5 money saving travel tips
Let’s get the obvious out the way: students aren’t the richest of folks. And when you’re penny-pinching, you really don’t want to spend more money than you need to on certain things, like travel and transport, which can be pricey especially in the UK.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of five money-saving tips that will reduce your student travel expenses…
1. Get a railcard
Having a railcard can massively cut down your spendings when you’re trying to get from A to B. We all know that British railways are some of the most expensive in Europe, if not the most expensive, but you can at least count on a railcard to help you make your money back – especially if you’re travelling through London or from north to south.
If you don’t feel like paying for a railcard, you can look into joining (or upgrading to) Santander’s 123 Student account, which will give you a free four-year 16-25 railcard to cover your travels throughout your studies and for a short time afterwards.
2. Invest in a coachcard
Sticking with the travel-card theme, you can buy a Young Persons Coachcard if you plan on making regular coach trips. It works in much the same way a Railcard does, by offering extra discounts of up to a third off journeys for students who fall within the 16-26 age bracket.
A Coachcard will set you back £10 for a year or £25 for three years. It’s a worthwhile investment if you’re a frequent coach-catcher, considering you’ll probably make the cost back within the first two or three uses.
Bonus tip: You can also catch a coach for as little as £1 – yes, for incredibly cheap coach travel, head to Megabus or National Express. Both of these coach operators cover the same routes, except there’s a £1 booking fee with National Express.
3. Book in advance
According to train-booking site Trainline, you can save up to 43% on fares nationwide if you book your travels up to three months in advance, and that includes fast trains to major cities like Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester. So next time you make travel plans, make sure you plan way ahead and book your travels online.
Your tickets will be available for collection from your local station two hours after purchase for free – you just need to remember to bring along your payment card and booking reference. Zero fuss!
If ‘public’ transport isn’t your thing, then you’ll be glad to hear that you can opt to carpool and save 79% of what you would spend on an off-peak single rail ticket, by using Uber’s carpool initiative. uberPOOL matches you with other riders who are headed the same direction, with whom you will share an UberX car and split the cost.
This tip would work an absolute treat if you’re living in a ‘student city’ like Coventry, Nottingham, or Edinburgh, because the chances are you’ll end up in a car with other students who are going to the same campus.
5. Make the most of cashbacks
If push comes to shove and you really have to pay for full-price tickets, just remember that cashback is a great way to save on your train fares, because you essentially earn as you spend. If you’re really savvy with this, you can also earn extra bonuses, which can be fast to add up over the course of a term.
Most cashback sites like Quidco and TopCashBack are free to join and they often offer exclusive rates for selected travel merchants like Trainline and Virgin Trains. You can even get 5% if you buy your Railcard through Quidco, and who could say no to extra saving?! You’ll also be able to blag some great discounts and cashback on holidays – so you can spend all that money you’ve saved on getting a break from the British weather!