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Getting Around on a Budget
By Adam Stokes
Making your way across the country can be done in a variety of different ways. Dependent on how to you decide to travel, you can bring your expenses right down – but might have to sacrifice a little comfort on the way. Here are the best ways to get around the UK on a budget, from public transport to using your own vehicle.
#1 Go by Coach
Coach travel has always been one of the cheapest modes of public transport. National Express offer reasonable journey options for reasonable prices with fares from £5 one-way to 100s of UK destinations, all of which come with reasonable comfort, too. However, if you’re really on a budget, then Megabus is the way to go. If you don’t mind a slightly less comfortable ride and minimal departure time options, then Megabus can provide you with possibly the cheapest way of getting around the country. Also, with extra discount for NUS card holders, you can get tickets for an absolute steal!
#2 Ride the Rails
Though not as cheap as getting the coach, if booked at the right time, cheap rail tickets don’t have to be a rarity – plus travelling by train is usually much more comfortable. If you own a Two Together Railcard railcard, then you can get 1/3 off all journeys. At only £30 a year (£20 for Disabled Persons railcard) you can usually earn your money back in just a matter of journeys. You can also use Raileasy’s Split ticketing service to split your your journey down into smaller sections and save a small fortune on the cost of train travel. Even better, if you’re a student you can open a Student Current Account and you’ll qualify for a FREE 4 year 16-25 railcard! Finally don’t forget to check out our recommended train sites to find the best deals on booking fees.
#3 Pedal to the Metal
It might often be considered the most expensive way of travelling across the UK, but using a car doesn’t have to be a money burner. If you’re travelling with friends and are lucky enough to fill the whole car, splitting petrol costs between around 5 people can go a long way. Admittedly, it’s not going to be as cheap as getting the coach, but that’s where you have to decide on comfort over budget. If you don’t mind spending a few extra pennies, then carsharing can be a great way of getting from A to B. Also, with trusted sites like Carpooling and BlaBlaCar, you can even do it without friends!
These are the quickest ways to be travelling cheaply across the UK. Of course, if your budget is £0 and you have nothing but time on your hands, you can always do it the old fashioned way and use your legs. Walking is a little out of the question, but cycling is free, enjoyable and healthy… you’ll just be getting to where you’re going that little bit later.
- If you’re buying train tickets, you can opt to pick them up at the station for no extra charge
- Remember that you must be departing after 10am in order for your railcard to be valid…so go on, sleep in a little
- If you and your mates want to take the scenic route driving, take some time to pinpoint the cheapest petrol stations along the way
- Coaches can be long and uncomfortable at times. A pillow, a good book and a pair of headphones can keep you sane
- This applies to however you decide to travel… keep your eyes open. Missing a junction, station or stop can send you miles in the wrong direction, which will cost you in the long run. Eyes peeled!
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Check out our Transport category for more great ways to save money when travelling throughout the UK and London.