London Log - Take the Tube

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(KKTV) - I love to travel and I try to do it whenever possible. When I am fortunate enough to have a really cool experience, I like to share it here in the hope that others can do it too! I’m posting some travel tips from a recent trip to London.

Take the Tube

Taxis take too long. The traffic in London is brutal. If you have no options a cab is ok but it often takes a long time to get wherever you’re trying to go.

outside of the tube
The London Underground, or the Tube is a fairly easy system to navigate. The London Underground map is not to scale but it’s pretty clear.

tube map
After a few trips you’ll have it mastered, and you’ll get used to the constant recorded reminder to “mind the gap” as you step from the train to the platform.

mind the gap
Get an app on your phone to help plan your Tube travel. Like any mass transit system in a major city, the tube can get very crowded during peak travel times. Try to plan your day with that in mind.

The general consensus is that the Oyster card is the cheapest way to use it. You can buy an oyster with as much money on it as you want. If you start to run low (the machine will tell you when you pass through the turnstile) you can add more money on machines at most Tube stations.
You tap in and tap out on the card reader as you begin and end each underground journey. The smart card automatically gives you the cheapest fare for your trip. It also caps the amount you pay in a given day. As an alternative to the Oyster, you can buy a paper ticket for unlimited tube use a day at a time. Avoid paying for individual tube trips one at a time. That is the most expensive way to use the Underground.

An Oyster card also works on London’s bus system. There is something to be said for a ride or two atop a big red double-decker. They often have their own bus lanes across central London, but the congestion on the surface streets can make a bus ride pretty slow at times too.

visitor card
Keep in mind that the underground does have a lot of escalators, but at many stations you will have to go up or down steps. That’s especially true if you switch form one line to another. There also be some long walks from one platform to another. If personal mobility is an issue, the Underground is not your best bet.

We’ll talk again soon