Transport in the uk

HOW CAN I TRAVEL AROUND THE UK AS A STUDENT?

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  • Post last modified:February 18, 2024
  • Reading time:8 mins read

In a post-recession age, when money is tight for all of us, finances are likely to be an ever-present worry when you’re still at school and earning only a modest income from a part-time job or pocket money.
One of the major costs you’re likely to consider to enjoy life in your spare time is transport. Whether you’re commuting to and from school, visiting friends or relatives, or planning a day trip or holiday in the UK or beyond, it pays to be aware of the many ways in which you can make significant savings on the ever-increasing cost of travel. The tips and tricks in this article will show you that the high cost of transport doesn’t have to stand in the way of your plans.

Transport in the uk


Get The Coach Between Cities With Megabus
Prepare to be amazed at the phenomenally cheap prices offered for coach journeys by Megabus, which offers cheap bus and train travel between UK cities and even over the Channel to various European cities. With fares starting at less than £1.50, Megabus offers significant savings over the cost of rail travel and means you won’t have to nag your parents to drive you to places anymore!
Save A Third On Rail Travel Using The 16-25 Railcard
If rail travel is unavoidable, you can save a third of the cost of train tickets with a 16-25 Railcard. Though you’ll have to pay for it – it costs £30 for a year or £70 for three years – it will quickly pay for itself in the money you’ll save. It’s valid on all Standard and First Class Advance fares, and the only restriction is that a minimum fare of £12 will apply if you travel between 4.30am, and 10am midweek, except in July and August. Because of this restriction and the 16-25 Railcard won’t get you a discount off the price of a season ticket, it’s unfortunately not an ideal solution if you’re using the train for a daily commute to school. However, if you’re likely to travel by rail at the weekends or for day trips, it will quickly prove its worth. The 16-25 Railcard also entitles you to a huge number of discounts on days out, restaurants, holidays, and so on, so it allows you to save money on other things.
Perfect The Art Of Split Ticketing
Who knows how the ‘powers that be’ decide how train tickets should be priced, but a weird loophole in ticket pricing structures means that it’s sometimes cheaper to book tickets separately for each leg of your journey than it is to book a single ticket for the entirety of your journey. For example, a ticket from Oxford to Birmingham costs around £30. However, if you were to buy a ticket from Oxford to Banbury and a separate one from Banbury to Birmingham, you might find that your journey works out cheaper. Don’t ask us why – it’s just the way it is! Luckily, a number of apps and websites exist to help you calculate and compare the costs of splitting journeys; here’s some more information on split ticketing from Raileasy. Splitting your tickets in this way is legitimate – all that matters is that each ticket is valid and that the train you’re on stops at the destination printed on the ticket. You don’t even need to get off the train you’re on! It’s baffling, but it works.
Book Train Tickets 12 Weeks In Advance
If you know well in advance that you’re going to be traveling somewhere on a specific date – to a wedding, for example – you can make substantial savings by booking your train ticket at least 12 weeks in advance. According to thetrainline.com, booking in advance can save you an average of 43%, sometimes much more. Suppose you’re ordering tickets online in advance. In that case, you can also save money by electing to pick up the tickets at the station on the day rather than having them posted to you for an extra fee. Don’t forget to take the debit or credit card you booked with for proof of purchase (if your parents booked for you, you’d need to get them to come along to the station to collect the tickets from the machine).
Get An Oyster Card If You Go To London Regularly
For cheaper travel around London, if it’s something you do regularly, its well worth acquiring an Oyster Card. This is valid on all London buses, the London Underground, Tram, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, and most National Rail services within London. It’s a pre-paid smartcard that you top up with credit similarly to how you top up a pay-as-you-go mobile phone, and it gives you cheaper travel across the London transport network, capping prices each day to avoid you having to spend more than necessary. To get an Oyster Card, all you have to do is sign up online (or at a London Underground station, Oyster Ticket shop, or various other locations) and put down a £5 deposit (refundable if you ever want to return your card, along with any remaining credit). If you’re only going to London for the day, a London Travelcard would be more appropriate.
The Six-Week Flight-Booking Rule
Turning to air travel now, the amount of time you leave booking your flight can impact the price you pay. Contrary to what you might expect, prices are often hiked for last-minute travel, so if it’s unavoidable, try not to leave a booking until before you travel. For the budget airlines Ryanair and Easyjet, the optimum booking time for the cheapest prices are thought to be around six weeks in advance. On average, research has shown that five weeks in advance is the optimum booking time across all airlines.
Shop Around For The Cheapest Flights
As with many purchases, it’s a good idea to shop around to get the best deal for buying flights. The good news is that there are lots of websites designed to help you do just that; Skyscanner, Cheapflights, and Flightchecker are just three examples. You’ll need to compare airlines every time you fly, as there are, unfortunately, no single airline guarantees that they’ll always have the cheapest prices for every destination at every time of day, week, or year. Also, don’t forget that sometimes, the budget airlines aren’t actually cheaper than an airline such as British Airways, so don’t rule out these supposedly more expensive carriers.
Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates And Times
Further savings can be made if you’re able to be flexible about the dates and times you fly. This is because being flexible allows you to take advantage of the times of the day and week when fewer people travel, and airlines lower their fares to encourage more people to book. For example, flights at awkward times of the day, such as very early in the morning or very late at night, are often cheaper, so if you don’t mind disrupting your sleeping pattern temporarily, you should be able to save money.
Book A Package Holiday Just For The Flight
Companies such as First Choice and Thomas Cook offer great prices on all-inclusive holidays – including flights, accommodation, food, and drinks. The prices are so good that it can sometimes be cheaper to book an entire package holiday than to buy the flights on their own. So, even if you already have accommodation sorted (staying with relatives, for instance), it’s worth looking at the package deals available to see if they work out cheaper than the cost of a flight on its own. You’re under no obligation to stay in the hotel that comes with the package deal if you don’t want to.