I know there are already plenty of Oyster card questions here, but I can't find any recent information on travelling with children to London. My situation is this:
There will be 5 of us travelling, 2 adults (we will probably just use our contactless credit cards instead of Oyster cards) and 3 children aged 17, 15, and 10. I beleive the 10 year old can travel for free, and my understanding is that the 10 year old will not need any card at all, and can just go through the gate (let me know if that's wrong!). The 15 and 17 year old children can travel for substantial discounts... but only if they use the Oyster card. I found some information about a youth discount on the Visitor's Oyster card (details found here: https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/visiting-london/visitor-oyster-card#on-this-page-7). Can this also be applied to Oyster cards that we buy when we arrive?
To sum up, my questions are: 1: Does the 10 year-old need any kind of Oyster card to travel (with adults) for free? 2: Is it possible (or even preferred) to just buy Oyster cards when we arrive in Heathrow, and ask the staff to apply the Youth Visitor discount to the Oyster card when we arrive? Or do we need to buy the Visitor Oyster Cards ahead of time, and add the youth discount when we arrive?
If more details are needed, here is our itinerary:
Day 1: We're arriving in Heathrow in the afternoon on the first day of our trip, and taking the tube to our hotel in Zone 1. This will be our only travel on the day of arrival.
Day 2: Sightseeing around London, this will be our most Tube-heavy day, it might be preferable to just buy a 1-day travel card on this day.
Day 3: Taking the tube back to Heathrow to pick up a rental car, and driving west to Wales for the most of the rest of our trip.
Day 8: After spending several days in Wales, we're returning the rental car at Heathrow, taking the tube back to London for one more day.
Day 9: Finally, one more trip to Heathrow to fly home.
Thanks very much!