Travelling up and down the country, whether that is to visit friends or just to return home from college on a weekend trip, is part of the university experience. Unfortunately for most students, so is having very little cash; and travelling in the UK can be very expensive. Worry not, because we have a handy guide on how you can source and avail the cheapest transport available.
However, before you read this article, we would suggest that you think twice about the information you are about to receive. After going through it, you will have no excuse not to go home when your mother asks "can you make your grandaunt's 90th birthday?"
On the bright side, it may save you enough cash that you can get yourself a nice treat, after surviving your trip to see your long-lost grandaunt!
Without further ado... here are five ways you can travel in the UK for much, much less.
If you don't have this card already, then we would suggest getting one right now. It offers you much cheaper deals on rail travel and is guaranteed to pay for itself over your college term. The cards are only £30 for one year, or £70 for three years and they offer you a third off travel on most rail routes. If you are planning on going home via rail regularly while you are in college, then this is an investment you will certainly not regret.
It is simple economics - the more people in a car, the cheaper the individual cost of the journey when split equally. If you drive home every now and again, then you should find friends who need a lift and share the cost of the petrol/diesel. If you don't drive, then you should find a driver who will do the same.
This may not be as quick as the train, but it will save you money and who knows, you may even make a few new friends on those long journeys.
One handy way to meet people you can carpool with is student forums, such as thestudentroom.co.uk.
If you are in London regularly, then you should definitely get your hands on an Oyster Card. The initial cost for travelling around the city without one may not seem huge at first, but it really can add up.
Thus, getting an Oyster Card really makes sense if you are in the capital more than once every term.
This money saving travel card works on London buses; the London Underground; Trams; Docklands Light Railway (DLR); London Overground and most National Rail services within the city. There is a £5 refundable deposit on all cards, but that is hardly going to break the bank, is it?
Be flexible with dates and times
Everyone knows that public transport is much more expensive when you book too late and don't have any flexibility with your dates. According to thetrainline.com, booking tickets well in advance can save you over 40 per cent, so if you are planning on travelling, then ensure you buy your tickets with plenty of time to spare and try to go at off-peak times.
The rules of supply and demand apply to transport too, so if you can go at a time when there are far fewer passengers, then you are guaranteed to save a few quid.
Take advantage of the Megabus
The Megabus is a godsend for those of us who travel on a very tight budget. Sure, it may not be the most comfortable way in the world to travel between cities, but it is cheap.
With fares as low as just £1.50, it is difficult to knock this service. Although we know this isn't an option for everyone, it really is one of the cheapest ways to get around the UK. So there you have it, five easy ways to save money while travelling in the UK.
Now you’ll need to prepare some quality excuses, because ‘I can’t afford it’ just won’t cut it anymore.
Here, you can have this one for free - "I can't make my grandaunt's birthday because I am too busy reading great articles in 'Loud! Magazine'."