I am on a career break and is not rich by any means. Living in London is crazy expensive, but there are ways to get out of London / do London for a bit without raiding too much into my savings. Here are the 3 things that I do to make my UK travel cheaper.
i) Rail cards
1/3 off any train fares almost any time. There are 6 types of these cards:
- youth / 18-25 or full time students
- family & friends
- two together
- disable person
- gold card – aka. pay your 12 months travel card up front at any rail station (must be purchased at RAIL)
**The discount is not valid for morning peak hours Monday-Friday before 9:30** Discount is applicable on all weekends and bank holidays.
The deal that I use is called ‘Two Together Railcard’. This is not a rail pass. It is more of a discount card – £30 annual fee or £70 for 3 years. One card covers 2 people. Point (ii) covers how to get this card for free.
The card entitle the holder 1/3 discount on any national rail & many buy 1 get 1 free attraction tickets (e.g. British museum special exhibition, Brighton aquarium etc). It really don’t take much to get your money back.
- London to Brighton is £21.50 for return super off peak. With the rail card, it becomes £14!!! *based on thetrainline.com i.e. for 2 people, that’s £7.50 x 2 = £15 worth of savings
- Exhibition at British museum is £17.5 per person (i.e. £35 for 2 people). But with the card, I only need to pay for 1 person. So without leaving London, I’ve saved £17.50
Very important. This card has a clear photo of the 2 registered person. It only works if both are traveling at the same time. Just make sure that you have a partner in crime that will be there to stay. My spouse is 99% of the time my travel partner when I am not solo, so it makes sense for me to get the card with our names on it.
**This has NOTHING to do with the London tube
ii) Tesco Club Card
Did you know that your Tesco club card vouchers can be exchanged for Rail Cards? It only cost £15 worth of vouchers. So if you save up all your Tesco vouchers, you don’t even need to pay the £30. Basically, that’s just 3 months of groceries at Tesco and you’ll have enough points. This is a straight freebies.
**You cannot buy this deal. It has to be exchanged with your tesco vouchers!!! Save your vouchers for this noble cause.
This is the train galore! I love this site. Easy to use and great price.
This is where I book my transport for around UK. If the destination is on the far end of UK, I’ll look at skyscanner as well.
Let me rant a bit, the transport in London is insanely pricey. Often, the air ticket cost the same as the transport to get to the airport. Again, I’d like to emphasize that I HATE spending money on transport in general. I live quite near Kings Cross, so rail is normally my preferred choice.
So here it is 😀 This is how I make my travel more affordable. So how about you?
**My apologies on the feature photo. I can’t find any photo of myself inside any train except this one. This was in fact taken on a SCNF (French) train.
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Totally agree with transport costs in the UK, I do however love the UK rail system, I guess many will disagree but when you come from a city with no rail connections then you will understand.
Thank you for reading, Claudia ???? I understand your point. I lived in Cape Town, where the rail sucks badly. Sigh. Even UK’s rail delays often and mega expensive, it was still way better than back home for me.
I’m British and the only way I can afford train travel is with my 16-25 railcard combined with thetrainline! The other good way to get around is the national express coaches – even though it sometimes takes a bit longer to get to places they’re generally cheaper, and they don’t charge you for luggage as long as you keep it to one suitcase or large rucksack and handluggage!
I am SOOOO jealous of you being young~~ There’re so many youth discounts. I totally agree with you, the national express is also really handy and cost saving. Great point on the luggage tip 😉
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So useful! Since I have moved to the UK not long ago and looking for ways to explore the country without breaking the bank! <3 great post
ROFL and I certainly recognize the TGV 😉
but how do I get the Tesco voucher in the first place? just shop at Tesco with the Tesco club card?
LOL ???? Hi Meesh, ja, just shop at Tesco with the Tesco club card. They’ll send vouchers to you when you have enough points.
???? glad to share. Thanks for dropping by.
I love that photo of you on the train, you look so happy hah xx
Thanks ???? I sure was way happy haha
Thank you for sharing On, so useful! Bookmarking this article right now ????
Really useful post thank you Joyce. It’s dreadful how expensive transport is in London.
Thank you for reading, Sue. Ja! The cost of transportation in London is depressing. ????
What’s to apologize for in your feature photo?
Great tips… I want to travel around in the UK now!
Well, it was not authentic British rail? So, I guess I had to apologize for the lack of proper photo? *LOL* Ja, pound is at all time low. Bargain time 😉
am in u k so come
Where in UK are you? Wait, you intend to ask Stashy or me? haha
Ohh Thank you for sharing this!! I’ll be living in London from September and your tips will definitely be useful! I lived in Nottingham for 4 months and I also used often the nationalespress buses…rides are really cheap, sometimes the time is not worth (too long!) other times it’s the same timing as the train so it’s defintiely conveninet! 🙂
Thank you again for your suggestions! 🙂
Lisa | http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net/
I use the bus too!! 😀 haha yes, the time consuming that is very trying hahaha Thank you for dropping by 😉
My pleasure! 🙂