more trouble with the London (I think I did take the bus once, a very short ride, when I was with Cat).

Jessica said...

Yeah, I'm basically just hoping now! Got an email yesterday saying the travel card had been mailed so here's hoping that the postal service don't make a mess of things!

Never really had the courage to try the London underground! *lol* Seems so totally overwhelming to me ... I do realize that you will get to where you're going a LOT quicker with the underground, but I kind of like the buses (think it comes from my first two trips when they still were mostly driving Routemasters, I LOVE them!!!), and you get a sort of sightseeing at the same time.
Not sure if I dare to try the underground this time ... we'll see! :)

The Darkest Night said...

You do see a lot more on the bus, that's for sure! I just never have much luck with the London buses it seems...and the subway is a lot faster....

Jessica said...

Still thinking about these travel option - would somehow be cool to at least have tried the underground in London, and as you say, it's SO much faster than the buses - but I think I'll make up my mind once I'm actually there! :)

The Darkest Night said...

As the travel card works on both bus and subway you don't really need to decide until before each trip :)

Jessica said...

Lol!! Very True!! :)