Mobile SIM card, highest value for money accommodation and best travel card for visitors in London

12 09 2009

Since this is a travel blog, I thought I should just list this down for Malaysians who want some basic info about London:

1)  Cheapest Mobile SIM card is from Lebara. You pay as low as 5 pounds per card – the total amount is talk time, the card is free. You can insert in any GSM phone that you bring from home. If 2 or more are traveling together, just get another pack and the 2 can call each other for free. Calls to Malaysia are 5p per minute, whether land line, mobile or sms – I know I wrote 4p in my earlier blog – that was wrong. Calls and sms to London lines are 10p per minute. I called USA for 4p per minute. For more info, go to www.

2) I got a good deal for a hotel in Central London because of a good friend, but I know that the best place is probably the Traveller’s Lodge. I visited the one in Brighton which is situated in a great place, looks clean and is cheap – except you’ll have to book early. Sunday and Monday nights are normally cheaper. Please do not opt to stay too far from Central London as the transportation will easily jack up your cost, plus you lose a lot of time. Staying in Central London means you can do a lot of walking. It also means traveling is within zones 1 and 2 which is cheaper.

3) There are day tickets and weekly tickets, but after much consideration, I still think the Oyster Card is the better option. Basically you pay 3 pounds for the deposit (which is refundable when you return the card) and then you top up with whatever amount you think you will need. Any unused balance is refundable.  There is a daily maximum on the amount charged to you. After the maximum is reached, there will no longer be deductions from the Oyster card. Its not usable out of London though, so if you plan to travel afar, then maybe the 1 week ticket is better. I also realized that just jumping up on any bus is a cheaper option than paying a lot for the tourist hop on-hop off bus. With the Oyster card, you pay only 1 pound for the bus ride and you can see many places. Just queue up at any Underground station ticket booth and ask for an oyster card. Don’t worry about registering your card unless you are staying for a month and think you might lose it.

4) Consider buying a return ticket when visiting Brighton as it is cheaper than buying 2 one way tickets. The return ticket is a one month open ticket.

5) DO NOT lose your ticket after boarding – you will still need it to get out of the station upon arrival at the destination.

6) Its cheaper to buy theatre tickets at the booths at Leicester Square. 





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