Are you planning to travel to the UK to study/ visit / business? I know it can be a little daunting for international people especially with issues regarding to transportation. Well this article is just for you and it will include some of my personal tricks on how travel cheap in the UK:
- Coming to the UK— If your travel documents are in order, you can book your flight ticket in advance. It is cheaper to buy your ticket 2 or 3 months before your departure date. Use Skyscanner, or simply do an online search for cheap flights. Skyscanner is useful since you can set alerts for best airline prices. In addition, it list all airlines available for your route, cheapest months to travel, and the number of stopovers.
- Google map is your dearest friend! I love it because you can key in the postcode address, or name of your intended destination, and it will list various options of travelling, that is by walking, cycling, train, bus or car and gives you expected time of arrival. You can download the app on your phone through your app store, however, some phones come pre-installed hence you need to check first .
- Another brilliant app is Uber. Instead of hailing a cab in the street or through a centralised booking service, it connects drivers with passengers directly. It is such a great app! When you sign up with Uber you get a personalised account which shows your full statement for past & recent trips including the breakdown of the fare, the driver details, the exact pick up and dropping off points, track your cab on a map when you have requested for it and if you lose an item you can call your driver direct. I highly recommend you use the Uber app. Very reliable, safe and efficient.
Moreover, you are entitled for a free ride worth up to £10 when you sign up. Click Here if you would like to sign up. It can work on Android and iOS . They will ask you for your card details when signing up; this is to verify your identification and for payment purposes. You pay the cab using your card, so no need of putting those coins and notes aside to pay for your cab when you go out.
- If you are a student, buy a railcard (16-25 category) which is £30 for a year or £70 for three years.The card saves you a massive 1/3 on all rail journeys in the UK. First time applicants or mature students (over age 25), you will require to fill a form which you can download online and have it stamped by your school as a confirmation that you are a student. The card can be purchased via online, phone, at the train station or STA (just search through Google for a store near you)
- Book your train ticket in advance since it is cheaper than buying one day before or on the day of departure. You may purchase your ticket online through East Midlands Trains (no booking fee charged and you can save massively on advanced tickets. However, some advanced tickets are non-refundable.
- Planning a trip to London? Then buy a visitor oyster card online which is smart card you can use to pay for travel on London’s public transport. Some advantages of the card is that it saves time, because it’s ready to use as soon as you arrive. It holds pay as you go credit, which is cheaper than buying a paper single ticket. It offers daily capping, and offers special discounts. Buy a Visitor Oyster card before you leave home and it’ll be delivered to your address. If you would like to purchase one, click Here.
- Already in the UK? Well buy the oyster card. You can purchase it at the Tube, London Overground, TfL Rail, and most National Rail stations. Over 4,000 local shops in London, known as Oyster Ticket Stops or Visitor Centres. The card is convenient if you are staying over a week or longer. If you have a student railcard you can request it to be linked with your oyster so that you continue enjoying your discount.
- If you cannot afford the train, don’t worry! You can travel other places within the UK by bus. Use Megabus which you can get fares from £1.50. Another bus company that is good is National Express which travels almost everywhere in the UK, however, it is a bit expensive compared to Megabus.
- However, before buying any long-distance train or bus ticket, it’s smart to first check the cost of a flight — you might be surprised. Cheap budget airlines have revolutionized European-itinerary planning and turned vagabonds into jetsetters. Check out airlines such as easyJetand Ryanair. Booking is done online and you do not need a travel agent! However, with cheaper airfares come potential pitfalls. These budget tickets are usually nonrefundable and nonchangeable; it is important you read their terms and conditions carefully before making any payment! particularly issues regarding luggage weight, foods & drinks on the plane as well as loss of items. Sometimes you may find it is better to travel with the fancy airlines than the no-frills airlines.
- Lastly, students you don’t need a car at uni. Do you? Unless it is absolutely necessary then have a car…Get a second-hand bike. Once you have got it, it’s completely free (and often quicker) to get around. You can also join your local cycle team and make new friends. This is an absolute bargain, especially considering people pay £30 or more per month to go on cycle machines at the gym, and they ain’t going nowhere!😁
Overall, UK is a lovely place however a bit expensive. To enjoy your trip/stay, and without breaking the bank, you can use a few of the tips above and save some extra cash to buy that item you want at the duty-free shop or something else you have been wanting to purchase or just to save in general 😀….Well travel safe and enjoy your stay/ visit in the UK.
If you know other ways of saving on travel in the UK, your input is welcome. Please comment below….