While there’s a whole host of things that we’d all love to spend our dosh on, travel is just not one of them! If getting around on a daily basis is bleeding you dry, you’ve come to the right place. Here are just 10 ways you can start to save some money.
1. Get an annual train ticket
If you have to commute for work or university, we feel for you. It’s no fun. Cramming yourself into a carriage with hundreds of other disgruntled people is a recipe for disaster. What’s more, to make matters worse, this kind of travel can also be seriously expensive. So, what could you do to start to drive the average costs down in no time at all? Well, there is one small thing that you may want to try.
Annual train tickets tend to be much cheaper (in the long run!) than getting daily ones. So, if you’re going to the same place on a weekly or daily basis, this is likely to be your best option. Of course, the major downside to this is that some season tickets can cost thousands. And, while they likely save you hundreds, not everyone will have the cash to pay upfront at all. Yikes. Consider grabbing a 0% credit card and paying this off on a monthly basis. You will save cash and build up your credit history.
Check out: Season Train Tickets
2. Invest in a bike (and lose weight!)
Of course, most people currently drive to work and to do their daily chores, but there could be another way. While cycling may sound like a whole load of effort, it could well be the answer to your money and health issues. Investing in a bike and taking the time to cycle places will not only save you money, it will also ensure that you lose weight. After all, what could be healthier than starting every single day with a huge injection of cardio exercise? Nothing — that’s what!
What’s more, if you’re trying to shed a few extra pounds, you may find that this is the best way forward. Opting to cycle (or walk) to work can significantly reduce your body fat, according to a recent study by The Lancet. So, while at first this lifestyle change may feel like a huge deal, it’s certain to do you a whole load of favours in the future. Simple.
Buy: City Bike
3. Use this Virgin Trains ‘hack’
Doesn’t it just feel as though train travel is getting more and more expensive? I remember the good old days when you could get from Edinburgh to Dorset for threepence. Okay, I’m kidding… But train tickets can be a real expense, at the best of times. Luckily, if you’re a Virgin Trains customer, there may be a sneaky little way to make sure that you get the cheapest fares available.
Head to the Virgin Trains homescreen (in your browser, not on your app!), and then click the button that says ‘Ways to Save’. Once you’ve done so, you should find that the page shows you the network’s best fare finder service. That means that you can find super cheap tickets at just the click of a button. Ahh!
Check out: The Best Fare Finder Tool
4. Try car-pooling
Sure, the idea of getting a lift with a load of people might sound annoying, but it could well save you a whole load of money. What you need to weigh up here is what you value more — your personal space or your cash. If the answer is the latter, car-pooling could well be for you. Arranging to share journeys with people will save you money along the way and, hey, you might even make a friend or two as well.
Of course, you can sort this out yourself among your friends or co-workers. However, if you have neither of the above (or don’t know anybody going the same place as you), there are tools you can use online. For example, Bla Bla Car, will help you find people going the same place as you in no time at all.
Check out: Bla Bla Car
5. Try ‘hidden-city’ plane tickets
Whether you have to travel for work or pleasure, planes can cost a small fortune. Needless to say, one of the biggest expenses is the air fare. When it comes to buying tickets for planes, many of us just get bamboozled by all the options and end up going with the easiest one online. But wait just a minute here, there is another way to go.
Hidden-city plane tickets is a way of cutting down the costs of your air fare, while still getting to where you need to be. What’s more, it’s legal and actually very easy to do once you know how. The idea here is that many airlines fly to less-popular destinations or ‘hidden-cities’ but, before they get there, they may have a lay-over in a popular place.
For example, flying to New York might be ultra expensive since it’s a top tourist spot, but flying to Newark (in New Jersey) will usually be much cheaper. The catch here is that many flights will actually have a stop off in New York before heading on to Newark. That means that, so long as you have hand luggage, you can get off wherever you like. Easy!
Luckily, you don’t have to work out the route for yourself. (That would be way too hard!) There are sites online, such as Skiplagged, which will do all the hard work for you!
Check out: Skiplagged.com
6. Shop around for car insurance
If you’re one of the lucky people who has a car (first of all, congrats!), you need to make sure that you insurance. This is a legal requirement. There’s no way around it. However, you shouldn’t have to pay through the nose each time you have to renew your policy. If you want to save as many pennies as possible, you need to make sure that you drive your insurance down as far as it will possibly go.
One of the easiest ways to do so is to absolutely avoid the ‘auto-renew’ function on your current policy. This is a game in which loyalty gets you nowhere. Instead, take the time to shop around each and every time that you need to get a new policy. Sure, it will take up time and energy, but it may be worth it in the long run. What’s more, there are loads of handy comparison sites where you can find just what you need in minutes.
Check out: Car Insurance Comparison
7. Take the coach!
We know… Coach travel is less than luxurious. Still, it could end up saving you a whole load of money when you get it right. The fact of the matter is that coaches are much, much cheaper than the likes of trains. So, when you get one of these tickets instead, you could end up saving yourself the majority of what it would otherwise cost you. Of course, there are a few options out there.
The two main companies offer this service as National Express and Megabus, with the latter tending to be slightly cheaper. If you want to save even more money, it’s worth watching out for deals here too. For example, Megabus tend to offer £1 tickets if you travel on a Monday. That means that you could well save yourself a whole load of cash if you don’t mind when you leave and arrive.
8. Get an NUS Extra card
If you’ve yet to get an NUS Extra card by now, what on earth have you been playing at? It’s really simple to bag yourself one of these cards for next to nothing — whether you happen to be a student or not. That means that you really have no excuse not to get one as it could end up saving you a lot of cash over time.
Once you have a card, you need to check out what student offers there are available in your city. For example, many bus companies offer cut-rate tickets for students, which means that you could easily save money. Sometimes, you may need to pay a little extra upfront for your student pass, but if you use public transport a whole lot, you will soon make that money back.
Read: How to get an NUS card
9. Book your travel way in advance
Okay, so this next one only applies if you happen to be a super organised person. If that sounds like you, we have some good news — you can save some cash by booking in advance. Most train companies allow you to book your travel weeks and weeks before you’re set to leave. That means that when you know what you’re doing ahead of time, you can bag yourself some cheap advance tickets along the way.
The same goes for flights and even coaches too. The key here is to make sure that you plan what you’re doing and stick with it. (Of course, if you happen to be an ultra flaky person, this will just not work!) You should also shop around at the time to figure out whether you can get a deal. Oh, and you may want to split your tickets too for an extra discounted journey.
Check out: Split Ticketing
10. Get some cash back
If you travel a lot, you may be able to earn some cash back on your journeys. There are now many cashback sites popping up online in a bit to encourage us all to spend more. The trick here is to sign up to one of them and only spend money on things that you need to buy anyway. For example, many of the sites offer money back on networks such as East Midlands Trains and the Train Line.
It’s well worth signing up to one of these sites and using it now and then. While it may seem like hassle, you only have to do it once, and after that you can just start racking up some free money. And, frankly, that’s something we could all do with now, right?!
Check out: Top Cashback