I'm working out the final details of our trip to London tomorrow and ended up getting more confused than when I started regarding getting from Gatwick to London (and then the reverse at the end of the week).
I have a friend that goes there frequently and she advised us to just order Oyster cards in advance so we don't have to wait in any lines or anything after we get there and could just use the Oyster to pay for the train into the city. In doing that, I saw my daughter rides free within the city as she is under 11. So, I ordered 2 cards for my wife and myself and planned to just buy a single ticket for my daughter for the train (probably Southern from Gatwick to Victoria) and the 2 of us would pay with the Oyster cards.
But, as I was trying to verify this all today and getting ready to buy her ticket I read on TripAdvisor or someplace that Oyster cards only worked within London Fare Zones and not at Gatwick. So, do I need to buy Southern Rail tickets for all three of us then? And, if so, is there any advantage to buying online in advance, or should I just wait until we are there. It appears the tickets you buy online are not time restricted anyway, so it wouldn't hurt to buy in advance. But, it seems you still have to go to a machine with your credit card to collect them which sort of defeats the purpose of getting them in advance.
Oh! Prior to our return flight we plan to spend the last night at the Courtyard Gatwick. Looking at the map appears that it is still best for us to take the train to Gatwick Airport and then we can just walk (or maybe take the shuttle from the airport to the Courtyard if the weather is bad). Is that correct?
Thanks in advance!