London prices are shocking especially after spending almost two years in Vietnam where a ride in a cab costs less than 1 USD. Thank goodness for my Oyster card – London’s convenient reusable travel smartcard that saves you a bundle. For example, a bus ride that normally costs ?1.50 costs just ?1 during peak and ?0.80 off peak.

Yesterday, I found another reason to love my Oyster card. On the way home from Kew Garden, I got on the bus and scanned my Oyster card per usual. The reader was broken, though, so we got on for free! But not everyone got to ride for free. Those who were paying with cash still had to pay. What a gyp!

Even if you’re only going to be in London for a few days, but will be do a lot of traveling on public transportation including the Tube and buses, I’d recommend getting an Oyster card. Once you’re finished, you can “take your Oyster card to a Tube station ticket office for a refund of your unused ticket or travel value and the ?3.00 deposit.” Or you can keep it for a pricey souvenir. ;)