No more excuses for not making that trip / visiting family!
By Sylvia Nankivell from Student Money Saver
One of the major stumbling blocks for students up and down the country is… well, getting up and down the country. Unless you’re up the road from campus, travel is expensive.
Even if your uni is local, you still have to make it from A to B on time, and with your bank balance relatively intact. You can’t do it all at home from your laptop.
So what are the best ways of travelling the country as a cash-strapped student, be you travelling for 300 miles or 30? We have some hacks to set you on the right path.
You may associate it with mind-numbingly long journeys and really weird toilet arrangements, but the image of coach travel has changed in recent years.
It’s so simple. Unlike going by rail, you don’t have to book half a year in advance. And some deals can amount to a round down the pub, so what are you waiting for?
National Express offers travel that is quite acceptable, with cool and comfortable seats. Depending on the time of year they’re fairly quiet too. You won’t have to sit on the floor!
What’s also different from the train is you can see and talk to the driver. Just don’t distract them! But it’s altogether a better and more sociable way to do things.
A train is arguably the fastest and most convenient method of going here, there and everywhere within the UK. There’s just one snag – they are wallet-shreddingly pricey.
It doesn’t have to be like that. While there’s no getting around those crazy advance booking periods, you can save money on precious tickets in other ways.
As a student, you should have a 16-25 Railcard in your pocket. If you don’t… where have you been? It offers a third off big journeys for a more than reasonable one-off price.
It’s also worth looking out for any cashback-related deals in relation to rail travel. Cashback is where you’re paid a small amount back for purchasing via certain links.
With the price of tickets generally sky-rocketing, more people are looking to take off. Planes are associated with overseas jaunts, but are more than suitable for UK travel.
Here’s the thing. As you might be aware, there are lots of options available. For students, no frills providers such as Ryanair are your best bet for a financially light flight.
You’re limited on what you can take by way of luggage, but there’s nothing wrong with streamlining your packing ability. In fact this skill proves invaluable for later life!
A decent price comparison site like Skyscanner is a resource sent from the heavens. You may not need to cram yourself onto a budget airline if you shop around.
There is a means of travel you may not have thought of, and it involves putting one foot in front of the other! Either that or sticking them on a set of pedals.
It’s a no brainer. If you can manage it, then walking saves serious money in the long term. Going under your own steam is great for your body, even better if you bike.
Of course, if you’re not used to exercise you need to read up on the best way to get fit without causing an injury. There’s lots of info out there for finding the right approach.
One destination we haven’t explored is that of personal transport. Though seen as an environment no-no, lots of students still run their own cars or motorbikes at great expense.
Now, this is the trickiest travel area to budget in, but you can shave off costs. A decent route to discounts is knowing your way around insurance policies. Agh, small print!
From getting your insurance 3 weeks before the start date to being creative with your job description and pulling out before the policy auto-renews, you do have options.
This is another area where cashback can really help. Insurers can be notoriously difficult to extract money from in the first place, so why not take full advantage of this…?