I really should have had some fun with the title. Perhaps “Save a Pretty Penny Travel Bunnies” or “More Dosh in your Wallet Guv when visiting Blighty”? Okay perhaps the title was fine after all.
Travel within the United Kingdom
Travel costs within the UK have been steadily increasing. One way to save some money is to book in advance, be more flexible and widen your choices.
Disclaimer: I have no experience of booking anything from outside the UK for UK travel or accommodation. So there could be some pitfalls, hurdles etc. I apologise if my advice doesn’t help you or you run into problems. You use the information below at your own risk and can’t blame me as I just warned you.
Book in Advance
By far booking in advance will save you the most money. Book your train tickets three months in advance online and hopefully you will save some staggering amounts of money.
We have a number of train companies in the UK and prices can vary between them. For many long journeys chances are you will use multiple train companies under one ticket, so hunt around.
Megatrain & Megabus
Megatrain & Megabus provide some amazingly cheap train or bus journeys. However as they are so cheap you find yourself travelling at awkward times. I’ve gone to London and back though before for a quarter of the price of a one way ticket.
The greyhound company now operates in the UK and again book in advance and you can get a coach between major UK cities at a fraction of the cost.
National Express Coaches
It has been years since I’ve used a National Express Coach, but worth looking at their prices also. I’ve travelled from the south to mid-Wales before and although the seats were a bit tight, the journey wasn’t too bad.
Accommodation (Hotels, B&B etc)
EasyHotel, Premier Inn and Travelodge are the cheapest hotels around I believe. I’ve stayed at a few Hilton Hotels in my time, but these days prefer Travelodge. Cheaper, good bed, generally spacious rooms and on-suite. Booking out of season, off peak days at any hotel or B&B will save you some money. Premier Inn and Travelodge often do sales, but you have to move fast.
I love UK Bed and Breakfast accommodation, but have had some interesting experiences….a four poster bed which turned out to be made of metal and was too short (with metal railings at both ends), a parrot squawking in the next room and a notice telling me not to have too much water in my bath, with an accompanying diagram showing me how much water (which was hardly any) and that was all the same B&B!! Though the landlady did go and buy fresh produce from the market for my vegetarian breakfast.
Other times great rooms with sea views, great breakfasts, great hosts and nice touches such as lavender in vases. When visiting an area and we have a free day, I always ask the B&B staff what they recommend visiting. Their advice often helps us get past the shiny brochures or flashy websites and find out what really is a good few hours or day out and what probably is worth missing.
People (even UK people) often get confused by the London transport system. For novices probably best not to attempt the buses. The tube is split up into different zones as London is so big and you can buy tickets for specific zones, but many opt for all zone travel cards, which is more expensive. Granted I often opt for this so I can hop on or off and travel anywhere all day around London.
However often if I’m going to see something specific I will look before I travel at what zones I will be in reduce my ticket costs, plus often I opt to walk parts of the journey as well. I’ve always enjoyed walking parts of London and will stop off at places of interest along the way. Cheaper and adds to my experience. Though there are areas of London and times of day I would not walk around.
Tip: Upon arriving at a train station with London destinations pick up a tube map if they have any or at your first tube station.
To be continued….
Right I’ve got to dash, but there is so much more I could of written on travel and accommodation. Sometime I will write more articles on visiting the UK and saving some money.