We're coming to London this weekend with the sprogs (aged 10 & 8). We have been advised to get 3 day travel cards, so that we can use buses as well as the Tube and DLR - but do we need to get them for the children, as the Underground website says that children under 11 travel free! I am bemused :-S, I don't want to buy something I don't need but do want to be able to just travel around easily without having to continually buy tickets. Advice please........ :-D
Get yourself an Oyster card when you get here, you can top it up to maximum if £50 (I think) and that will get you on all London transport and much easier than faffing about with travel cards and if you don't use all your credit then you can keep if for next time you come to London. There is a £5 deposit (thanks Boris!) and you can get them at most train stations and newsagents in London. Just make sure you touch in and out when you start and finish your journey as you will be charged the maximum fare if you don't.
You do need to get the children a 5-10 oyster card to get the free travel, but you have to pay £10 per card in admin fees plus you need passport photos. If you are going to visit regularly then it is worth it, if it is a one off trip one day travel cards will be cheaper than the admin fee.
it's a one off trip -originally we'd planned to go to Buckingham Palace, but can't now get tickets :-( therefore, Oyster Cards wouldn't be practical. So, back to the original question; do I need to get travel cards for the sprogs?
I thought you didn't need a 5-10 Oyster Card for free travel if you were travelling with an adult, as up to four children between 5 and 10 can travel free with a paying adult as explained here.
OP - pick yourself up an Oyster Card when you get to town, the £5 deposit is refundable (I don't know why we have to thank Boris, I paid a £3 deposit for mine when Ken was around) and stick £30 or so on it. There is a daily price cap so you won't ever pay any more than you would for a travelcard and it means that you won't have to queue up every day. Once you're leaving London, take your Oyster Card back to the ticket office and you get back your deposit and any unused credit on the card, or if you plan on coming back to London in the future keep it for next time.
You definitely don't need any sort of Travelcard for up to 11yos if they are travelling with you. We did this last week. It's worth working out how many journeys you will do in one day - I think the standard Oyster fare is £1.90 each journey (am prepared to be corrected on that!) but a daily Zone 1 Travelcard is only £6.60 so you may be better off with the Travelcard.