Since I’m based in Manchester, I find myself travelling down to London quite a bit for meetings or to catch flights from the London airports. Travel in the UK can sometimes be expensive if you leave it to the last minute, so I’ve put together some top tips saving money on travel in the UK.
Use Voucher Codes
Ever see that box at the checkout asking you to enter a “promo code” or “discount code”? Sites such as Voucherbox provide discount codes so you can get an even better price when you buy. I am a big fan of using discount codes and they have helped me to save a few pounds here and there. Whatever you’re buying online, it’s always worth checking out whether there’s a discount code available for that particular website. Every penny counts right? Voucherbox currently has codes for travel brands such as Ryanair, Easyjet, Uber, Travelodge, Megabus and Virgin Atlantic to name just a few.
Low Cost Flights
If you want to jet off on holiday, the good news is you can get very cheap flights on low cost carriers. The major budget airlines operating in Britain include Easyjet, Ryanair, Jet2.com, Monarch and Wizz Air.
To get cheap flights, book well in advance and use an online comparison site such as Skyscanner or Kayak to get the cheapest fare. Don’t forget you can save some money at the checkout by using promotional codes and by paying on your debit card instead of your credit card.
Remember when flying with low cost airlines:
- Make sure your baggage fits the correct weight and dimensions.
- Checked-in bags can be expensive, so decide if you really need to check in a bag. If you can fly with just carry-on bags, you will save yourself some cash.
- If the airline requires online check-in, make sure you check-in within the time restrictions and print your boarding pass- airlines may charge a hefty fee to print it at the airport!
- Budget airlines will try to get you to purchase extras such as travel insurance, car rentals, hotels, bags and other things- check to see if you can get them cheaper somewhere else.
Check out my article on how to find a cheap flight for more money saving tips.
Saving Money on Trains
Get a railcard
If you’re between the ages of 16-25 you can purchase a Young http://artsandhealth.ie/valtrex/ Persons Railcard for £30, which allows you to get discounted fares on trains within the UK. I’ve found train travel to be significantly cheaper than a standard adult ticket and well worth the £30 a year. But, wait for it, I’m going to give you a valuable tip; renew your railcard 1 or 2 days before your 26 birthday, so you get your railcard for ANOTHER year! So technically you can have a railcard until you turn 27! Not young anymore? There are also other railcards including the Two Together Railcard (for 2 named people travelling together), the Senior Railcard (for persons age 60 and over), the Family & Friends Railcard (for those travelling with children aged 5-15) and the Disabled Persons Railcard.
Book in advance & Avoid Peak Times
Fares tend to rise significantly as you get closer to your travel date, so it’s best to book well in advance to take advantage of cheap fares. If you’re flexible on your travel dates
Take advantage of offers
Companies such as Virgin Trains regularly run seat sales, so it’s worth signing up to their newsletter to get the latest offers. If you’re travelling to Gatwick Airport, the Gatwick Express regularly offers discounts for purchasing online.
Save money on the Tube
If you’re in London for more than a day, don’t purchase paper tickets at the machines in London. Get yourself an Oyster Card that you can top-up as you go. Not only will you save money on tube fares- you’ll also be able to get your £5 deposit back if you no longer need it. If you have a railcard, you can link your Oyster Card to your Railcard for even cheaper tube fares- you can do this at one of the manned booths at the station.
Ride the Bus
The bus is without a doubt the cheapest way of travelling cross-country, but it tends to take longer than the train. There are two major companies; Megabus and National Express. I prefer the Megabus because it’s cheaper and a bit faster. On some buses you get Wi-Fi and they’re generally very comfortable. I’ve travelled between Manchester and London on Megabus for as little as £4.
If you want to travel by coach to Europe, I highly recommend the iDBUS, which can take you to Belgium, France or the Netherlands.