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You can purchase tickets that allow you to use a mix of transport services throughout all 9 London fare zones.  A travelcard allows for journeys using a combination of tube, bus, national rail (inside the fare zones), DLR, tramlinks, some river services (1/3 discount on normal price) and local train services across the London travel zones 1-9.
You need to make sure you purchase the right ticket covering the zones you require since the less zones you need the less you pay. You can also pay according to the length of time you will need the card. For example you can purchase 1 day, 7 day, monthly, quarterly or yearly travelcards (7 days or longer are called season tickets). The longer you purchase the card for, the greater the savings compared to simply paying each time you use a service. Travelcards for 7 days or more offer considerable savings on cards that have an expiry of less time. For each day covered by your Travelcard you can use the bus, tube, DLR and fare zone based national rail stations an unlimited number of times. Don't forget this only applies to journeys within the fare zones, if you are are travelling out of London and the fare zones your card will not be valid. (this does not apply to buses which will accept Travelcards no matter which zones they cover) Zone 1 covers the most central areas of London, and this is where the majority of tourist attractions are, so most people will need to make sure they are covered for zone 1 at the very least. At the other end of the zones is zone 6, where you will find Heathrow airport on the western edge of the circle. Zones 7, 8 and 9 is a relatively small area in the north west corner of Greater London.
Please note however that the Heathrow Express is not covered by the travelcard but the tube service on the Piccadilly tube line that runs through all terminals IS covered. Indeed none of the airport Express routes are covered by the Travelcard which means the Gatwick Express and Stansted Express are also not covered. (Local transfers for Heathrow Hotels are normally via the Heathrow Hoppa service).
Other concessions available include for weekend only travel, family travel and for off-peak hours travel only. To purchase a travelcard you will need a passport style photo, however a photo card is not needed when you buy your travelcard on an oyster card which in reality is most places other than at national rail stations outside of London.
To use the card (when its not part of an Oyster card) you simply insert it (its credit card sized paper ticket) into the barrier machines at the entrance to most tube stations or on a  bus simply show it to the driver. On bendy buses simply enter any of the 3 entrances.

All children under the age of 11 travel free on the tube, DLR and overground rail service. Children between the ages of 5-10 need an Oyster Photocard (called a ZIP) if they are not accompanied by an adult.
Your Travelcard entitles you to buy child-rate Off-Peak Day Travelcards (valid in all zones) at a reduced price of £1 for up to 4 children (ages 5-15), when they accompany you.

*note: Oyster card fares are capped 50 pence below the 1 day Travelcard rate. So consider if the difference is worth it to you. With an Oyster card you pay a £3 deposit and can only get it back by giving the card back which may be inconvenient as you also have to fill in a form with your name and address. This of course will also apply to any money left on the card.

Travelcard on an Oystercard
Travelcard can be loaded on to an Oystercard. This will be the case if buying a Travelcard at a tube station. If you buy it at a rail station (National Rail) it will be a paper card. Only paper cards can be used for the 2 for 1 offers. >>>See list of 2 for 1 offers in London

Using National Rail to Destinations Outside your Travelcard Zones - Oyster Extension Permits
see the >Oyster Card section for more information on how to use an Oyster extension permit.
Note that for bus journeys all Travelcards cover all zones no matter what zones are covered on the Travelcard.

Your travelcard must be valid for all zones you pass through regardless of your entry and departure point. For example if you are travelling from zone 3 to zone 2 but make a change in zone 1 then your Travelcard must include zone 1.

If you travel to or from a zone that is an Oyster zone but not covered by your Travelcard and its not a National rail station then the extra fare will be deducted automatically from your Oystercard if you have your travelcard on an Oyster card. 

You do not need a photocard to buy or use any adult-rate Travelcard.
You do need a photocard to buy or use:
* Monthly or longer period Travelcards that include validity to a National Rail station beyond zones 1-6 (not needed from Moor Park to Watford/Chesham/Amersham inclusive)
* 7 Day, monthly or longer period National Rail only season tickets
* Point to point season tickets on London Overground

Travelcards are valid for travel on: The Tube, DLR, London Overground and buses Trams, where your Travelcard includes Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6 National Rail Scheduled Riverboat services at 1/3 off the normal fare. Just show your Travelcard (or Oyster card with a Travelcard on it) at the time of travel

Explanation of journey times Each Travelcard covers
Anytime Day Travelcards: As the name implies it covers travel at anytime of the day on any day of the week that your card is valid for till 04.30 the following day.
Off-Peak Travelcard: after 09.30 weekdays, all day Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Valid  till 04.30 the following day.
*note: make sure you don't buy a 1 day anytime travelcard when its a bank holiday. These fall on either a Monday or a Friday.

*Tip: remember that when your card says it expires on a certain day, it will still be valid till 04.30 the following day.

Your Travelcard must be valid for all the zones you travel through.

Day Travelcard 2018
  Anytime   Off-Peak
  Adult Child Adult Child
Zone 1 or 1+2 £12.30 £6.10    
Zones 1-3 £12.30 £6.10    
Zones 1-4 £12.30 £6.10 - -
Zones 1-5 £17.50 £8.70 £12.30 £6.10
Zones 1-6 £17.50 £8.70 £12.30 £6.10
Zone 2 only £12.30 £6.10    
Zones 2-3 £12.30 £6.10    
Child is ages 11-15
Under 11s travel free, 11+ need their own travel ticket
Off-peak Not valid weekdays before 9.30am
Day Anytime can be used at any time on the day of validity and for any journey that starts before 04:30 the following day.

Travelcard Season Ticket 2018
Adult 7 Day Monthly Annual
  Adult Child Adult Child Adult Child
Zone 1 £33 £16.50 £126.80 £63.40 £1320 £660
Zones 1-2 £33 £16.50 £126.80 £63.40 £1320 £660
Zones 1-3 £38.70 £19.40 £148.70 £74.50 £1548 £776
Zones 1-4 £47.30 £23.70 £181.70 £91.10 £1892 £948
Zones 1-5 £56.20 £28.10 £215.90 £108 £2248 £1124
Zones 1-6 £60.20 £30.10 £231.20 £115.60 £2408 £1204
Zones 1-7 £65.40 £32.70 £251.20 £125.60 £2616 £1308
Zones 1-8 £77.30 £38.70 £296.90 £148.70 £3092 £1548
Zones 1-9 £85.70 £42.90 £329.10 £164.80 £3428 £1716
Child fares are11-15 zip fares

Bus and Trams only
Bus & Tram Pass - Adult
1 Day 7 Day Monthly Annually
£5 £21.20 £81.50 £848

Retail outlets displaying the travelcard sign
Tube station ticket offices
Self service ticket machines at Tube stations
Oyster Ticket Stops
Ticket Stops
National Rail station ticket offices
London Travel Information Centres
Tube stations
Buy Travelcards Online Here

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